There's a great number of electronics shows going on in Korea this month at the same time. Talking about them requires an alphabet soup of letters - IMID, KES, RFID,/USN, i-SEDEX - the list goes on. But when distilling all of these conferences, expos, and symposiums down to the basic trends, what do you get You get three things - refinement, convergence, and environmental awareness. These are the three faces of the cutting edge in the electronics industry of today.
Refinement can most easily be seen at the display-related booths among these many expos. Korea has long had a reputation for building good displays, in fierce competition with Taiwan. But this year, Korea has emerged the clear winner. The standard idea of a display is to show something on a screen - this simple idea has not changed since the CRT monitors. The emergence of LCD displays provided to be a minor revolution, but now those flat-panel LCDs are becoming more and more refined. LG has proven to be the best in this game with its new LED Blu LCD TV, which is only about 1/3 the thickness of the diameter of a 500 won coin. One can see many photos of beautiful models holding coins next to such devices, showing that it is truly as thin as they say. This is refinement - from the bulky shells of last year's inch-thick screens emerge the sleek, elegant contours of this thinnest LCD screen - now officially thin enough to equal a painting.
It can also be seen in the ever-decreasing size of RAM. At the 2009 i-SEDEX this year one can get a chance to see 44-nano DDR3 DRAM, which is smaller than the 54-nano RAM which used to be the smallest. The refinement of RAM has enabled new and better kinds of devices that were simply not possible before. One can find some of these devices are showing under the moniker of convergence.
Convergence can be found in the strangest of places as well. Of course, the IT Convergence 2009 expo is dedicated to this fusion of electronics devices, but it is also present in other places. Have you ever desired to listen to music stored in a photo frame It might not be one of the first 100 things on anybody's wish list, but its possible now. A digital photo frame coupled together with a large enough flash drive storage in order to store many photos has been taken to the next level - it can store music files and broadcast them via a Bluetooth connection to any Bluetooth-enabled headphones nearby. An especially coordinated owner of the device could include songs that were associated with the people and events in the photos, or could even include audio clips of conversations with the people pictured. The picture frame can also play back video, which until a few years ago was only in the realms of science fiction.
Environmental awareness takes many forms, from Green Computing to environmental friendliness to train safety. It is also the order of the day, with environmental friendliness as its close companion. From IMID to i-SEDEX, manufacturers are thinking of more environmentally-friendly ways to manufacture their products. Products are being marketed as Green, with energy-saving features and created environmentally-friendly manufacturing processes. How to better protect the environment is now one of the top priorities being discussed as many of the conferences happening this week. And companies like Shalom Engineering are making sure that the trains are as safe and comfortable as possible.
So this is the nature of the cutting edge - smaller, more useful, and using less energy. In all three ways they give us devices that we can use with more satisfaction and a clearer conscience. This year, its good to be a tech junkie.