The Business of Electronics
The business of electronics is not only massive, but extremely quick to shift in response to market demand, or, as in the case of Apple’s Steve Jobs, a created demand. How? By designing and manufacturing a device or a product category (tablet computers) so attractive that the product itself creates demand, even among a buying audience who hadn’t known how much they really “wanted” it, or, even better, how much they “needed” it.
The Consumer Electronics Association reports total US electronics sales for 2011 were 965 billion dollars, a huge segment of the entire economy. While this number will continue to grow, this marketplace can be volatile and subject to breathtaking changes overnight. Thus successful companies develop a sort of “early warning” system that can identify coming developments and in turn create and market products that meet those needs.
A few years ago, the idea of a tablet seemed a marginal product for a limited audience; earlier iterations like Apple’s Newton failed miserably. Instead, led by the iPad, the category has become the tail wagging the dog, steadily eroding both laptop and “netbook” (remember that term?) sales. Companies devoted to the laptop/netbook paradigm saw the market move past them, and are now scrambling to grab a tiny percentage of Apple’s staggering sales with largely “me-too” offerings (in the case of Samsung, of course, a court ruled way too much “me-too”).
So it goes with the new IEEE protocol termed “AVB,” or audio-video bridging. IEEE 802.1 Audio Video Bridging (AVB) is a range of both new and augmented IEEE standards to provide for time-synchronized delivery of audio and video media through networks. AVB is a way to get both audio and video synchronized and delivered with low latency over an Ethernet network. That simple description belies the complexity of the standard, but you’ll be hearing a lot about it in the coming months. We at ETS are now aiming our resources at this developing opportunity, so stay tuned for more news. As usual, we solicit your comments and observations.