February digital issue of ERT out now

The February digital issue of ERT is out now. You can view the digital issue here.

Editor’s comment:

It’s been a busy start to the year so far, with CES dominating the headlines in recent weeks. In this month’s very tech-focused issue, we review the Las Vegas show and some of the biggest launches and demonstrations that took place.

There were new TVs being unveiled left, right and centre, but one of the highlights was a new rollable 4k OLED TV from LG that offers top-class picture quality and comes with Dolby Atmos capability. More on that from page 26. Also, as expected, the topic of 8k was on everyone’s lips, and with 8k TVs expected to sell in their millions (yes, millions) over the next couple of years, those companies that were showcasing this new technology certainly drew the crowds across the exhibition floor.

However, not everyone is jumping on the 8k bandwagon. Industry experts have said that while the science behind it is incredibly impressive and it brings another opportunity for manufacturers and retailers to offer the consumer something new, there’s hardly any actual 8k content out there for the viewer to enjoy at home. This is the reason that Philips neglected to address the topic of 8k at its latest TP Vision European trade show that was held in Amsterdam in January; the company told ERT that, for the moment, effectively, 4k is enough. “There is no reason to launch 8k yet, because there is no software,” it said. Interesting… something to keep an eye on this year, I think.

Elsewhere, another technology taking the industry by storm is the rise of the smart home. A survey of 6,000 people in the UK and USA by software firm, Audio Analytic, found that more than a third of households owned smart speakers, such as Amazon Echo, Echo Dot, Sonos or Google Home; this is a staggering statistic and with the widespread use of these and other hands-free voice assistants the number of connected devices throughout the home is only set to grow.

From setting the heating, warming up the oven in the kitchen or getting notified that your drinks cabinet has reach optimum temperature for the goodies you put in there earlier (where can I buy one of these, please?!), carrying out household tasks will never be the same as long as you’ve got a smart speaker to shout at, or a phone or tablet in your hand. And judging by industry reports, many people already have these systems in place and more are looking to achieve the same goal over the coming year(s). Take a look at our smart home retailing features from page 30 in this month’s issue to see what’s on the horizon and how these smart solutions can be incorporated into your retail offering to ensure you’re catering for today’s increasingly smarter shopper.

Jack Cheeseman – Editor, ERT

You can view the February digital issue of ERT here.