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CEA considers establishing portable device standards

Written by Rich Fiscus (Google+) @ 13 Aug 2008 2:41 User comments (4)

CEA considers establishing portable device standards CEA, the Consumer Electronics Association, is putting together a group to consider establishing industry standards for portable devices ranging from MP3 players to GPS units. The group will be leading a discussion at the CEA Industry Forum in October.
The primary purpose of such standards would be to ensure products from cars to home stereos could be have support for a variety of devices without the manufacturer needing to work individually with vendors of different gadgets.

Brian Markwalter, CEA vice president, Technology and Standards said "In many cases consumers would like to attach these devices to other CE products to enhance their experiences. CEA wants to explore whether industry technical standards might enable more robust connectivity between portable devices and other products, and whether such connectivity might help to grow consumers' interest in such products."

One potential problem for such a plan would be the dominance of the Portable Media Player (PMP) market by Apple's iPod. Apple has traditionally resisted the idea of using any standards besides their own, which enables them more control over third party support for their hardware. As the industry leader they're not likely to see open standards as an advantage.

Of course it's also possible this would either help their competition, as Apple loses sales to devices that work and play better with other products.

Perhaps the biggest question at this point is why it has taken so long to think about this issue. Most people who own the sort of devices they're talking about can tell you how frustrating it is to see the potential of their PMP or GPS neutered by a lack of support in products that seem like a natural fit.

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4 user comments

113.8.2008 11:47

Quote:
Perhaps the biggest question at this point is why it has taken so long to think about this issue. Most people who own the sort of devices they're talking about can tell you how frustrating it is to see the potential of their PMP or GPS neutered by a lack of support in products that seem like a natural fit.
My only guess would be to allow the technologies, when they were in their "infant" stages, a chance to improve and expand without being tied down to standards. However, now that the technology has matured, it is a good thing to start talking about standards. It would also help technology integration!! Cell phones are already becoming the "swiss army knife" of technology. Could you imagine if other portable technologies were more standard!!!

213.8.2008 13:27

I've been wondering why they didn't do this at least 5 years ago. Have a standard set of features, and if Apple/Sony/Creative etc. wants to add features to it, let them. Don't stick it to us (the consumer) by making everything so proprietary. If the added feature is well received, then it may eventually become the standard.

313.8.2008 13:36
varnull
Inactive

It's about time.. for instance why does every phone need a different cable and drivers? Why not just make them another "mass storage device" as adopted by many camera and mp3 player manufacturers.

There is a USB consortium or some such which is also working towards this same goal.. plug it in and access whatever aspect of the device you want using fully open drivers, cables and standards.

This kind of capability is important so someone like me who doesn't want to just do what they condescendingly allow me to with their software. I buy a device and it is mine to do anything I want with... which is why I will never ever buy anything from Apple!!

413.8.2008 13:58

Yes, indeed we could use a good set of standards.

Quote:
GPS neutered by a lack of support in products that seem like a natural fit.
i would love to flash my GPS device with a military type transponder.

that way when i go on exotic fishing trips, i know right where that big battleship is going. its alway good to know where subs are too.

sigh. i will agree some portable device are better left unstandardized.

when you standardize stuff, its like sticking a neon sign over it with the big red flashing words. Hack me, develop Viruses for me, or destroy me.

Standards also allow better tracking more control from Non-Corporate entity's which can be a good or bad thing.

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