3. Component Miniaturization: Intel announced their first Android smartphone which has similar functionality to a miniature netbook, but stuffed into a form factor one tenth the size. While we are always impressed at how many features they are stuffing into these smartphones and ultra portable devices through miniaturization of components, other devices such as scanners and projectors are also being impacted. There were a number of PicoP projectors demonstrated and we can expect that they will eventually find their way into our "converged" devices such as 3M's Camcorder Projector and the MicroVision devices hoping to eventually find their way into cell phones.
In addition, from an imaging perspective, the smallest unit we saw (other than your smartphone camera) was the HoverCam Mini which can be used for presenting and projecting video or images which could be tax returns or financial statements. By the way, if you are impressed by the slim profile of the Motorola Droid Razr and Fujitsu Arrows Es smartphones, check out the Huawei Ascend P1 which is less than 7mm thin!
4. Cloud, Cloud and More Clouds: The consumer electronics industry realizes that most people use a variety of cloud applications prompting InfoWorld to rebrand the show as the "Cloud Electronics Show." In addition to consumers using the cloud for personal email, social networking, digital sharing of files and photos on the web, and services such as banking and portfolio management, vendors were touting the "cloud" resources behind their products. Users today want to access the same information and resources on multiple devices (smartphone, tablet, PC and Television) so that they can pick up where they were regardless of what tool they are using (think about having your timesheet open on all these devices at all times. Consolidation of these features into personal clouds is already occurring and companies (such as Facebook and Google) are making it easier to build both a personal cloud and public cloud.
With accountants adopting portals for secure delivery of client data, we can expect to see integration of our clouds with other business, personal, and public clouds so that clients can eventually go to one place to manage all of our information. Consumer products such as Sugarsync, Dropbox, and Apple's iCloud will be driving developers to do the same for "work clouds."
CES 2012 was another great experience and we see these consumer trends pushing into tomorrow's accounting firms allowing us to more effectively serve our clients, which is why we are in this business in the first place.
Roman H. Kepczyk, CPA.CITP is Director of Consulting for Xcentric, LLC. and works exclusively with accounting firms to implement today’s leading best practices and technologies. Roman is also author of “Quantum of Paperless: A Partner’s Guide to Accounting Firm Optimization” which is available at Amazon.com