About a week ago I had the pleasure of attending Phoenix ComicCon. It is not as big a convention as ComicCon International in San Diego, but it keeps growing. Frequent readers of the Semico Spin may remember I report on the consumer electronic trends I see at that show.
One of the big draws at Phoenix ComicCon was the 25th Anniversary of the TV show “Star Trek: the Next Generation.” One of the panels was focused on actor Levar Burton. I met Levar Burton at the Intel Developer’s Forum in 2010. The video in this article was in the original article for IDF 2010. Levar Burton appeared at IDF 2010 to promote Intel’s efforts in SmartTV.
In addition to his work as a performer, Mr. Burton also has a production company that is developing content for new media. At IDF 2010 he did not go into details on these projects. Besides Star Trek, Levar Burton is also well known as the producer and host of “Reading Rainbow”, (1983 to 2006) a TV show that encouraged children to read.
At Phoenix ComicCon, Levar Burton announced that “Reading Rainbow” would be returning for a new generation of children. However, it will not be produced for television. Mr. Burton pointed out that children today do not watch television as much as they used to. TV was the technology of the 1980’s that was used to connect with children. This next generation is the wired generation. Instead, kids today are more likely to use the internet and other consumer electronic devices. TV represents a small portion of how they interact with the world, consume information and entertainment. With that in mind, Mr. Burton’s production company has developed “Reading Rainbow” as an app for the tablet PC. This is a multi-media project that he has focused on for the last two years. Mr. Burton announced at the panel that the first release would be for the Apple iPad on June 19, 2012. It will be released for select Android devices by the end of the year.
It has been said often about consumer electronics that content is king. It is important that the veterans and experts of content creation, especially those with brand name recognition, develop for the tablet PC. This further enhances the tablet PC and will drive further innovation of the form factor. Consumers will demand more of the content which must be achieved by adding more features and performance.
Content developers have recognized the importance of the tablet PC and the changing usage model among consumers. The notebook PC will not go away any time soon. Semico projects a 10% Compund Annual Growth Rate (CAGR ’12 to ’16), reaching 300 million units, but the form factor will continue to evolve toward ultrabooks. The tablet PC market has a much higher CAGR of 29.4% reaching 275 million units. By 2016 the size of the tablet PC market will rival the notebook PC market.
Chief Technology Officer
Semico Research Corp.