IBM joins forces to gain leading tech advantage
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IBM joins forces to gain leading tech advantage

There's no need to panic just yet, but IBM and other major electronics brands are banding together to create an unified presence in the device world with the ability to withstand future economic changes. With some fearful that the market has not yet fully stabilized, looking at Asian and other international markets with measured concern, IBM has joined ways with the Smart TV Alliance to ensure ongoing consumer-facing success. This change could also impact the kind of deployments IBM favors in coming months, as well as how its technology is set up.

Changing scope of IBM deployments
The Next Web reported that the hope of IBM and its new partners, including LG, TP Vision, Toshiba, ABOX43, TechniSat and Specific Media, is to create a better environment for consumers, corporations and developers to buy and integrate devices, instead of being lambasted into a single kind of machine. This would make application marketplaces more unified, the source stated, as well as allow users more freedom in how and where they use their devices. For instance, stereo receivers and surround sound systems created by Panasonic would be compatible with LG appliances, instead of needing a variety of different cords or adapters.

This represents a potentially huge cost savings for corporate entities, Next Web pointed out, because firms won't have to ensure that their deployments are from the same manufacturer. They can mix and match appliances as best fits their current needs and budget, so long as all the desired devices are manufactured by companies that fall within the Alliance.

New features for business
The source reported that Smart TVs will be 3D-video ready, harbor apps with Java, CSS3 and HTML5 requirements and provide better choices to corporate and consumer users. In the past, businesses have been limited by what they could do with smart appliances and other screens in the workplace, either networking them to devices that did all the work or trying to make do with projection screens, but the rise of the Smart TV Alliance could bring more functionality to television sets, thanks to the inclusion of IBM.

Future initiatives at risk
This could be a critical move for these organizations involved, not the least of which IBM, which analysts fear may have been hurt by the recent fiscal cliff scare. Reuters reported that many technology companies were worried about the performance of their overall corporate holdings, as the fiscal cliff loomed large at the end of the 2012, and legislators didn't provide any relief until the dawn of 2013. This late announcement could have handicapped IBM's fourth quarter earnings, potentially hobbling the corporation for the coming quarter as well.

Getting involved with the Smart TV Alliance could be just the thing to bolster IBM's competitiveness and innovative design deployments as it struggles to get its financial feet back underneath these projects. With more device-driven launches and catering to a broader group of application developers, IBM can bring more business to the smart TV world, increasing its market saturation and building a bigger customer base as it does so. On top of that, because of the vibrant array of innovative solutions IBM regularly brings to the table, it's possible that infrastructure like the Watson supercomputer could eventually move to a smaller format, like a smart TV, driving user experiences with intuitive learning machinery that knows what people want to see and do before they even think of it themselves.