Welcome to CES: Utility now trumps gadgets

CES 2010: Utility trumps gadgets On the first day of CES, I took a preliminary walk around the show floor as the booths were getting set up. I threw out my jaw yawning (no joke). It’s not that there wasn’t pretty neat stuff – it’s that the show as a whole was broken this year.

The killer feature across many big brand consumer electronics this year, from car to TV to toaster, is utility. “What can this device do for me?” As devices become connected, they increasingly compete on licenses, partnerships, and “the could” – not on the physical hardware. This was the elephant in the room this year. Netflix or Yahoo! widgets will sit on nearly every device, and yet neither company has their own presence at the show. Google revolutionized the mobile industry, and while Android makes a very strong presence, the big G isn’t around (even now that they have become a mobile retailer). Continue reading “Welcome to CES: Utility now trumps gadgets”

Zeebo, Zeemote, and Zinio liven up CTIA

CTIA This year’s CTIA conference in Las Vegas was lacking luster in both attendance and truly innovative solutions.  Present were the usual suspects such as the obligatory “Watch Phones” which we have seen year after year, but never seem to make it into the consumer markets.  Rows of vendors hawking glittery phone sleeves for every phone produced since the Motorola Brick.  And suction-cup phone mounts for every possible occasion…

Fortunately, amidst the unending piles of wireless headsets, I was able to catch a few good “Zs”:

Continue reading “Zeebo, Zeemote, and Zinio liven up CTIA”

LTE steps up to bat

CTIAIf you didn’t look you might have missed it.  If the letters LTE just passed your field of vision at CTIA you might have missed the next evolution in wireless technology.  LTE or Long Term Evolution is being positioned as the successor to 3G.

Technically speaking, LTE is a modulation technique that is the latest variation of Global Systems for Mobile Communications (GSM) technology. It was dubbed “Long Term Evolution” because it is viewed as the natural progression of High-Speed Packet Access (HSPA), the GSM technology that is currently used by carriers such as AT&T to deliver 3G mobile broadband.

Continue reading “LTE steps up to bat”

4G and apps dominate CTIA

CTIA 2009CTIA 2009 was a much smaller show than last year, which was a big talking point at the show.  Despite the reduction in size, the show had two big stories to tell: 4G and apps.

The 4G story began with Verizon CEO Seidenberg’s keynote, where he mentioned Verizon’s plans to roll out Long Term Evolution (LTE), a 4G technology, by year end in select markets.  On the show floor, those three letters took on a much greater meaning, and were everywhere.  At LG’s booth, I saw high quality HD video streaming over LTE connections that were four times faster than peak cable broadband.

For marketers, LTE is going to make things very, very interesting.  Continue reading “4G and apps dominate CTIA”

Location based services get sexy

lbsThis week I participated in the judging for Navteq’s Global LBS Challenge. The challenge is a yearly event across three regions that gives mobile developers the opportunity to showcase innovative location based services. At least 30% of previous contestants have received venture capital funding or  launched commercial applications.

Many of the solutions were focused on solving a very specific consumer problem and follow the concept of creating applications that have a utility  in a consumer’s lifestyle. The ones that were least successful just had some business model challenges or some design flaws but all were based on leveraging mobile to enhance one’s lifestyle.

Here is some detail on the challenge from Denny Reinert, National Dir. Interactive Sales for Navteq

Here are some of the more interesting applications demonstrated:

Continue reading “Location based services get sexy”

What’s faster than 3G?

CTIA/Josh LovisonThe IPG Emerging Media Lab’s Mobile Practice Lead, Josh Lovison is reporting live from the CTIA convention, also known as the Wireless Telecommunications event of the year.

Check out Josh’s live CTIA video feed on Qik, or watch his short video posts here:

What’s faster than 3G?

Continue reading “What’s faster than 3G?”