Editor’s Note: The Consumer Electronics Show is going now in Las Vegas, and Brighthand’s Antoine Wright was there.
While many people decided to leave CES on Tuesday, I had some time to walk the show floor and see some pretty impressive products, both mobile and not so mobile.
Folks that are around me enough know that I like maps, so I had a lot of fun at the TeleAtlas booth playing with products and taking a gander at a developer competition that was going on.
TeleAtlas is the one that develops the data for TeleNav, TomTom, MiTAC and other applications that we use in GPS-based models and other mobile devices. Its booth was a demonstration of all of the devices and ways that companies are implementing location-based services within those devices.
The developer competition had three products on display: a GPS search application, a wireless chaperon application for your car, and a mobile friend-notifier/IM product.
The latter was most impressive in that it utilized either the A-GPS service available within many cell phones or a GPS receiver if it was present in the phone to notify and find friends in your "group." If you get into a user-defined area, or will be going into an area, you can automatically let people know that you are near and then co-ordinate meeting.
This service is already being used in Boost Mobile phones; however, I was told that an appearance on Sprint and other carriers is not a bad guess. I was not told when, though.
A representative from American Telecom and I struck up a conversation over a VoIP phone product that his company was getting ready to start selling.
By using some of the aspects of mesh networking, it will you to use an existing Wi-Fi connection and this phone (receiver/router and up to four phones) to have phone service in your home.
The really neat thing about these is that the ATS phone is also usable in other hotspot areas. So, you would be able to live in a Wi-Fi enabled town with just a Wi-Fi phone, and by moving from hotspot to hotspot you can carry your number with you.
P2P Universal Computing Consortium (PUCC)
I was on my way to look at Toshiba’s mobile tech offerings when I was side-tracked by this P2P offering from PUCC.
Much like BitTorrent and other P2P offerings, PUCC wanted to show how file sharing can work. However, this application concentrated on mobile phones and large files (music, video, etc.).
Its solution comes in an software application something like a Java implementation. However, despite the demo the reps were showed on the Cingular 8525, there was no mention of when this product would be hitting the market, only that it was coming to the U.S. "soon."
Overall CES Impressions
The last time that I was at CES was back in 2005, and it was huge then. It was a lot bigger this time, and I sure did walk around a lot. From the wow of LG’s TV exhibit, to seeing a home control system in the Microsoft booth, I was impressed with the levels of technology present.
If there is one thing that I did not see that much of, it was some kind of theme for the entire event. While many were pushing the idea of the "connected life" (Microsoft, TeleNav, Palm, et al), this was not a theme for the entire event, and it kind of made CES feel one part tech event and another part market event.
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The Apple iPhone announcement really did rock quite a number of people. In the press room, there were plenty of people on the phone with others talking about the this smartphone and its potential ramifications. The fact that another device in a city far away could totally overshadow anything that was at CES speak volumes about what was exhibited, and that people (at least journalists) wanted more of at CES.
I was in the Nokia tent when I heard about the iPhone, and even some of the Nokia workers wanted to know more about this device. My guess is that next year that there will be a few more show stopper devices and services at CES, just to keep something like that from happening again.
CES is pretty cool, though. There are very few places in the world where you can do and hear five or ten languages being spoken in a 100 ft radius.
Some companies made better use of their space than others (Palm, Inc. especially) but all seemed to be quite responsive to anyone who wanted to know about their products.
I’m glad it’s all over though, I am sleepy and need to catch up with the rest of the world. Being around so many cool toys can make you get a Christmas list together quite early. And for CES, I am sure that’s just part of the reason for the show.