To recap, CTIA was a good show, although I was a little disappointed at the lack of really new stuff. For the most part, the phones/services I saw were either announced previously and/or elsewhere. It seems that this is an emerging trend in the industry, as fewer and fewer companies are focusing on the tradeshows and industry events, and instead either having independent product launches (like Apple or Sony) or just rolling products out with a huge marketing push minus the event (like Motorola). This post takes a look at some other things I checked out at the show.
MobiTV was demoing their mobile TV offering, including their phone-based and laptop-based services. Additionally there was a early look at their HD-over-Wimax service, something they’ll launch in the future. The demo I saw featured 2Mbps H.264 video, and while I didn’t really consider it actually HD-quality, it was some very impressive video for the bandwidth.
I also saw their competitor, GOTV, but rather than doing fancy demos, they were offering… music trivia and makeovers! I can’t say I totally understand the point of the booth, but I’m pretty sure I got 3 of the questions right, and my pores look outstanding.
Obviously, my preferred vision for the future of Mobile TV involves placeshifting, as I fundamentally believe the majority of consumers who are interested in mobile television services would want a tie-in to their home-based offering. Personally, ever since my first DVR came into my house, I’ve avoided live TV, so when I want to watch something on my cell phone (in a taxi, waiting in line, etc), I generally want to watch something stored on my DVR.
Which is why it was really nice to see the Slingbox and demonstration of SlingPlayer Mobile on the Motorola Q phone inside the Moto booth! Hello Moto! The other picture below is a table full of all the current or new Motorola phones
The only weird part of Motorola’s booth was their Dance Dance Revolution contest occuring at the front of the booth. Maybe they forgot to tell the event organizer that CTIA isn’t frequented by 13-18yr olds?
I also saw the new phone/service from Wherify. Interesting concept – if you have kids, you can get them this phone with 5 preset phone numbers. The phone also has GPS built-in, and you can track your children anywhere they roam. Also, the phone is tiny, smaller than my LG flipphone even.
Next up is the Bluevoice headset-watch combo device from Chronotech. The headset mounts on a simple plastic watchband. Once paired with your phone, you get the ‘Dick Tracy’ effect. Well, sorta. First, we couldn’t get it paired (although my friend seemed unfamiliar with the Treo bluetooth settings, so I don’t necessarily blame the company). Second, the device just needs some different features. If it had a vibrate mode, that would be nice. Additionally, it needs a speakerphone. Then, I still wouldn’t want one, but at least it would actually have the Dick Tracy effect.
And that’ll wrap up CTIA Fall 2006 for me this year!