2010 CTIA

Action in the mobile world continues to shift in favor of clever applications backed by clever business models, while the big guys battle it out to stuff as many features into a handheld form factor.  4G is emerging, so we can expect even more performance behind these mobile stuffings in the future. 
Oh, excuse me - my phone is telling me the turkey is done.


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 CES & ICCE 2010 and Showest 2010

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  LiveWire has a most innovative business model.  Sign up for their service (photo shows one of their partners that sells it) and your phone can make you money anytime someone calls you.  Of course, the caller has to now listen to an advertising message for a few seconds (~5 to 10s) before your phone rings.  They've recently added charity messages, so you don't have to sound so bad.  Meantime, you make about 4 cents a call.    
Services like SMobile Systems's Parent Controls are starting to show up.  This one lets a parent (or someone) spy on their kid's phone activities.  View their photos, texting, calls, etc. for just $30/year.          
Navteq is behind many of the navigation maps you may be using.  Here is one of their first mobile surveying systems for mapping out 3D images of city streets.  Unlike Google's simpler camera system, Navteq uses a LIDAR to get a 1.5 billion point 3D profile, along with two sets of 360 degree cameras, a mil-grade Inertial Measuring unit (IMU) and enhanced GPS to get a more complete survey.  Microsoft software blurs faces, etc. for privacy, even though resolution is fine enough to read the menu on hanging on restaurant windows.  Surveying of major cities starts this year.
Another location-based service for your iPhone.  Poynt makes this available for free and makes their money by listing partner's (e.g. Yellow Pages) business listings. The device in the hand is a (somewhat bulky) keychain that has a directional antenna in it - press the button and it lights up when you point it at your car.  A device in your car that runs for over 1/2 year on 3 AA batteries sends out the finder signal.  Finder Technologies sells it for $100.
UNA Group sells what they call the iGugu.  This is a system that displays whatever is on your PC onto your TV (concept has been around for years, but now HDTV makes it a bit more readable).  What caught my eye was their remote control.   $200 for the system. Novatel and others showed their WiFi access point that connects to a cellular data network.  Novatel's was perhaps the most practical for its small size.

The other common service showing up is cloud storage.  Novatel and others are offering unlimited storage for about $50/year.
Ever watch a TV show where the good guys are tracking the bad guys on a map in real time?  FreightWatch easily lets any business do this with their GeoF2 tracker that is small enough to fit into a pill box.  Assisted GPS and motion detection based, with probe or caller initiated tracking. One is not supposed to have a phone in prison.  This device from Berkeley Varitronics Systems will tell you if anyone has one within 50ft.  Its directional antenna points to the culprit.   $1800.  If the price goes down, will theaters start to use it?
Never satisfied with the artwork on those phone covers?  Think you can do better?  Trexta will sell you 3 covers that you can draw on yourself for $24.95. Zagg, which might be better known for their screen protectors, now has leather backings for your phones.  They are under $30 each.
If you want to really distinguish yourself with your phone cover, go to Luxmo and buy a custom iPhone cover made with Swarovsky crystals.  You can even give them a photo to convert.  Custom covers take a week or two and can cost between $250 to $600. Cellet has a cute Bluetooth-linked speaker that uses the surface it is sitting on to project the sound from your phone or iPod.  Has a magnetic base so it can be put on a steel surface. The small think on the left is a microphone for handsfree.  $89.

Umundo offers a way to turn your phone into an RSS feed to other phones and even to TVs.  It is called Tvider, which sounds like another company when said fast.  Take a photo or video and anyone that has subscribed to your feed gets it.  The link to the TV works via BD-Live on your Internet-connected Blu-ray player.  In the U.S. it is currently free, but will soon be about $9.99/year. Cel Linx will give your phone a 45dB signal boost while you are driving in your car (can be used in the home, too).  The phone doesn't have to be in the cradle, but should at least be near it.  $299.
Nokia is enhancing their Wikitude (iPhone, Andoid, Symbian) app to let you point your phone in a direction and see icons of businesses and other points of interest show up as if you were looking at a virtual reality display. Poke a Starbucks icon and find out how far away it is.  Lonely Planet and Red Bull are working on branded versions that will have a customized database. LG is about to introduce (in Japan) a few phones with mobile DTV built in.  Mobile ATSC is just starting in the U.S., so expect versions here later.  The model shown is the VX10KM.  A charge will last 2.5 - 4 hours when watching TV - OK for commuter train rides in Japan.

This is the Motorola Backflip phone.  The top photo shows it configured as a clock (recommended that the charger is plugged in if you use it all night).  The bottom photo shows a screenshot from their MotoBlur service.  MotoBlur blends several social networking services (Facebook, Twitter, email, etc.) together onto one screen so you don't have to log into each one separately.

Docomo will be offering their Separable phone in Japan in April.  What you see in the photo are the two halves of the phone when separated (with the keyboard side expanded).  You can thus view things on the screen while talking on the phone with the other half.

The bottom photo shows the two halves put together.
UNA Group, mentioned earlier, also has a phone watch. The cell phone watch has been seen before, but this is the Kempler & Strauus wristwatch that has a touch screen, as well as a remote control Bluetooth earpiece.  This is available for about $200. Yes, you read the sign correctly - these are Docomo's "Eye-Controlled Earphones".  Sensors in the earphones can detect what you are doing with your eyes and based on certain actions, you can do things like answer the phone or skip a song in your song playlist.  While they said it might be handy for when your hands are full, this feature might have practical use for the handicapped.
Fox will soon be offering what might be described as Hulu for the mobile phone with a service they will call BitBop.  $9.99/month, starting soon. Not to be outdone, Qualcomm is making their FloTV service available on the iPhone.  FloTV has colaborated with Mophie to develop a multi-purpose iPhone cradle. The cradle is actually a FloTV receiver that will transmit live video programming to the handset via WiFi (since Apple prohiits a direct connection to their proprietary interface)
Coupons.com has a tricky goal - making coupons available on your phone.  Checkout clerks aren't likely to scan your barcode and product companies don't want to give you a discount after you've already decided to purchase.  One solution, let your phone associate your affinity card (e.g. your grocery discount card) with the coupons, but delay it by 30 minutes.  Coupons.com gets a cut when you do so, and when you make a purchase. NearVerse wants to make it easy for you to transfer your photos, music and stuff to anyone near you.  In fact, you don't even give permission.  They equate it to being seen in public.  If someone can see you (within ~300 feet), they can grab your stuff. 
Privacy? Sort of like your Facebook page set to wide open access.
4G is coming! 4G is coming!  Lets see how much we can pack into one phone.  How about a 1 GHz Snapdragon processor with 3G and 4G (10 Mbps WiMAX) service, with an 8 Megapixel camera, another camera (1.3MP) for video conferencing, HDTV camcorder (that can output to your HDTV set), mobile WiFi hotspot for 8 devices, 3D navigation with turn-by-turn instructions, compass, visual voicemail, full suite of Google Android apps, kickstand (left photo), TV, radio, music, integrated Facebook & Twitter.  Available later this year.  Now, about battery life...

Bluestreak was showing off how well Adobe Flash video (Divx) works under on Android smartphones.

Samsung made a big splash during the morning keynote when they anounced this big (4.3") "super" AMOLED Android smartphone.
Kyocera is planning to introduce a low cost Android smartphone to compete in the U.S. market