It's just about noon here in Atlanta and Mobile Tech News is headed out of the Georgia World Congress Center. The press room is quieting down and all the spinach lasagna is gone and the coffee pot has been turned off. It's been three hectic and exciting days of checking out the latest offerings and what's to come in the world of mobile technology.
There was a lot of speculation about US network operator plans in relation to rollout of EV-DO or EV-DV. Handsets are gearing up with greater video capability, improved gaming action, stereo sound and the ability to control and manage our home electrical devices. LG had a kitchen set up in their booth with the ability to remotely control the gas to the oven, display items in the refrigerator, turn on lights and change the heating or cooling, all remotely from a mobile phone.
We also had a chance to sample a bit of the US future currently available in Japan. E-commerce and video telephony were being shown at NTT DoCoMo's booth Using Panasonic FOMA handsets, we were able to experience video teleconferencing. As part of the video teleconferencing options, you can change your picture or the picture of the other party to a cartoon character (if your boss phones and you've just gotten out of bed, for example). The Panasonic handset also had the ability to swivel so you could show the other person a view from where you are. Although these services are actually being provided in Japan via FOMA networking, we have a long way to go here in the US.
In that regard, EV-DV was creating a "buzz" at the Samsung booth with their live video streaming display. The display showed live streaming of CNN on a Samsung handset. In addition, they were displaying live video teleconferencing similar to the FOMA display (except no cartoon character options).
The handsets continue to be our major focus and there was no shortage of them to check out. Samsung had the largest handset display including the A790 world phone (CDMA 800 and 1900 Mhz, and GSM 800 and 1900 Mhz). Our bet is this phone will be available through Vodafone. Motorola also introduced a world phone, the A840, making it the company's first GSM/CDMA handset...
Nokia had the new 9500 communicator and the new UMTS 7610 featured as well as an interesting display of digital photo viewables and wearables. They had three necklaces that could display digital photos downloaded from a mobile phone or PC retailing for $299. In addition, lots of new gadgets including a digital picture frame for easily changing digital photos when you want a new picture to view.
Siemens offered three new handsets for the American market already announced on Mobile Tech News. LG featured two new handsets, the 7000 and 8000, we'll be telling you more about later. They were both video enabled, flip-style handsets.
Sony Ericsson had their new prototype S700 available for showing. Handsets such as the S700 incorporating standard analog camera hardware features are becoming more prevalent, particularly the interchangeable portrait or landscape view capability.
Current handset offerings generally included 65K color display screens, the ability to record and send video clips up to 15 seconds in length, 3D video gaming and PTT. Future handsets are pushing the limits of video via video teleconferencing, longer video recording and storage capability, improved sound via stereo speakers, more Bluetooth-enabled features, and international PTT options.
The telecom industry is alive and well following three years of being in the doldrums. Seamless connectivity, expanding bandwidth and faster data speeds and increased functionality in handsets continues to be the game. By this time next year, we should have world phones, 3D gaming, and video teleconferencing available in the US. It looks to be an exciting year.