CTIA 2013 Wrap-up – MoPR Edition

 

This year marked the last “Spring CTIA” show; after the “Fall CTIA” Mobilecon event in San Jose, next year CTIA will join forces with IFA, 4G World and other showcases for a brand new megashow called Super Mobility Week.  MoPR’s Jessi McKain, Ayan Jama and John Sidline flew down to be a part of the mobility excitement in Sin City and attend the last-ever CTIA Mobile Marketplace event .  Keep reading for personal opinions on the show, a recap of some news at CTIA and some priceless photos!

The scorching heat, free key chains and bottle openers, tired feet, dinners with old and new colleagues and friends and of course lots of mobile – another successful CTIA in Vegas just ended. In the ever-evolving industry of mobile the last CTIA marked the dawn of a new era.

Jessi McKain and Ayan Jama weighed in on what they thought of the final spring CTIA.  The show was much more accessory centric than expected with various iPhone cases and audio attachments around almost every corner. As with past CTIAs, this show floor was laid out with purpose.  Sectioned off into four main categories, Retail Zone, E-Tech Zone, Wireless Innovations from Around the Globe and Featured Technology Innovations, the main sections of the show floor housed a total of 32 specific zones or pavilions. From talking robots, to people playing corn hole to live snakes in cages, CTIA had it all. The clear categorization allowed for easy navigating through the exhibit floor, which easily allowed you to see booths you were interested in.

“My favorite thing I saw at CTIA was mobile devices mounted to talking robots. While the design was very simplistic and the robots clearly could not comprehend everything you were saying, the technology was very exciting and showed me that personal robotics might be closer than we think,” says Jessi when reflecting on her time at CTIA.

John Sidline, CEO of Mobility PR, noted new carrier business models taking shape at CTIA, “With talk of 5G now gaining momentum, and an explosion in connected devices and associated apps, we all need the carriers to make a profit large enough to continue evolving their networks. Network operators are now looking at monetizing all the new devices that will connect to a network, and chief among these devices will be your car.”

John thought the M2M and “Internet of Things” exhibits were among the most exciting he saw. “While there wasn’t as much buzz coming out of this CTIA as from shows in years past, what’s clear is that there’s another wave of mobile coming, and we’re only seeing the tip of the iceberg.  But what we can see of this emerging Internet of Things category today is already very exciting,” commented John.

Along with MoPR team members’ highlights and insights, we were sure to follow some of our favorite publications while they kept us up to date at CTIA. The 8th annual Emerging Technology (E-Tech) Award winners were announced in Las Vegas, hosted by CNBC Technology Correspondent Jon Fortt.  The E-Tech Awards celebrate and promote some of the most innovate wireless products and services in the consumer market. The products and services were judged based on innovation, functionality, technological importance, implementation and overall “wow” factor. Redline Communications, was a finalist in the E-Tech Awards Network Infrastructure- Wide Area Network category for its Universal Wireless Transport. Redline Communications shared this distinction with other finalists including Nokia Siemens Networks and Tektronix.

A big winner of this year’s E-Tech awards was Samsung for its consumer mobile devices, while Verizon received “Best in Show” for Verizon Messages. Samsung also won first place for the Connected Lifestyle category for the Galaxy Camera.

There were a total of 15 categories including enterprise solutions, mobile apps, mobile hardware, and network infrastructure. We have listed three of our favorite categories along with the first, second and third place winners. Click here to view the complete list of award-winners.

Mobile Apps– Content, Social, Media & Entertainment

  1. NTT DOCOMO, INC., Hanashite Hon’yaku (World’s first automatic voice translation service); 2. Harman International, Aha by Harman; 3. AT&T, Inc., AT&T U-verse Easy Remote

Mobile CE– Connected Lifestyle

  1. Samsung Telecommunications America, Samsung Galaxy Camera; 2. AT&T, AT&T Digital Life; 3. BodyMedia, BodyMedia CORE 2

Enterprise Solution – Mobile Cloud

  1. LogMeIn, Cubby; 2. Canvas, Inc., MyCanvas; 3. Averail, Averail Access

Along with the E-Tech Awards at CTIA, there were tons of new and innovative eye-catching technologies unveiled this year and new start-ups that made an appearance at the conference! New products included connected devices, problem solutions and fun accessories for your devices.

MoPR client Kimera Systems unveiled its innovative new technology at CTIA this year, Nigel, the first human-like intelligence service for mobile. Unlike traditional context-aware services, Nigel’s intelligence increases dramatically with user interaction. Kimera envisions a world where all your devices could think like you and act on your behalf, with Kimera’s human-like artificial intelligence technology, they can. With the increased use of Nigel on your smartphone, your connected device will soon enough automatically display a personalized restaurant menu when you walk into a restaurant, wake you up earlier because of a freeway closure and will learn and understand its user’s personal needs and deliver value. Kimera Systems was selected from hundreds of early start-up companies to speak at the Innovation Showcase which was held during CTIA.  CEO Mounir Shita spoke at CTIA in the Innovation Showcase which stirred up quite a buzz and brought a consistent rush of visitors to the Kimera booth in the Telecom Council’s

Other companies we found of interest at CTIA included, but were certainly not limited to:

Kevo presented its electronic door lock, which replaces your regular key with a Bluetooth enabled smartphone and an app. This allows the user to press their finger against the door lock rather than insert a key to gain entry into their home. There is a lot of buzz going around on the internet but CTIA was the first time anyone had seen the gadget in the flesh! Don’t believe us? Check out the demonstration video.

Ericsson demonstrated its smart windows concept. One demonstration involved an embedded cellular antenna inside a glass window to increase cell phone reception inside buildings, homes or trains. In another demonstration, Ericsson had was a window set up with built-in sensors so a user could tap and swipe the glass just as they would the screen of a connected device; this enabled the glass to turn into a remote control unit for the connected home- turning on lights, increasing the air conditioning and turning down the volume of music.

Damson presented its concert-like experience Bluetooth speakers at CTIA. Damson Audio Pearl speakers may be small in stature, but these wireless rubber speakers might make you think you’re at a concert. The Pearl uses unique down-firing woofers in order to echo sound off of tables or other surfaces to produce a loud and clear volume for its small size. The Pearl consists of two separate units, one handles left channels and the other right channels, for wireless stereo, the product can also be used as a speakerphone when it is connected to mobile devices.

TechRadar provided its readers with their top five moments while at CTIA.  Just like many others who attended CTIA this year, TechRadar mentioned the lack of new tech unveiled at the conference, but like any good tech conference there are always a few products or shocking moments that stick out among the rest. Check out TechRadar’s highlights from CTIA:

1.       HTC comes clean on microSD issue

Pictures of the Japanese and Chinese versions of the HTC one surfaced, both of which were sporting a removable back and microSD slot.  A representation from the Taiwanese manufacturer explained why the U.S. version of HTC is lacking the microSD; essentially it came down to extra space available in Japan and China’s version of the smartphone.

Why no HTC one on Verizon, microSD for U.S. and UK? HTC explains.

2.       Ashton Kutcher gives a surprisingly good fireside chat

The presence of Ashton Kutcher added a little something to the conference that CTIA needed. With the lack of new product announcements with fireside chat with the tech investment mogul provided some much needed entertainment.

Ashton Kutcher on the trouble with Twitter, Facebook as the ‘new religion’

3.       Hands on with the Lumia 928

TechRadar was able to get some much needed hands-on time with the latest Windows Phone 8 device from Nokia, the Lumia 928. Only available on Verizon, the Lumia 928 is only available in black and white. This is quite a change for Nokia, who usually sells its Lumia devices in every color of the rainbow.

Hands on: Lumia 928 review

4.       Viva Movil: too niche or totally needed?

Another star set to the stage at this year’s CTIA, Jennifer Lopez made an appearance as a keynote speaker announcing that the she was partnering up with carrier, Verizon Wireless with Viva Movil. Viva Movil is a mobile retail chain aimed specifically at Latinos, catering to the specific needs of first, second and third generations Latinos.

Read more about Jennifer Lopez at CTIA and Viva Movil

5.       Rugged and cheap phones rule the showRugged phones that can endear a face dive to concrete or a water submersion seemed to be a popular theme at CTIA.  TechRadar first saw the Cat B15, not a top of the line device but can handle a rough day and survive even the worst face plant to the sidewalk. Also introduced at CTIA were the Kyocero Hydro Edge and Hydro XTRM, shock absorbent and water proof handsets.

Hands on: Cat B15 review

CTIA has come a long way. To compare “then” to “now,” check out this post from a MoPR trip to CTIA in 2006! We would love to hear your stories from Sin City about the last-ever spring CTIA. What innovative technologies stood out to you?  What industry trends did you notice? Did you go to the Ice-Bar to escape the scorching Las Vegas sun?  Tell us about your CTIA experience