Viodi View – 05/12/10

This issue features more highlights from the 2010 Broadband Properties Summit, including the importance of state participation in determining a national broadband plan, more telemedicine applications for broadband providers and benefits of the Smart Grid. Additionally, Alan Weissberger weighs in on the iPad and its impact on carriers and we get a preview of what Roger will debut at next week’s WSTA’s 100 Annual Convention. 


Benefits of the Smart Grid

Click here to watch the videoBill Ablondi of Parks Associates discusses his panel regarding the Smart Grid at the 2010 Broadband Properties Summit. In this brief video, Ablondi talks about the Smart Grid as a way of running more efficient businesses and governments. A sort of primordial soup is how he characterizes the current state of the Smart Grid with opportunities for all, including the potential for the creation of a new segment that he calls Energy Management Service Providers.  Ablondi points out that consumers do value the benefits brought about by what the Smart Grid can bring, which is reinforced by this blog post on the Parks Associates web site. 

This interview is sort of a preview of what can be expected at the 2010 Parks Associates Connections Conference, June 8-10 in Santa Clara, CA.


The Modern Housecall

Click here to watch the videoBringing the doctor to the home via communications and connected medical devices is the theme of this brief interview with Rob Scheschareg of MedConcierge, LLC. Scheschareg believes that demand for this type of service will increase if current health care trends continue. He thinks there are opportunities for Communications Service Providers to bundle remote health care services with their broadband offering to provide more efficient and effective health care to their customers, while creating a sticky service.

Filmed at the 2010 Broadband Properties Summit.  Click here to watch. 


Run e-NC – Getting Broadband to Every Last Corner of North Carolina

Click here to watch the videoThe second largest rural population in the country is one factor that makes the implementation of broadband in North Carolina a challenge, so says Jane Patterson the Executive Director of e-NC. We caught up with Patterson at the 2010 Broadband Properties Summit, where she talked about the work the e-NC Authority is doing to help bring broadband to every corner to this state that is home to the tallest mountain east of the Mississippi. In this video interview, she points out that one solution does not fit all when it comes to deploying broadband.  

In addition to her role with e-NC, Jane is also on the board of directors for the Rural Telecommunications Congress.  


Click to watch the videoStates Need a Say in Broadband

The FCC’s broadband plan is a comprehensive document that addresses, at a high level, all of the segments of the economy that intersect with the Internet. In this video interview, filmed at the 2010 Broadband Properties Summit in Dallas, Galen Updike, Telecommunications Development Manager for the State of Arizona and Director of the RTC, discusses the importance of having regional and state input to make sure the implementation of the plan reflects the geographic and demographic differences between regions.


Will the iPad be a revenue driver or bandwidth killer for mobile operators? By Alan Weissberger

Mobile operators will be among the biggest beneficiaries of the Apple iPad's success, thanks to the iPad's use of mobile data services to access applications and digital content, according to a new report from Pyramid Research (www.pyr.com), the telecom research arm of the Light Reading Communications (www.lightreading.com). [Editor’s note, the comments and links associated with this article raise some interesting points regarding the iPad and its impact on network operators].  Click here to read more.


Some Tweets and Other Short Thoughts:

  • Customer service and sales are one in the same – looks like a good webinar from NTCA
  • "Don't look into laser with remaining good eye." Olson Technology gives a good reason for never cleaning a fiber connector carrying light. 

The Korner – Sneak Peek of a World Premiere

100 years of WI Telecom

100 Years of Telecommunications in Wisconsin will premiere on May 26, 2010 at the Grand Geneva Resort Hotel in Lake Genava, Wisconsin at 9:10 AM. This 100 anniversary documentary was produced by Viodi View contributing editor, ViodiTV videographer, and award-winning, independent producer Roger Bindl. The documentary covers a telecommunications history that starts in 1887 with business and home phones to the first switchboards in 1888 to the expansion of independent telco's in 1893. This led to formation of the WSTA in 1910 and the beginning of electronic social networks that brought us to where we are now. The documentary is narrated by a very special guest… check it out in Lake Geneva.

Will the iPad be a revenue driver or bandwidth killer for mobile operators?

Disclaimer: This author has no business relationship with Pyramid Research or parent company Light Reading.

Introduction:

Mobile operators will be among the biggest beneficiaries of the Apple iPad's success, thanks to the iPad's use of mobile data services to access applications and digital content, according to a new report from Pyramid Research (www.pyr.com), the telecom research arm of the Light Reading Communications  (www.lightreading.com).

Pyramid believes the iPad has created a new mass market for tablet devices. "Early adoption of the iPad has been promising, and device competitors will release products to fit different price points and feature requirements," says Jan ten Sythoff, Analyst at Large and author of the report. "Content is already widely available in a number of forms, including e-books and iPhone applications (both iPhone-specific and iPad-specific), while development of new content categories shows much promise.  These factors will drive demand for data access, and the iPad along with similar devices provide a compelling new opportunity for mobile operators to increase data subscriptions and hence revenues," says Sythoff. Mobile operators are already lining up to sell mobile data packages for the iPad. "The first will be AT&T, which will enjoy device exclusivity in the U.S. market, as it has with the iPhone, while Hutchison 3G Austria announced it will subsidize the device on a two-year contract, charging €29.90 for 5GB per month; it will include a 3G/WiFi modem to allow iPads with only WiFi built in to connect to the mobile network."

Apple launched the Wi-Fi-only versions of the iPad in the US market on April 3. It is available with 16GB, 32GB or 64GB of memory; the company will launch the dual-mode Wi-Fi/3G versions toward the end of May, in partnership with AT&T.   Electronic readers (e-readers) and tablet computers have long been talked about, and several have been launched, with mixed success. Initial announcements suggest that adoption of the iPad will be strong, with launches outside the US delayed by a month because of unexpected demand. Because the iPad is compatible with the iPhone, a wide range of applications were readily available from the start, including a number of iPad-specific applications. Books were available through the iBookstore from many of the major publishers, including Hachette, HarperCollins, Macmillan, Penguin and Simon & Schuster.

This Pyramid report analyzes the impact of the iPad primarily on mobile operators, but also on device vendors, publishers and developers. It summarizes the impact the device has already had on mobile communications providers and looks into possible future developments. The report looks at the impact on the device industry, comparing the iPad against other e-reader products, and expected competitor reactions. The impact on the book publishing industry is examined, comparing it to the impact Apple made on the music industry with the launch of the iPod. Pyramid also looks at the impact of the iPAD on other content industries, and the reaction of game developers, online video service providers and newspaper publishers, and how whole new content categories are already emerging.

Analysis:

What impact will the iPad have, given what Apple has been able to do with its revolutionary iPhone device?

Pyramid believes that this new device category will produce a wide range of competing products addressing different requirements, while developers and publishers are faced with an attractive new opportunity for software and content. As a result, we believe that the iPad along with similar devices provide a compelling new opportunity for mobile operators to increase data subscriptions and hence revenues.

Here are a few of their key findings:

1. Product shortages, broad content availability and strong operator interest suggest the iPad will enjoy strong success.

2. As a new device category, the tablet is an attractive opportunity for mobile operators to drive subscriptions and revenue. They can also look to leverage their own application stores by selling their own devices, or partner with other device vendors and gain a portion of the content revenue.

3. Differences between the book and music industries suggest that the iPad and similar devices will not have the same revolutionary impact that the iPod did on the music industry.

4. Content developers and publishers are presented with a new opportunity to distribute content and attract advertisers. Moreover, the iPad and follow-on devices will spawn a wave of content innovation, combining books with games, interactivity, video -and animations.


But we find it odd that there is no mention of the iPads potential to overload 3G networks via massive downloads of books, video and multi-media content.  When the iPhone was announced in January, parent company Light Reading had this to say:

Will the Apple iPad Crush 3G Networks?

The new Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) iPad has the potential to be even more of a bandwidth hog than the iPhone, so can 3G networks cope with a new data onslaught? (See Scenes From the Apple iPad Launch.)

The iPhone maker unveiled its latest touchscreen creation in San Francisco Wednesday. The keyboard-free device looks like an overgrown iPod Touch and runs a reworked version of the iPhone operating system. The iPad supports both 3G and WiFi connections.

An unlocked 3G-capable tablet won't be cheap: The top-of-the-line 64GB model will run you $829 with 3G onboard; the 32GB model comes in at $100 less. Apple will charge $130 extra for 3G; otherwise, you buy it as a WiFi-only device, starting at $499.

Apple CEO Steve Jobs described the devices as "unlocked," but AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) is so far the only announced service provider. Apple says that an unlimited data plan will run users $30 a month, while $15 will buy 250MB of downloads.

A network hog in the making?
Jobs has already talked up all the wonderful multimedia activities that will be enabled by this "third category" of devices, such as watching movies and playing online games. As such, Heavy Reading senior analyst Gabriel Brown believes that the amount of data that the iPad can pull down from a carrier network will be "about the same as a netbook," rather than a smartphone.

A single high-end phone like the iPhone generates more data traffic than 30 basic-feature cellphones, according to a study Cisco put out in 2009, while a wireless-enabled laptop generates more data traffic than 450 basic-feature cellphones. (See Cisco: Video to Drive Mobile Data Explosion.)

AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) has already admitted that it has had trouble supporting all the data traffic generated by iPhone users in NYC and San Francisco. U.K.-based mmO2 plc (NYSE/London: OOM) also said recently that iPhone users had brought down its network in London.

What could a popular device that generates significantly more traffic than an iPhone do to carrier's network? Independent technology analyst Carmi Levy believes that the iPhone episodes illustrate that carriers will have up to bolster network capacity over time to support more powerful devices.

"If the iPhone experience is anything to go by — and we have every reason to believe that it is — then wildly popular, data-rich mobile devices will become serious drains on network performance only after they've hit critical mass in the marketplace," he tells Unstrung.

"But failure to plan in advance for this new reality of high speed wireless access could permanently damage a carrier's brand in much the same way AT&T has suffered because of its iPhone-related 3G network slowdowns and outages."

Levy says the iPad could take up to two years to hit that critical mass. The device, however, is not the only high-capacity broadband device hitting the market now. Along with the iPhone, Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) Nexus, and Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK) N900, there are a slew of new wireless-enabled notebooks and netbooks competing for bandwidth.

http://www.lightreading.com/document.asp?doc_id=187187

We'll leave it to the reader to sort out whether iPad can be a boon to mobile operators if the huge traffic load generated has the potential to shut down their networks.  Let us know what you think by commenting below.

Purchase information: 

Apple's iPad: No Revolution, but a Potential Revenue Driver for Mobile Operators  analyses the impact of the iPad primarily on mobile operators, but also on device vendors, publishers, and developers. The 12-page report summarizes the impact the device has already had on mobile communications providers and looks into possible future developments. : This Telecom Insider report is priced at $595 and can be purchased online (http://www.pyramidresearch.com) or through Jennifer Baker via email at jbaker@pyr.com or telephone at +1 617 871 1910. You may also contact: sales@pyr.com or info@pyr.com.

"The Future of Video!" VLAB Panel Session: 4/27/10, Mt View, CA

Introduction:

This well attended panel session was more of an extended question and answer session, rather than new information or insights conveyed to the audience.  Nonetheless, there were a few significant points made, which will be discussed later in this article.  The event was organized by Draper Fisher Jurvetson and VLAB (MIT/Stanford) and took place on April 27th at Fenwick & West LLP in Mt View, CA. The panel moderator was David Price, Vice President of Business Development and Corporate Communications – Harmonic Inc.

There were five panelists: 

  • Erick Hachenburg, CEO – Metacafe (an on-line video entertainment web site),
  • David McIntosh, CEO – Redux (provides crowd sourcing of TV via a discovery mechanism),
  • Margaret Stewart, Head of User Experience – YouTube (very popular division of Google),
  • Michael Yang, Venture Partner – Comcast Interactive Capital (a VC that has invested $500M in 90 startups),
  • Paul Wehrley, Co-founder and COO of Clicker (produces a program guide for interactive TV)

Event Description:

The way we consume video is inexorably changing. YouTube alone sees a full day’s worth of video content (24 hours) uploaded to its servers every minute. The iPhone changed everything in regard to consumption of video on the go and now the iPad is shepherding in a new generation of smart mobile platforms that will enable video consumption to be richer and more flexible than ever seen. Content, conduit, and consumption are all expanding. What will the next phase of the video ecosystem look like and how will it be monetized? What metaphor will dominate how end consumers navigate the unfathomably large volumes of video available? Who will win in the new value chain?

Discussion:

To provide a framework for the discussion to follow, moderator David Price of Harmonic Inc. noted that video traffic was growing much faster than non-video web browsing traffic.  Furthermore, there are more and more methods and devices (e.g STBs) being developed to link the web to TV sets.  He stated that for AT&T's 3G network, 3% of the users consume 40% of the bandwidth (source unspecified).  "Internet video users are doubling every six years and will overtake conventional TV viewers within the next 11-15 years," according to Mr. Price.  And that milestone "may happen even faster," he said (we think it will if mobile video takes off in a big way).  Netflix was cited as an example of a site producing massive amounts of Internet video traffic to customers watching its movies and other videos on-line.  David's opening remarks were followed by brief comments from the panelists.  Questions were then invited from the audience.  The following captures the key takeaways from the answers provided.

Margaret Stewart of You Tube thought that "video curation" was an unexploited entrepreneurial opportunity.  She noted the large number of users/consumers of Internet video, but relatively few video content producers.  But neither she, or any other panelist addressed how such video content aggregation sites could make money.  Indeed, no one talked about how You Tube or Hulu would make a profit, even though You Tube has recently been running commercials/ads ahead of selected videos.  Ms. Stewart later commented that Digital Rights Management for user generated Internet videos continues to be an important issue for You Tube.

One panelist suggested that search engines are tracking what Internet videos people are watching, which was described as "crowd sourcing".  We wonder if that violates the Electronic Privacy Act (ECPA)?

And what about the plethora of different video formats?  Paul Wehrley of Clicker said that 90% of the Internet videos his company deals with use Adobe Flash.  That would leave only 10% combined for all the others.

Perhaps the most interesting question was on the revenue producing business models to support video content development.  Paul Wehrley of Clicker said he believed a Subscription model with authentication would dominate.  This is what Comcast is doing with "TV Everywhere" for their cable Internet and digital cable TV subscribers.  Erick Hachenburg of Redux thought that companies would sell premium content videos on an a la carte basis, but that "advertising may scale better than a subscription service as video production costs drop.

This author asked David Price will mobile video be a real business this year, especially in light of the new U.S. A/153 ATSC Mobile DTV Standard (AKA ADTV mobile video broadcasting standard -see reference 1)?  David told the audience that Swisscom had deployed a European equivalent mobile TV broadcast standard (known as DVBH), but it wasn't very successful because people have become accustomed to getting unicast videos (e.g. conventional VoD or Internet Videos on Demand).  As a result, Swisscom just introduced a unicast mobile video service based on H.264 (MPEG4) and turned off their DVBH.  David stated that "unicast services will drive demand" but the key issue was whether there would be sufficient bandwidth available to mobile video users.   Backhaul was cited as a gating item/ potential bandwidth bottleneck.   Continuing, David stated,  "there is no (viable) business model for (mobile) broadcast video services."

As that was quite surprising to hear, I asked if the U.S. ADTV standard was Dead on Arrival (DoA).  David replied that the broadcasters would be unwilling to vacate the spectrum needed for mobile broadcast video (AW comment: unless the TV broadcasters became mobile video network operators).  But he also pointed out a key advantage of the ADTV standard (which he referred to as "MH")-: the standard enables advertising to be placed on mobile phones which are displaying the broadcast video channels.  Dave clarified that statement in a subsequent email exchange.  He wrote, "it is intrinsically local and thus enables local advertising to be placed on mobile phones that are displaying the broadcast video channels.” 

Whether that would be enough of an ADTV advantage to create a viable business model and attract a critical mass of customers remains to be seen.

References:

1. Will the new mobile DTV standard enable Mobile Video to succeed in 2010?

Excerpt:    With the recent ratification of the A/153 ATSC Mobile DTV Standard, US broadcasters are able to deliver live video content to a broad variety of mobile devices. The standard is the culmination of a development process that took about two and a half years.

The Mobile Video Coalition said that at least 70 stations would begin broadcasting using the standard. Several electronics makers, including Samsung, LG and Dell, have produced prototype devices. It is first likely to be available on netbook computers, according to a report in Broadcasting and Cable.  According to the Coalition,  the new standard will also allow for "emergency alerts that can be customized by market or location, live audio feeds, data-casting with traffic maps, closed captioning, ‘clip casting’ sports and news highlights that could be stored in memory on a device, ‘push’ video-on-demand for future viewing, time-shifted television, mobile digital video recording, interactive polling, electronic coupons, targeted advertising, [and] an electronic service guide for ease of tuning."  Some observers now believe that mobile TV will really take off in 2010.  

2.   Workshop Report: Clearwire on track with rollouts and app tools, but MSO partners struggle with Business Models  

Excerpt:;This author asked the two MSO panelists why premium video services or VoD have not been offered over mobile WiMAX.  The moderator, Randy Dunbar of Clearwire, stated that was an excellent question and that he believed, "The technology is ahead of the business models." . Some of the explanations given by the panelists were:

  • "We (the industry) haven't figured out how to monetize the video applications." -Randy Dunbar of Clearwire and Brian Coughlin of Time Warner Cable
  • "It's definitely on our radar screen, but we don't have anything we can announce at this time." -TW Cable
  • "Digital content rights are based on a given device, not on a service." -Katie Graham of Comcast

This author was quite perplexed by these justifications for not deploying premium (non-Internet) video over Mobile WiMAX. In particular, it was not clear why Comcast can offer On Demand Digital Video* over their managed network and cable modem based broadband Internet service, but not over mobile WiMAX.  Why not make On Demand On Line available to "Bolt on" mobile WiMAX subscribers who don't have Comcast Cable Internet at home?  If content rights management is the issue, why can't Comcast register each netbook/notebook PC or mobile WiMAX device that will access the video service?

* Comcast On Demand On line service is now called Fancast XFINITY TV.  It requires both Comcast Digital Cable TV and High Speed (Cable modem based)  Internet service.  A Comcast email address is required for access authentication. 

For more details, please visit:  http://www.comcast.net/on-demand-online/

Kittar Nagesh, Service Provider Marketing Manager at Cisco also participated in this panel, which was somewhat of a misnomer "The 4G WiMAX Business Opportunity for Developers."  Mr. Nagesh made three statements I thought were quite important:

  • "Video will be 66% of mobile video traffic by 2013."
  • "The spectrum Clearwire owns is remarkably important. It's important to make use of the spectrum (a wireless network operator) you have. It doesn't matter if it's used for WiMAX or LTE."
  • "Machine to Machine applications will be phenomenally important. It will be an inflection point (for the broadband wireless industry). Innovation will explode in an unbounded fashion."

Viodi View – 04/14/10

As I reluctantly put down my pen and tuck away the airplane magazine crossword puzzle in the pouch of the seat in front of me, it strikes me this relatively new technology (ballpoint pens weren't commonplace until mid-last century) are making their way to the metaphorical graveyard that holds the once ubiquitous word processor, typewriter and carbon copy paper.

Replacing pen and pencil will be the iPad, the HP slate and Android-based tablets. These devices look like they will change the way live; or at least how we access and communicate knowledge. Interestingly, what enables such a revolution in behavior may not be the superficial way we physically interact with these amazing machines. To see what may really make these devices revolutionary, click here to go to the Korner. 


Screen Envy

My first impression upon seeing the initial image of an iPad a few months ago was that it looked like the giant remote controls that people use when they cannot see the buttons of a standard-size remote. Having now touched an iPad, I have changed my opinion and can see where the big screen size will make it much more useful than the limited real estate provided by a smart phone. In the not-so-distant future, it is not hard to imagine applications for tablets that will:

  • contain everything a student needs to learn, 
  • help retailers create mobile points of presence that simplify checkout and create a more informed workforce 
  • provide health care professionals with instant access to the world’s medical knowledge (as well as being a new instrument in their virtual medical bag)

click here to watch a video about a bluetooth stethoscopeBluetooth Helping to Flatten the Medical Profession

Regarding the aforementioned application, at the MTA 2010 Convention, we reported on a Bluetooth enabled stethoscope. This sort of peripheral could be very useful for rural telemedicine applications and would be a natural fit for devices such as tablet computers and smart phones. The two-way nature of it, allows prompting of the health care provider and the digitization of the signal allows for analysis at the local level, as well as transmission to a remote site where specialists or more highly trained individuals are located. Click here to watch the video and read the rest of this article. 


i See a Prompter 

A practical application, debuting at this NAB this week from at least two different companies – Bodelin Technologies and Prompter/People – are hardware and software applications that turn the iPad into a full-fledged teleprompter. In addition to the teleprompter application, the iPad would pay for itself by allowing a video producer to create an electronic production book where they could keep production releases, store scripts and manage schedules, amongst other production activities. 


Click here to register for the 2010 Broadband Properties SummitFriends of the Viodi View – Save $395 at the 2010 Broadband Properties Summit

It would be great to have a tablet, particularly the iPad for content production at the upcoming Broadband Properties Summit.  At the event, we will be talking Local Content with Cullen McCarty of Smithville Telephone, Mary Malloy and Gary Evans, the latter two of Hiawatha Broadband.  We will have a very interesting conversation with these veterans of local content. 

Viodi View readers, receive $395 off the list price by registering using this special link.  


Wireless and the Tablet Increasingly Intertwined

Ubiquitous broadband wireless will become increasingly important for ease of use, as well as to enable the full utility for tablets. Already, the iPad has already reached a number two position in terms of distinct WiFi sessions for non lap-tops in the Boingo networks located at airports (behind the iPhone, with 5.4% of the devices accessing the network being iPads, according to PC Week).

FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski recognizes the importance of mobile broadband, which was a major emphasis of his speech at NAB. He points out that Japan and Germany have plans to reclaim spectrum and that it is important for the U.S. to have a plan now to make sure we are optimizing the value of this publically owned, digital real estate and avoid a spectrum crisis later.

It feels like a bit of a digital land grab, as the broadcasters are pushing ahead with their mobile video plans, creating an ecosystem of devices, content and broadcasts before the FCC can act on its ideas to reclaim spectrum for uses other than traditional broadcast.

In the midst of all of this wireless activity, Alan Weissberger has written some excellent articles in the past couple of weeks on some of thes latest things going on in wireless, along with an excellent summary of U.S. cyber-security readiness. 


Clearwire and Sprint ask 3GPP for TDD-LTE U.S. Std in 2.6GHz Band by Alan Weissberger

Clearwire and Sprint are part of a group of operators and vendors that have asked the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) standards body to start work on specs that would allow TD-LTE to be deployed in the US in the 2.6GHz spectrum — which is now used for mobile WiMAX in the U.S.  The actual 3GPP contribution had many authors, with Clearwire, Sprint listed first (China Mobile also listed).  Click here to read the rest of the article.


India’s 3G Auctions Finally Begin; BWA for TD-LTE or WiMAX? by Alan Weissberger

After many months of delay, India's 3G spectrum auction began today (April 9th) with major telecom operators, including Bharti, Vodafone, RCom and Tata competing to acquire the radio waves that could fetch the government up to Rs 35,000 crore.  Click here to read the rest of the article.


The Changing Face of Security: Is the U.S. Prepared for a Major Cyber-security Attack? by Alan Weissberger

In a very impressive CSO Perspectives conference keynote speech on April 6th, Howard A. Schmidt, Special Assistant to the President and the Cybersecurity Coordinator, told the audience that the U.S. was taking very strong measures to prevent and defend against cyber-security attacks. President Obama has made cyber-security a top policy priority within his Administration. On May 29th of 2009 Obama stated that the "cyber threat is one of the most serious economic and national security challenges we face as a nation" and that "America's economic prosperity in the 21st century will depend on Cyber-security."  Click here to read the rest of the article.


Tweets and Short Thoughts:

  • Excellent summary, by Viodi friend Paul Feldman, of possible outcomes resulting from the court's FCC-Comcast decision
  • Spectrum Dashboard -Really cool way to see what spectrum is available where Reboot.FCC.gov 
  • I am honored to be moderating a panel – IPTV: Is it getting better – at the always excellent IP Possibilities conference today from 1 to 2 PM featuring Madeleine Forrer of NRTC and Larry Pechacek of Hill Country Telelphone.
  • On Thursday, I will be speaking at TANE (Telephone Association of New England). I have always wanted to attend this event and look forward to seeing the parts of Maine I have never seen. 

The Korner – A Secret to the iPad's Success

It seems like the Newton (remember from the John Sculley-led era of Apple) was just yesterday. Now, some 18 years later, this iPad ancestor is barely a footnote in our march through the progress of technology. The idea was the right one, but there were too many parts of the ecosystem that had yet to be fully developed and/or embraced by the public. From wireless to display screens to applications to consumers being ready for such a radical change of behavior, it was almost two decades before everything would fall into place for Apple or the rest of the industry.

Click to watch this video interview with Ryan Dutton on Gadgets and GizmosFast-forward to today and a subtle, but important, element that may make the iPad a success has nothing to do with applications or ease of use, but has to do with the rather mundane topic of battery life. In this interview at the MTA 2010 Convention, Ryan Dutton of Cronin Communications suggests that the 10-hour battery life of the iPad may be the thing that makes the device a constant companion for the average person. Dutton discusses the iPad as well as other “gadgets and gizmos” in this video interview shot at the MTA 2010 Convention.

It is obvious that the iPad has struck some sort of nerve, at least if my conversation at LAX with a baby-boomer owner of an iPad is an indication. She was bubbling with enthusiasm to try out her brand new iPad on the flight to St. Louis by watching a movie or two. Still in the box, she was already talking about her next purchase, which was going to be a nice case to protect her electronic appendage.

While she watches her movie, I think I will get back to my old-school crossword puzzle and hope that I don’t run out of ink. At least I won’t have to worry about battery life, but neither will she with her new-school iPad.