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 
  • 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. 

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