Retrevo is at the CTIA show in Las Vegas this week. CTIA is the big cell phone conference. Showstoppers is an event held at all the most popular tech conventions that brings the press and vendors together in a comfortable setting. The draw for journalists is easy access to the right people from companies with cool products. The attraction for companies is access to fish or rather journalist in a barrel. The fact that they always have great food helps lure in hungry journalists looking for a free meal. It's always a great place to see cool new stuff and meet interesting people.
Here's a rundown for some of the cool stuff we saw at Showstoppers tonight:
Linksys was featuring some wireless routers using mobile broadband from their carrier partners. In other words you can plug your AT&T 3G PCMCIA card into one of these routers and create a small wireless workgroup. They were also showing an unreleased product to be used with T-Mobile HotSpot @Home that lets you add an unlimited long distance line for $10 a month. Google tmobile and talkforever for more info.
LifeInPocket.com (from Steve Jobs statement that the iPhone gives you your life in your pocket) has some iPhone look alike apps (plus more) running on most Java-based phones. It looks interesting and you can't beat the price; free (shipping April 15th)
DataPilot, a leading publisher of cellphone synchronizing software (cables included) was showing their $80 super synchonizer package along with a new iPhone synchronizer, and a ring tone creater called Pix & Tunes for $40.
I saw no fewer than three ring tone programs. They all let you create or edit ring tones from MP3 files or other sources. Aside from DataPilot's Pix & Tunes, mspot announced a service with AT&T that lets you grab a snippet of a song with an audio editor and then download a perfectly legal version for $2.99.
Ran into my old friend Jonathan Kahn from Aladdin Software (stuffit) fame. He is now part of SmithMicro and was showing a cool new cell phone app for Windows Mobile phones called "revue" that works with your music, photos, and videos. Incidentally seems like a lot of apps around for Windows Mobile. Palm OS is nowhere to be seen.
I had a very interesting conversation with SRS's CTO Alan Kraemer (pretty neat that their CTO was working the booth). He gave me a nice overview of their technology which uses something called HTRS or head related transfer system. Basically they have modeled and analyzed how sound is changed as it moves in and around your head. They apply all this analysis into a surround system that only needs two speakers. It has been incorporated into many products like HP and Motorola Bluetooth headsets and it only seems natural that it will show up in cell phones. I have to admit the difference is noticeable.
Plantronics showed an interesting new Bluetooth headset that resembled a tie clip of other piece of jewelry. It's very light weight, could be comfortable (I didn't try it on) is called the Discovery 925 and will cost around $120.
Stay tuned for more coverage from CTIA tomorrow