Techzone 360 Week in Review

By Tony Rizzo August 31, 2013

It was the shortest of weeks. It was the longest of weeks. TMC's bi-annual ITEXPO conference and event took place this week, with the Las Vegas 2013 edition beginning this past Monday and wrapping up Thursday evening. For the editorial team it was a short week from the perspective that we did not spend nearly as much time writing as we normally do. It was a very long week however, since the team spent countless hours meeting with vendors during a formal Editors' Day and informally throughout the week, moderating important panel sessions, hitting the expansive show floor exhibitor booths and finding the time to still write a good many articles across all of TMC's websites.

For the week's review we'll touch on several of the key 2013 ITEXPO Las Vegas keynotes that took place, and we'll note a couple of other interesting things that popped up as well. First, after six months of eager anticipation, we finally got to hear Steve Wozniak deliver his ITEXPO keynote. Indeed it was! It is always fascinating to hear first-hand from the pioneers that essentially created the foundations for the amazing tech times we now live in. The Woz ranks right up there with Steve Jobs, Bill Gates and a very few other huge movers and shakers of the tech world, and to hear Steve's story was truly fascinating.

The week also brought us an insightful keynote panel session focused on "Technology Innovation in Today’s Cloud and Mobile World." The panel was made up of some true contrarian spirits -- who both delivered on the key tech trends and technologies that will drive us forward over the next several years. However, the trends and technologies themselves weren't nearly as interesting as how they will impact our lives overall. This latter issue was explored in-depth by the panel and led us to refer to the underlying theme that emerged as "the power of one." By this we mean an intense focus on the unique individual - and that individual's "identity" in a world that is becoming ever less private.

Every ITEXPO brings us what we refer to as StartupCamp, an event that pulls together a number of key startups that we believe are ready to deliver new technology, new platforms, and most of all new ideas for using technology -- and more often than not we mean technology of the mobile kind. ITEXPO Las Vegas kept true to this scenario, bringing together a number of cutting edge products. One of these is a startup called Perch, which stood out from the rest for some of us. Perch's ideas are quite extraordinary, and we believe they've solved some very interesting problems having to do with how we interact with our work colleagues across multiple locations in time.

A good example of the kinds of technologies we came across at ITEXPO includes the work that AVer Information Inc. Americas is doing in the sub-$1,000 videoconferencing space. Such systems target both SMBs and enterprises looking for affordable huddle-room solutions. AVer's new product on this front is the EVC100, which provides all components, with the exception of a display device and Internet connectivity, in one box to deliver an easy-to-set-up video conferencing capability.

We'll leave our ITEXPO explorations there -- Techzone 360 and our TMC websites offer numerous other views from the week and they are all well worth exploring. Skype did come up often during the week as a means for delivering simple video conferencing capabilities. But Skype may now be looking to deliver on some other features -- in particular the ability for Skype users to make 3D calls. This work was unveiled in an exclusive interview with the BBC that marked Skype’s 10th anniversary. It is in the works for its VoIP client, but Microsoft’s corporate vice president for Skype, Mark Gillett, suggests that it could be “many years” before 3D in Skype becomes a tangible reality. Why is that?

We'll wrap up this week by noting that Verizon Wireless and Vodafone are once again talking about Verizon acquiring the 45 percent stake in Verizon Wireless that Vodafone owns. We're not talking chump change here. That 45 percent stake -- should the companies be able to sit down and truly come to terms on a deal, will be worth between $100 and $130 billion. Now that is one huge sum of dollars. Will they pull it off this time around?

Have a great weekend!

TechZone360 Senior Editor

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