Mobile content, digital lifestyle applications take centre stage in Singapore

MUMBAI: Convergence has brought together a showcase of overlapping technologies between the media, telecommunications and IT industries at BroadcastAsia, CommunicAsia and EnterpriseIT.

From infrastructure to deployment, the shows gathered vendors with applications and solutions at different stages of the value chain for convergent technologies such as IPTV, broadcasting to handhelds and mobile entertainment. This year‘s events hosted 2,339 exhibiting companies from 67 countries/regions.

A total of 63,814 international attendees, of which 49 per cent were from overseas, saw the latest products and services birthed out of convergence that are expected to change the way consumers and businesses will use and interact with electronic devices. Attendance at this year‘s event has increased by five per cent from 2005.

Singapore Exhibition Services chief executive Stephen Tan said, "The convergence of technology has spawned off a whole new range of exciting digital lifestyle applications many of which were seen on the show floor. Clearly, the focus at this year‘s exhibitions is on content for handhelds and the race is on among content providers to come up with new and exciting applications that will enhance mobility for both consumers and businesses. The increase in attendance at BroadcastAsia, CommunicAsia and EnterpriseIT and reflects a surge in industry confidence as convergence becomes reality."

Digital lifestyle showcase

Ericsson showcased a video dating service where one can record a personal video message and send to new acquaintances, and a video karaoke where the user can call to see other singers and rate them as well as sing along to text and music and record it on video.

On display at NTT Docomo was a technology that allows pet owners to see their pets as well as dispense food into the feeding bowl through their mobile phones. MyHeart by Philips Research Laboratories monitors a person‘s health using intelligent biomedical clothes. The data is then sent via a wireless personal area network to a mobile phone or PDA and from there to a health care provider.

Other mobile lifestyle applications at CommunicAsia included Bidshot - the first ever auction website that allows members to buy, and sell through their mobile phones, XFinance which is a mobile financial management tool which provides an overview of all your income, as well as Xovulation which is a mobile family planning tool.

At BroadcastAsia, Innoxius Technologies showcased a gadget that turns a PDA into a multi-system mobile digital TV receiver for standards such as DVB-H, DVB-T, T-DMB, DAB and enhanced packet mode DAB standards in various spectrum ranges.

French exhibitor Visiware launches the first triple-play gaming offer available on TV, mobile and broadband. Games can be played on the TV at home then continued on the mobile or internet. BroadcastAsia also hosted a DVB-H, DMB and Qualcomm‘s MediaFLO feature, which demonstrated the capabilities of each standard to bring content onto handhelds.

Launch pad for international players

BroadcastAsia, CommunicAsia and EnterpriseIT remain an important platform for international players to reach Asia‘s markets. This year, China‘s participation at CommunicAsia grew by 45 per cent.

"Participation in premier industry events, such as CommunicAsia, continue to be a good platform for Huawei to not only reach out to key influencers in the region, but also to deepen our relationship with existing and potential key customers. We have participated in CommunicAsia for more than five years and look forward to next year‘s show," said Huawei Technologies Asia Pacific vice-president Liu Jianfeng.

The Korean presence on the BroadcastAsia show floor has doubled from last year. Korean Broadcasting Commission technology director Park Jun-Seon said, "Last year‘s event was very successful in introducing DMB as one of the latest platforms for convergence services and this year we are here to showcase latest applications available through DMB. BroadcastAsia is a must attend event for breakthrough technologies such as DMB."

The exhibitions are seeing strong participation from Europe. The European ICT Pavilion, which was at CommunicAsia for the first time, provided an exciting snapshot of new, leading-edge technologies, products and applications for audio-visual, e-Government, e-health, e-security, and telecommunications.

A strategic meeting place

For many exhibitors, BroadcastAsia, CommunicAsia and EnterpriseIT were ideal platforms to showcase their latest offerings, network and meet target buyers.

"We have found the show to be one of the means to launch and showcase our new wireline and wireless service offerings and solutions to our customers around this region. It is also a very good platform for our executives from across the globe to meet customers in this region and understand their needs so as to better our products for them," said Ericsson Telecommunications Pte Ltd head of communications (Singapore) Jacinta Ong.

Echolab was represented at BroadcastAsia two years back through their agents. However, this year the USA-based company considered the event important for them to book a space on their own. Echolab regional sales manager William Gray said, "BroadcastAsia presented us with a wonderful opportunity to reach some countries that are not easy to reach from the USA and also to rope in potential distributors."

Commenting on the CommunicAsia Summit, Lucent Technologies Singapore CTO South East Asia region Madhusudan Pandya said, "In-depth discussions on the most exciting and up-to-the-minute technologies, business solutions, and revenue-generating applications made the summit exceptional."

"I find CommunicAsia going beyond its name. It has truly become an international event, granting participants the world over to connect and converge more effectively and efficiently in a short duration of three days," he added.

Trade visitors armed with a $4.5 billion sourcing budget came looking to purchase the latest products and services and explore potential business alliances.

"We are here to look at the different types of broadcasting technologies and compare systems to find out which ones will suit us the best. We intend to upgrade our facilities and plan to buy equipment worth millions of dollars," said Setsiri Trisaksri from the Royal Thai Army Radio and TV, Thailand.

"I‘m a regular visitor here and this is my fourth show in a row. We are looking for small and medium enterprises, which develop niche technology. Here we find these people and we partner with them. We have been very successful in doing that and that‘s why we love coming to CommunicAsia. It‘s a great meeting place," said Precision Electronics Ltd India president Nikhil Kanodia.

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