Mark Lerner
Mark Lerner

May 29, 2013

CTIA 2013: JLo, Ashton and The Future of Mobile

CTIA is an international nonprofit membership organization. Membership in the association includes wireless carriers and their suppliers, as well as providers and manufacturers of wireless data services and products and advocates on their behalf.

CTIA trade show and one of the largest technology events in the world! Encompassing "all things wireless," this show is the essential marketplace for the global broadband industries—bringing clarity to the present and insight to the future.

As an integral part of the ever changing mobile world, it is important that we at tawkon keep our fingers on the pulse of the mobile world and its amazing new technologies. We want to continue to improve our ability to help people use their phones in a safer and healthier way. 

This year the conference was more about new services and technologies and moved away from the focus on mainstream mobile devices and the like and looked towards the future of mobile connected devices. The real focus this year was hardware, namely wearable technology. Actual mobile carriers and device manufacturers had a much more subdued presence than one would have anticipated. 

Keeping with the theme of looking to the future, there were several surprising attendees this year who threw themselves firmly in the middle of the mobile industry.

No longer just “Jenny from The Block,” Jennifer Lopez and Verizon Wireless made a little noise on Wednesday after they unveiled a partnership to create a Latino-centric shopping experience.

Viva Móvil will offer consumers a full service shopping experience online, in customized stores and on mobile devices, in Spanish.

The brand has already begun to sell smartphones, tablets and Verizon wireless plans on its own website. More than a dozen stores in cities with large Latino populations including Los Angeles and Miami are expected to be announced in the next few weeks, with the first to open June 15 in New York.

"Media kind of f*cked it up"

Though most of us remember his as the meathead jock character of Kelso from “That 70’s Show,” Ashton Kutcher has taken on the role of tech mogul and venture capitalist.

During a lengthy Q&A session, Kutcher touched upon many facets of technology, including Twitter, Facebook, the state of digital media, and mobile apps.

Kutcher did not mince words. Kutcher, who is extremely active on Twitter, said his experience with the social network has taken a turn for the negative. “It used to be a personalized experience that I could share,” he said. “I think media f*cked it up. There’s a lot of people selling sh!t that I don’t want in my feed... When I first started using it it felt like the democratization of media.”

Kutcher is still a huge fan of social media and has invested in quite a few hi tech startups as well.

Ashton said it best - "If you're not mobile, you're antiquated," he said.

Contrary to what many people were expecting, the Verizon HTC One was not announced at the conference, and HTC was noticeably absent from the limelight of the conference.

While the big player mobile companies present had a quiet presence, particularly the recently battered HTC, there were quite a few innovative products that are just coming to market, here are just a few of the ones that caught our eye:

Kevo Electronic Door Lock

Kwikset’s new Kevo door lock turns your iPhone into the simplest of digital keys. Just have your phone in your pocket or purse, tap the Kevo lock, and you’re in.

With the smart device within about 4 feet of the door, you simply lock or unlock it by tapping your finger on the lock face. An LED ring lights up green when the door unlocks, yellow when it locks, and blue while it's processing.

Damson Audio Pearl Speakers

The Pearl costs less than $200 and is the size of a Coke can. The gadget uses unique down-firing woofers to reflect sound off of tables and other hard surfaces. A silicone pad coats the speaker's foot to ensure that the device stays put.

Even more interesting is that the Pearl consists of two separate units that handle left and right channels for wireless stereo. The product also can function as a speakerphone when connected to handsets and pairs easily using NFC technology.

Yota Ruby Hotspot

On the front  of the Ruby Hotspot there is a Yota logo that you can customize to change colors depending on your connection, so you’ll be able to automatically know when you drop from 4G LTE to 3G. Carriers will be able to re-brand the Ruby with their own logos. Along the Ruby’s top edge is a small E-Paper display that shows you its remaining battery life and connectivity status.

SuperTooth Freedom Headphones

The Freedom Headphones from SuperTooth are over-ear cans are built with the same Bluetooth technology found in other wire-free headphones, but they also include NFC. With that technology, you don't need to put these headphones into pairing mode. Just tap them to your NFC-enabled smartphone and you're ready to listen.

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