A few thoughts as I prepare to head out to Las Vegas this evening. While a 15-year veteran of the former Comdex, this is only my second CES show. But interesting to note how it is approaching the size and popularity that Comdex had in its heyday. While Bill Gates continues to give keynotes, there is, however, one major difference – the news comes out and is propagated worldwide instantly — not primarily by the mainstream press but via independent bloggers who can take a much more vertical approach to presenting a range of perspectives on all the announcements and new offerings. Andy at VoIP Watch talks more extensively on this subject.
As for Skype and VoIP (where V = voice and video), I will be watching for:
- the evolution of Skype phones, including cordless phones, to devices that allow Skype to operate independent of a base PC platform but rather directly via an Ethernet connection to a home router.
- how will Skype migrate to mobile platforms? Can we expect a Skype for Symbian announcement? Has Skype overcome the latency issues that have delayed the introduction of Skype over GSM-associated networks? Have wireless Skype phones addressed some basic product issues? Can they convince more carriers (beyond UK’s 3) that unlimited usage data plans are desirable?
- what is the future for Skype video? is multi-party video conferencing on the road map?
- will we start to see significant numbers of Voice 2.0 applications? will their introduction come as a revolution or evolution?
On the first subject, a few comments: over the past few years we have seen home-based routers go from PC-based “applications” (remember WinGate?) to independent devices such as those supplied by Linksys, D-Link and NetGear; we have seen the access to our TV cable box served best via a dedicated device such as the SlingBox. Is the Skype phone the next major consumer device to operate over IP independent of a multi-tasking PC? Recently I have been able to use Truphone to make low cost international calls over my WiFi connection. What other dedicated-function devices that simply attach to an Ethernet port on the router or connect via WiFi can we expect to see?
P.S. – the latest version of SlingPlayer is giving me superb quality over my home network (with speeds up to 3Mbps) even when full screen on a 1650 x 1080 display.
Tags: Skype, SlingBox, CES2007