Looking for the Facebook of mobile medical platforms

26 October 2013 by Steve Blum
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With 26 million people – more than 8% of the population – in the U.S. suffering from diabetes, a device that wirelessly tracks blood glucose levels will find a ready market. Which is what iHealth is targeting with a new, networked glucose monitor that was previewed at Pepcom’s Holiday Spectacular in San Francisco last week. Piece by piece, this consumer oriented medical device maker is also building an online health and wellness management platform.

The monitor costs $80 and connects to an iOS or Android device via Bluetooth.… More

Specialised social media startups orbiting big platforms

25 October 2013 by Steve Blum
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TripIt serves up travel.

Three social networking platforms were on display at Pepcom’s Holiday Spectacular in San Francisco last week. One is already a winner, one isn’t ready for prime time and the third, well, maybe it’s me.

TripIt has been around since 2006, and has found a niche with a double-headed business model. On one side, it’s a travel organiser. You email airline tickets, hotel reservations, meeting schedules and pretty much anything else you do on the road.… More

App-centric approach to home automation previewed at Pepcom

No need to worry when a ‘bot has your back.

Home automation is taking a step back from integration and interoperability. Judging by the the companies previewing products at the Pepcom Holiday Spectacular in San Francisco last week, the latest, shopper-friendly strategy is to turn smart phones into home control centers simply by crowding single-purpose apps together on a screen.

Three companies – DoorBot, Dropcam and Honeywell – were showing smart phone-networked home automation devices and a fourth – Kevo – takes the direct route to iPhones via Bluetooth.… More

Old guard chipmakers emphasise the old at Pepcom

19 October 2013 by Steve Blum
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Plenty of leg, but no ARM at Pepcom.

If you were wondering why Intel and AMD released downbeat quarterly reports this week, you only had to look at their products. The difference, though, is that AMD has control of its own destiny, while Intel will have to rely on the kindness of strangers to survive.

The two chipmakers showcased the hottest products rocking their silicon at Pepcom’s Holiday Spectacular in San Francisco on Wednesday. That’s not the same, though, as saying they were showing the hottest products on the market.… More

Home automation and wearable computing hits at Pepcom

7 January 2013 by Steve Blum
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The FitBit is the bit that fits inside the wristband.

Along with Alabama, Pepcom was a winner tonight. The second of the three major press group gropes at CES, it featured a tailgate party theme and the Notre Dame/Alabama game on big screens. Nearly 200 companies set up small displays at the MGM Grand, showing new products and new brand positioning.

Nexia was in the latter category. It's a re-branding of the Schlage Link home automation system.… More

One OS to rule them all

7 January 2013 by Steve Blum
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Built for ARM and x86 processors.

Ubuntu will be the next major player in mobile and desktop operating systems, if it delivers on its promise of releasing a fully integrated platform by April 2014.

Founder Mark Shuttleworth put the mobile version of the company's Linux distribution through its paces at the Pepcom event at CES 2013 tonight. Running on a Samsung Galaxy – for no particular reason except it's a convenient development platform, he said – Ubuntu did all the things you'd expect from Android or iOS.… More

On my way to CES

6 January 2013 by Steve Blum

The first official CES events are today. There are a couple of CEA press conferences about the state of the industry, then at 4:00 p.m. CES Unveiled begins. It’s the first of three PR group gropes. Tomorrow evening is Pepcom and Tuesday is Showstoppers.

All three follow pretty much the same format. They set up a ton of small display stands in a big ballroom, lay out some food and set up a bar. The place is packed with company PR people and, frequently, executives, reporters and analysts.… More

Qualcomm's consumer services business going to the dogs

Tagg is a mobile pet tracker and promising veterinary diagnostic tool, offered by Snaptracs, a Qualcomm subsidiary. The hardware costs $100, with ongoing service at $8 per month for the first pet and and $1 for each additional one.

Tagg on a not-so-lively dog

That eight bucks gets you a text message whenever your dog strays from home, with GPS feeds to help you find him. Or your cat, if it’s one of the few big enough to handle the weight and tolerant enough to wear it.… More

Gizmo updates from MobileCon

Escort’s macho Smokey and the Bandit-style crowd sourcing platform is finding its feminine side. Their flagship 9500 model is sporting a pearl white finish with pink trim, all in support of the Susan G. Koman Foundation. Carrie would approve.

A company spokesman wouldn’t divulge subscriber numbers except to say growth is “huge”, with some interesting channel partners in the pipeline.

DeviceAnywhere, which offers developers online test-bed access to a long list of mobile devices and operating systems, was acquired a year ago by Keynote.… More

Realtime tweets from Pepcom and CTIA, 8 October 2009

Irwin & Paul Jacobs of Qualcomm on stage talking about mobile phone development history, fascinating long view of industry.

Paul: user interface is the killer app, Irwin: iPhone was the major breakthrough.

These guys love their stuff, think critically about how it’s used, best session of the show!

Far out & spot on prediction from Paul Jacobs: mobile phone will become “digital sixth sense”.

John Donovan, ATT CTO, speaking now, interesting so far, outlining wireless data challenges.… More