Friday, June 5, 2009

CONNECTIONS™ identifies key growth areas, obstacles, and opportunities for industry players

CONNECTIONS™: The Digital Living Conference & Showcase, hosted by international research firm Parks Associates, featured three days, June 2-4, of presentations and panel discussions from service providers, CE companies, software and middleware developers, and many other members of the consumer technology value chain.

Glenn Lurie, President of Emerging Devices and Resale, AT&T Mobility and Consumer Markets, delivered the opening keynote “Embedding Wireless in Consumer Electronics” on June 2. In the following session, executives from Qualcomm, TiVo, YouTube, and Cisco addressed efforts from CE companies and content providers to deliver new video experiences to end users. PlumChoice hosted the evening networking reception.

Tricia Parks, CEO, Parks Associates, and Retrevo’s CEO Vipin Jain opened the conference on June 3 with “Navigating the Changing CE Purchase Process.” The presentation offered insight into 2008 CE purchase patterns, which showed consumers shifting away from spontaneity in their purchase decisions. Then, Kurt Scherf, VP, Parks Associates, moderated the session “Connected TV Strategies,” featuring IBM, AnySource Media, VIZIO, and Yahoo!, who discussed the implications of adding Internet connectivity to the televisions.

Joseph Ambeault, Director, Product Development and Management, Video Services, Verizon, provided the morning keynote, where he discussed the disruptive force of IP and the evolution of FiOS TV services to deliver a more personalized video experience. Eyecon Technologies sponsored the networking break.

The afternoon sessions featured speakers from Paramount Digital Entertainment, 2Wire, Alcatel-Lucent, Motorola, uControl, Macrovision, and more. The sessions focused on service provider strategies, WebTV, home monitoring, connected CE, and interactive services. MoCA hosted the session “Truth in Networking,” featuring executives from Actiontec Electronics, NETGEAR, Best Buy, and D-Link.

Mitch Singer, CTO, Executive Vice President of New Media and Technology, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Inc., and President of Digital Entertainment Content Ecosystem (DECE), delivered the day’s closing keynote “Entertainment 2.0: The Future of Entertainment.” He discussed DECE’s efforts to remove the barriers for digital distribution of content. The final session of the day, “Wireless Networking & Video Consumption,” featured executives from Aceurity, AMIMON, Quantenna Communications, SiBEAM, ProVision Communications, and Celeno.

Via Licensing opened Thursday with the presentation “Ideas for addressing IPR issues for technology standards,” which described the collaboration between Via Licensing and IEEE and discussed the benefits of patent pools in helping technology companies deploy digital lifestyle solutions.

Bill Ablondi, Director, Home Systems Research, Parks Associates, presented the firm’s residential energy management research and moderated a session featuring executives from Cisco, Direct Energy, and the U.S. Department of Energy. Andres Carvallo, CIO, Austin Energy, presented the morning keynote “Building the Smart Grid,” discussing efforts in Austin, Texas, to deploy intelligent electrical systems that benefit utilities and consumers.

Thursday’s sessions featured topics on remote technical support, mobile multimedia, and wireless home controls, with participants from, Telcordia, Pandora, Ortiva Wireless, Sigma Designs, and Control4, among others.

The afternoon session “Building the Holistic Support Environment” featured executives from Retrevo, Alcatel-Lucent, and Cisco Systems and discussed the expansion of customer care services for PCs and other electronics. The conference ended with the session “What’s Coming Next?”, featuring venture capitalists for the tech industry who discussed the challenging economic climate and current solutions with the best long-term outlook.

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