More Than 30 Products Showcased
More than 30 products have been developed and showcased at the new Verizon Innovation Center-as well as at trade shows-examples of what Malady described as the carrier's new strategy around the 4G rollout. He noted Verizon's performance at the 2011 Consumer Electronics Show in January, when the company not only officially took the wraps off its 4G network but also brought along a host of devices, including smartphones and tablets. The products on display at the Innovation Center event-many of which are still in development-are examples of Verizon's strategy of fueling adoption of its 4G network with devices from companies leveraging its LTE technology.Tim Root, Vgo's founder and CTO, said his company is targeting the technology at the enterprise, health care and education verticals. Also on display was a product from Nomad Innovation's LiveEdge.tv company. LiveEdge.tv is developing a 1.5-pound unit that attaches to the television cameras used at live sporting and entertainment events. The unit sends video from the scene to another device in a newsroom over 4G LTE, according to LiveEdge.tv CEO Robert Klingle, who spoke at the event. The device could lead to significant cost savings at television stations, which currently rely on expensive vehicles that use microwave technology to send images from the scene to the newsroom. LiveEdge.tv officials estimate that capital costs for stations could drop from $175,000 to $250,000 per truck to $30,000 to $45,000 with these devices. In addition, operational costs could be reduced by 75 percent. Klingle said that LiveEdge.tv's product, which will launch later this year, is specialized technology that will not sell in a wide range of enterprises and that the company after 15 months was at the point where it almost had to be shut down. However, coming to Verizon's Innovation Center five months ago gave it access to hundreds of engineer hours, and now the company is seeing interest from major networks. "We would not exist without the Innovation Center," Klingle said. Malady said LiveEdge.tv was an example of how Verizon will grow adoption of its 4G network. LiveEdge.tv's isn't going to sell millions of devices. "But if we keep hitting single after single, eventually we'll get up to that 50 billion connection [goal]," he said.
Those products are coming from companies big and small. Ericsson is working on a converged workplace, which Tim Moss, senior vice president and head of engagement practices at the company, called an "office in a box" for small and midsize businesses. At the other end of the spectrum is Vgo Communications' robotic telepresence product, which essentially is a robot armed with immersive video collaboration technology that can be controlled remotely and transmits video and audio in a two-way fashion via Verizon's 4G technology.