Alcatel-Lucent highlighted innovations in health care and first-response vehicles from its ng (next generation) Connect Program during the 2012 International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this week.
Comprising 125 members, ng Connect brings companies together from several industries to develop new service concepts, or prototypes. The industries include health care, retail, entertainment and auto.
Alcatel-Lucent launched the ng Connect program at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona in 2009.
"We're not in the business of creating shrink-wrap for-sale applications," Chris Carfagnini, senior director of emerging technology and innovation for Alcatel-Lucent, told eWEEK. "That's something that will come from the work we do in the program."
Members include Hewlett-Packard, Intel and Samsung. On Jan. 10, the group added Zephyr Technologies, a manufacturer of mobile health-monitoring products.
A goal of ng Connect is to work out issues in early Long-Term Evolution (LTE) and broadband adoption, said Carfagnini. Other ng Connect projects include making the wire line and wireless broadband experiences indistinguishable and helping companies find ways to monetize technology prototypes.
"We see telecom service providers wired and wireless as the conduit for bringing these new user experiences to market," said Carfagnini.
"Service providers have lots of assets to turn on and use but they don't monetize," said Carfagnini.
"[Ng Connect] gives us the opportunity to mix and match many different companies and many up-and-coming entrepreneurs, bring them together and see what we can create in the art of the possible," he explained.
Ng Connect uses a voting and commenting process based on software from Spigit to come up with ideas for the service concepts, Carfagnini noted.
Alcatel-Lucent provides the broadband LTE backbone for the various ng Connect projects, and Vidyo incorporates video conferencing.
"These demonstrations highlight the ease with which Vidyo technology can integrate with a full range of endpoints, broadband technologies and other hardware and software systems, so that live, immersive video conferencing can become a useful part of everyday life and work," Ofer Shapiro, CEO and co-founder of Vidyo, said in a statement.
The Striker vehicle concept, shown at CES, provides video conferencing and communications capabilities to connect first responders and public safety officers with colleagues. The Striker combines several technologies to aid first responders, including broadband and mobile devices, such as tablets and laptops, Carfagnini noted.