I walked 4 days of miles at CES in Vegas (and watched engadget.com for MacExpo wishing the iPhone were here). Vegas, once the place for Comdex, is now consumed in miniature consumer form factors to the point of invisibility. It is striking what is going on in the wireless space. Digging through the Microsoft booth, the coolest hidden thing was Sprint demonstrating wireless broadband (3.1 MBPS) on a USB dongle with GPS. The GPS is built in all for $49. The Sprint demonstrator shows a chewing gum pack sized USB modem feeding Microsoft Live Map data from its WWAN feed and located by its GPS antenna. Of course it locates on any Internet mapping service.
Next item was SlingMedia’s booth. First of all Sling on a cell phone was awesome – almost as good as the Verizon MediaFlo solution, but you get to see your own content! With SlingCathcher you get IP in. That means your Slingbox media center can play from computers and other Slingboxes. Another IP TV.
Shown by Engadget, the Apple iPhone promises an extraordinary leap for the cell phone industry. Finally a communications interface, a good use of mobile data. No 3G, Apple proudly declares, ok – as long a I can make a good call first and sync with my calendar second. Then next year give me HSUPA. Not sure how Apple got Cingular to implement the Add caller circuit switch function, but that’s worth the price of the phone to me. And easy to use. The Bluetooth keyboard profile should complete it as a mobile notes station.