I arrived at VON Fall in Boston this morning, and thought I'd share my initial impressions of the event so far.
The exhibit floor looks quite good, with 350 or so booths and decent traffic. The vendors seem pumped and ready for an expected 9,000 attendees over the course of the week. Other numbers being bandied about include 175 registered press and analysts, and 325 speakers on the conference roster.
I sat in on the opening keynote featuring Jeff Pulver and Ted Leonsis, Vice Chairman of AOL and President of AOL Audience. Most of the discussion was around video over IP as the next big industry disruptor, and I have to agree that the Internet is indeed ready for video primetime. An important distinction was made between IPTV and video over IP -- IPTV is defined as the telcos foray into video services as the means to counter the cable MSOs, and as such is still a walled garden just like the cable operators offerings.
Video over IP, on the other hand, is really video running over the Internet as an application, and what IP did for voice it will also do for video in terms of freeing video from the constraints of the walled gardens of the established service providers and establishing the concept of video as an application where anything is possible.
I did detect a bit of boredom on Jeff's part with respect to VoIP -- he seems to be tiring of the technology and clearly finds Video over IP a more compelling area right now.