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Rich Tehrani
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Bluetooth Smart Ready Shows Potential

December 19, 2011

Bluetooth to me is one of the most convenient technologies I use as it allows me to get rid of the cord from my mobile and desk phones. I am surprised actually that everyone doesn't use a stereo bluetooth headset - at gyms around the country it seems like one out of 10 music listeners have given up their typically white cords in favor of new technology.

Frankly I just don't get it but am hoping that the new bluetooth 4.0 standard which is more miserly with power will make a good technology even more useful. It is worth pointing out the SIG wants you to refer to it as Bluetooth Smart Ready.

In theory the power consumption is so low that you can get a year out of a device using a button size battery - now that's low-power.

As you might imagine, applications in home automation and the medical field are prime examples of where such a low-power wireless technology will shine.

Thanks to Kickstarter there may soon be an automotive app - one which syncs with your iPhone 4S which was the first phone to support bluetooth 4.0 BTW. The solution constantly updates your car's location via a small device which is connected to your automobile.







Ignoring Increased Accident Evidence, NTSB Pushes Gadget While Driving Ban

December 17, 2011

Recently the NTSB voted this week to recommend all 50 states and the District of Columbia enact laws banning the use of personal electronics including hands free and handheld devices while driving. While it is obvious to all of us that using a smartphone to surf the web and text while driving is a major distraction I should also like to point out that perhaps the NTSB is focusing on the wrong area. After all, fixing your hair, daydreaming, dealing with kids in the back seat, eating, drinking, sneezing, coughing, crying, laughing, dealing with difficult radio controls which often by the way manifest themselves in the dashboards of German automobiles are potentially more distracting than texting. At least that’s my take on the issue.

Avaya's Top Communication Trends in 2012

December 16, 2011

Recently I had a chance to have an in-depth conversation with Avaya about the trends they see for 2012 in the communications space. In particular I spoke with George Humphrey a Director and Line of Business Owner at Avaya and Diane Royer, Senior Marketing Services Manager.

The trends below are at times augmented or enhanced with my thoughts.

1) Mobility raises the expectation of availability

Google Currents Crashes Newsreader Party

December 9, 2011

Flipboard calls itself the pocket-sized social magazine and this is an apt description for a social newsreader so popular that this week when it launched an iPhone edition, it was overwhelmed with traffic and crashed. Obviously there is tremendous interest in this category which explains why in April of this year the company raised $50M at a $200M valuation.

Another player in the space Yahoo! has Livestand, an app which has improved over the months but still has a somewhat non-intuitive user interface.

Altigen's iFusion: Fuses the Desk Phone & iPhone

December 2, 2011



The smartphone and tablet are taking the world by storm and this information isn’t lost on Altigen Communications the company who literally revolutionized the communications space in the nineties by merging the best of the PC and telephone into an office phone system for small companies. I remember meeting the company’s VP of Marketing Gary Andresen in 1996 as he showed the fascinating concept of merging the best of the PC and telephony worlds. For the next ten years or so Altigen evolved and went upmarket but in the past few years they’ve been very quiet. Part of the reason for the slowing in PR and marketing has to do with the company retooling its portfolio and evolving its strategy.

Apps Swallow Car Tech as Slacker Integrates With Ford

November 29, 2011

Slacker announced it will integrate with Ford vehicles via SYNC AppLink. It further says it will launch new Lifestyle stations with ABC News. For Slacker Premium subscribers, you will be able to listen to music on demand as well as a customizable radio station. The company says it offers the best of both worlds - the benefits of Spotify and Pandora in one.

The company provided me with a premium subscription months back and I am now an addict. In addition to the above benefits, it provides the ability to cache radio stations for times when you either don't have great Internet access or are low and battery.

Although I am not allowed to share the company name, Slacker will have big news soon regarding integration with a well-known WiFi stereo solutions provider as well.

The big picture here is the fusion of consumer electronics, streaming radio and telematics/automotive tech.

The latest model Mercedes for example has an iPhone app which allows you to check things like distance to empty as well as the location of your car.

Its all coming together nicely and to me it seems the biggest challenge ahead is for terrestrial and satellite radio providers who have to deal with the additional overhead of running a satellite network and/or radio towers throughout a geographic region.

One issue remains - how will consumers deal with bandwidth caps? In other words in an all-you-can-eat world, streaming wins - right?











Big Week for Tor and The Privacy Minded

November 16, 2011

Two big pieces of news are out this week for the privacy minded users of Tor who would like to surf anonymously to keep from the prying eyes of government – first off is a new iPad browser called Covert Browser which sells for $2.99. It is no frills, no Google search bar or bookmarks but you can switch from Tor servers in various locations with a simple drop down list. The list further includes flags so you know which country they are in and server bandwidth speeds are included as well.

Browsing Disney.IN and seeing a list of TOR servers on the right hand side of the screen (click to enlarge image)

I Use Google and You Siri are no Google Killer

November 14, 2011

I worry more it will kill the public’s interest in speech rec

I have been reading with great interest all of the back and forth chatter on the web regarding Apple’s Siri and its merit as a Google killer and as I read these articles I wonder if many of the people writing these stories have followed the speech technology space these past decades. In 2000, I ran a show called Communications Solutions and on stage I did a live demo of General Magic’s Portico calling it a killer app – the next big thing. It was incredible to me and it worked pretty similarly to Siri. Sure, Apple’s speech rec “wizard” Siri has enhanced functionality allowing you to do information searches but in a decade you would expect such advancements, right?

But one has to wonder why is Siri the Google killer and why now?

Plantronics Headset Line Exudes UC Dominance

November 3, 2011

Recently I received a care package from Plantronics with a number of their headsets and other products and when I opened the box it served as a not so subtle reminder of just how dominant the company is. Back in 1982 when my company TMC (I am CEO) launched the first magazine in the call center space, Plantronics was one of the few companies in the market and almost 30 years later they have evolved into an organization delivering unified communications endpoints for virtually every segment of the market.

Blackwire C435

China App Market to Surpass US by 2013

November 2, 2011

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