iPod Touch - Bringing SIP to the Masses

Andy Abramson had a notable post yesterday about the new iPod Touch.

I don't post much about consumer gadgets since I don't use them, but I do see how my youngest son uses the iTouch, and it's not hard to see how things can unfold once you become totally dependent on one. As Andy notes, the "rumored" new iTouch will have everything you need to make it a poor man's iPhone - built-in mic, lots of memory and WiFi support. That's great news for mobile WiFi, and validates the touch-screen interface big time. With a touch-screen, pretty much any broadband-enabled/WiFi supported device can become a phone, whether it's mobile, bolted on to a wall, or projected from a really smart gadget on to your kitchen floor.

Scary, huh? I had similar thoughts earlier in the year, when posting about the first wave of VoIP apps on the iTouch from Truphone, and wondered how much this will cannibalize iPhone sales. I agree with Andy, though. For most teens/pre-teens, the iPhone is not affordable, mobile contracts are expensive, and adding voice to their iTouch will tide them over just fine.

I also wanted to echo Andy's thoughts on the bigger picture. Aside from this being good news for mobile VoIP - along with the booming opportunties around mobile video - it's really about bring SIP to the masses, something many people have long been waiting for. With mass-market products like the iTouch and super-cool brands like Apple, we now have the pieces in place to support consumer-friendly, SIP-based multimedia apps and mashups that will make the iTouch even more sticky. When that happens, I'm starting to think this could make the iTouch a bit like a scaled-down Microsoft Surface. When you start thinking of the iTouch like that, then the possibilities with SIP get pretty exciting. Has there ever been a better time for innovation?
By the way, if you don't know about Surface, you should - and you've come to the right place. This is a bit of a sidebar to the iTouch story, but I think it fits. My oldest son and I got one of the very first private demos of Surface in North America about 2 years ago, and it's pretty cool. You're going to hear a lot more about Surface going into 2010, and I think Microsoft knows they have more competition on their hands now that Apple has made the touch-screen mainstream. I'm going to let that thought hang out there a bit, and maybe follow up with another post. It's got me thinking...

April Media Roundup

April was a modest month in terms of media citings, but for the record, here's a summary of where I turned up. First, I was cited in a few articles...

- IT World Canada - Cisco's WebEx/security announcements

- Tech Media Reports - Skype's impact on Canada if they become independent

- BBC News - Any takers for Skype?

I was interviewed for a podcast with TechTarget about trends in SIP. We did a second podcast as well, but it won't run until May...

- TechTarget - 5 things you should know about SIP

Finally, my regular bi-monthly column for TMCnet, Service Provider Views...

- MetaSwitch Forum Takeaways - What Big Carriers can Learn from Small Carriers

- Innovation - It's Out There if You Look

Podcast - 5 Things You Need To Know About SIP

I'm a regular contributor to the TechTarget family of portals, and they recently had me do a podcast about SIP. It's part of their Reality Check series, so these are short podcasts focused on key issues/trends about various IT topics.

They asked me to talk about 5 things you need to know today about SIP, and that's what we did on the podcast. The segment runs about 8 minutes, and I made sure to touch on key things driving SIP, such as SIP Trunking, the SIP Forum and mobile SIP. You can access the podcast here, on their Search Unified Communications portal, and while you're at it, feel free to check out the other content. I've got more things coming on TechTarget, and I'll be posting about those once they're running.

TMC IT Expo Updates

TMC's ITExpo East 2009 event is quickly approaching, and I wanted to provide some updates.

First, I wanted to mention a nice gesture TMC is doing to help out those who been recently impacted by our weak economy. Rich Tehrani posted about this last week, and it's worth repeating here. TMC is offering free conference passes to industry people who are recently out of work. If this speaks to you or someone you know, please have a look at Rich's post for the details. Nicely done, TMC!

On my front, I'll be quite busy at the Expo. First off, I'll be moderating two sessions:

- Service Provider IP Telephony: Considerations

- Driving Benefits Through Analytics

I'm also going to be wearing my TMC hat as part of TMC Editor Week. I've been invited to join their Editorial team to participate in briefings with IT Expo participants. It's a great idea - sort of a "meet the press" thing, where TMC avails its roster of Editors and contributors like me to participants looking for our views on the market, their company, etc. These briefings are being organized by TMC, so it's not an open invitation. However, if you come by the Press Room, and see me at a table in the area dedicated to TMC Editor Week, at least you'll know why.

Switching hats now, I'll also be presenting two segments during Ingate's "back by popular demand" SIP Trunking Sessions:

- Technology Survival Roadmap - SIP Trunking and Beyond

- Just for Carriers: SIP Trunk Intensive Workshop

The sesssions are free, and you can register to attend here. Ingate and TMC have worked hard to build this up into a very popular draw at the IT Expo, and I'm really looking forward to being part of it. You can also read more about it in the press release that just went out this morning.

Finally, on Tuesday morning, I'll be hosting a business breakfast sponsored by the Canada/Ontario delegation that is showcasing Ontario tech companies at the IT Expo. Attendees will get to meet representatives from the following companies: SVKSoftware, Pronexus, Industry Dynamics, Macadamian, Ingenius, OmniWare, ObjectWorld, Jazinga, Phybridge, Callture, Vision Max and Sigma Systems.

Attendance is limited and is on an RSVP basis. The breakfast is primarily targeted at South Florida companies looking to do business with Ontario tech companies, especially those in the delegation. For more information, drop me a line, and I can send you an invitation. You can reach me at: jon@jarnoldassociates.com