CommunicAsia 2010 to showcase HD, mobile services

As exhibitors put finishing touches to their booths at this year's mega infocomm tradeshow, visitors can expect a smorgasbord of 3D products, HD videoconferencing offerings and mobile-related services.

SINGAPORE--Visitors to this year's CommunicAsia tradeshow, which kicks off Jun. 15 for four days, can look forward to engaging demonstrations of some of the hottest IT trends such as 3D displays, high-definition (HD) videoconferencing and mobile application services.

CommunicAsia, which is part of a bigger infocommunications and technology tradeshow--the Infocomm Media Business Exchange (imbX) 2010--will feature vendors such as Samsung and Skype, as well as Chinese firms like Huawei Technologies and ZTE as some of its more prominent exhibitors.

During a media pre-show tour held Monday, ZDNet Asia had the opportunity to see what Skype, Panasonic and NTT Docomo had to offer at this year's tradeshow.

Television-based videoconferencing will be one of the Internet telephony company's "interesting" highlights, according to Turochas Fuad, director of market development at Skype Asia-Pacific.

He gave a demonstration of how the technology will work on a Panasonic Viera G20 HDTV, which is one of three TV makers committed to producing Skype-enabled hardware. Korean manufacturers LG and Samsung are the other two partners, added Fuad.

"What is needed for Skype videoconferencing to work is broadband access, a Skype-enabled television and a compatible Web camera," said the Skype executive in his presentation.

He also mentioned that video teleconferencing will be at 720p HD video quality, and users will not have to worry about future software updates as there will be an automated prompt when they access Skype's home screen via the television.

However, multitasking is not yet available for its 4.2 software version, although Fuad did say that "it's an interesting suggestion" and the company will look into including this in future refreshes.

Meanwhile, fellow exhibitor NTT Docomo will be focusing on its mobile services, as well as featuring smartphones from partnering companies such as Sony Ericsson, Sharp and Research in Motion (RIM).

One of the mobile services the Japanese mobile operator is highlighting at this year's show is its Web portal called Docomo Market, which holds Japanese-only applications to draw its customers toward smartphones.

"We have introduced this portal because smartphone devices are still new to the Japanese audience and we want to provide them easier access to content through our Web portal," explained an NTT Docomo representative.

She went on to state that the Web portal is not meant to "go against" Google's Android Market. Rather, the Docomo Market portal will act as a "gateway" through which its Japanese customers can find suitable local content, but download them through the Android Market, she added.

There are currently 100 Japanese-based applications on its portal, but the company hopes to see this number rise to 700 by the end of the year, the representative stated.

Over at BroadcastAsia 2010, which is similarly parked under the imbX 2010 branding, Panasonic was busy putting together its 3D projection showcase for the show's opening tomorrow.

According to Gary Tan, marketing manager for the company's strategic management division, its 3D exhibition will feature hourly performances that will include live Muay Thai performances by cast members of the Thai martial arts movie, "Ong Bak--The Thai Warrior", among others, and the shows will be broadcast throughout the venue.

One way Panasonic is doing this is by linking its 3D footage to other vendors' showcase pavilions around the exhibition venue. These include the booths of local telco operators SingTel and StarHub, added Tan.

"This is the first time in BroadcastAsia's history that 3D broadcast feeds will be going out to other vendors through interconnected fiber-optic cables," noted Ed K, a representative from Multimedia Maestro, which is partnering Panasonic in setting up its 3D display showcase.

He also added that "for the first time", company logos and other such branding can be included into 3D video feeds--a feature that "people in the industry said cannot be done".


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