What do Twitter co-founder Biz Stone, Hollywood director James Cameron and U.S. CTO Aneesh Chopra have in common? I wasn't sure either - but for today, they were the co-panelists of a roundtable session on the final day of CTIA Wireless.
It was an awkward fit right out of the gate. Moderator Michelle Caruso-Cabrera of CNBC came out immediately and asked Cameron about his role and interests in wireless and mobile technology, explaining that the other panelists' interest was obvious.
Cameron's answer was interesting. The movie Avatar, in 3D, was an example of how new technology impacts entertainment. But Cameron was especially interested in mobile for many reasons, because it not only changes the way people watch but also eliminates the need for 3D glasses because of the size of the screen. I didn't know this about 3D but if James Cameron says it's true, I tend to believe him.
Beyond that, the talking points were all over the place. Stone talked about the ability to reach a vast mobile audience because the company went for the lowest common denominator by enabling SMS updates and tweets. Chopra talked about the President's position on the importance of advancement of technology and how to expand policies to integrate cutting edge technology into health care, education and others.
And from there, we jumped around a lot - entertainment, tech policy, then Twitter.
Still, the three panelists had a good chemistry and managed to engage in discussions that ranged from media piracy and intellectual property to foreign relations and the grassroots efforts organized on Twitter. Of course, there was some chatter about the importance of the National Broadband Plan, as well, which in turn led to a discussion about spectrum and net neutrality. Chopra couldn't answer questions about net neutrality, saying that the issue is still working its way through discussions in Washington.
The panelists all had interesting things to say but putting them on stage together, in one 50-minute roundtable session, might not have been the best decision. Caruso-Cabrera tried to tie the conversations together - but it was tough. Each of these panelists had interesting things to say and probably could have captivated the audience in three separate keynote speeches or Q&A sessions.
Beyond that, it was encouraging - especially for CTIA attendees working in the space - to know that wireless and mobile technology is such a strong topic on so many different levels.