AT CTIA ATT reaffirmed it support for a future where devices talk to each other over Wireless ( Cellular, WiFI). This is Machine to machine 2 Machine communication (M2M).
April 2, 2009 (Computerworld) LAS VEGAS — AT&T Inc. is working with developers to wirelessly enable a plethora of consumer electronics, representatives said at the International CTIA Wireless show today.
The trend of creating connected consumer electronics has been going on for some time, but AT&T is rethinking how it will charge for the wireless service behind such devices, especially if customers used multiple wireless devices, AT&T representatives said.
Glenn Lurie, president of emerging devices for AT&T, said most customers would not want to spend $10 a month for wireless simply to send a photo from a digital camera to a digital picture frame. But a customer might be willing to pay for a one-time use, or even several uses, he said.
With connectivity pricing recognized as the key to success, and the strong interest by device makers to add wireless capability, AT&T Mobility president Ralph de la Vega sees a bright future. He said consumers would walk into a Best Buy or Wal-Mart store sometime in the future “and there won’t be a device in the store that will not be wirelessly enabled,” de la Vega said.
He said cameras, e-readers and personal navigation devices are already able to connect today, but added data features are possible. Nearly always-on connectivity was closer to reality if devices were made to work across Wi-Fi and 3G cellular networks.
De la Vega said that smaller companies might not be able to add a 3G wireless network radio chip to a camera, but could afford to add a Wi-Fi radio chip instead.
Lurie said his emerging devices group is working with small developers on radio-enabling various devices. “Some are even coming out of the garage with duct tape on the device,” he said.
ABI Research analyst Kevin Burden said that the market for connected electronics will be “huge,” adding that ABI is assessing its size in current research. Lurie gave one estimate of $90 billion in five years.
Burden said that a few years ago, wireless devices were focused on converging mobile phones with computers, while the new trend is making many devices Internet-connected. “You really can’t have one device do everything,” Burden said.