Off Beat Stories

Oct 15, 2009 10:00 AM by Bob Hansen

Latest wireless gadgets showcased at industry's largest convention

The big shots of the wireless world recently showed off their latest inventions and gadgets in San Diego, including a website you can access from your phone to get your personal online information.

The Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association show is where the giants of the wireless industry reveal what's around the corner, from the latest phones to a new portable TV.

Sometimes, though, change is subtle.

Texting, of course, is enormously popular with phone owners, as is tweeting, keeping connected through social networking sites like Facebook and sending and receiving email.

"We have way too many ways to communicate these days," said Rick Peters of Rocket Technology Labs.

Companies like Rocket Technology are creating a one-stop Web site to read all your messages, no matter how they were sent.

"We're giving you a way to channel all those through one software system," Peters said.

So instead of going to your computer and logging onto your e-mail and then your Facebook page, Peters and his ilk are going to create a site that will allow you to grab your cell phone and get all your messages on one screen.

"We have numerous focus groups where we talk to men and women to find out their likes and dislikes before we create a cell phone," said LG spokesman Demetra Kavadeles.

These days, cell phones often appeal to a niche market.

The Nokia Twist has primarily female fans, even though Nokia said they don't necessarily target one gender over another.

"We never go after one specific sex with a design," said Chanse Arrington of Nokia. "But we do recognize that sometimes does happen."

LG said the style of its phones, however, often target a specific gender or age group. Its Zenon, for instance, is marketed to teens and young women.

"We also like to take a little bit of both into a phone," said Kavadeles.

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