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Wednesday, 24 June 2009

Report on 'Femtocell Applications Live' at Femtocells World Summit

I was at the Femtocells World Summit yesterday evening attending 'Femtocell Applications Live'. Everybody looked excited and the atmosphere looked charged with people full of energy. Earlier in the morning, Vodafone had announced that its launching first commercial European Femtocell network.

There were 12 companies showing their demo. Unfortunately I was not able to capture the complete details but here is summary of my understanding (and notes and photos).

Before we proceed further, I should also mention that Femto Forum launched Services Special Interest Group (SSIG) whose main task is to to develop a framework that will simplify the development and deployment of femtocell applications.

Demo 1: IP Access
IP Access showed couple of demo's. The first being Facebook Virtual Fridge Notes Applications and the other Femto-enabled Connected Home Applications. There was some problem with the microphone and also CDMA like interference problems (if someone in the room is shouting, everyone starts shouting and the noice level increase drowns out the useful info) so I diddnt catch the second demo very well.

The Facebook Virtual Fridge notes app demo was very interesting and I am sure that we will definitely be seeing apps like this soon. There is very good explanation on IP Access website here so I am not expanding on this.

Demo 2: Motorola
Motorola were showing their award winning Digital Picture Frame Femtocell. It combines the capabilities of a touch screen digital picture frame with femtocells and SIP soft phone. Their femto was CDMA based and are also known as CDMA 9100 series.

One of their demo was Video streaming on the mobile through femtocell where they demonstrated point to point video streaming by using electronic programming guide (EPG) and playing selectable videos in QCIF format with 5 to 15 frames per second.


Their other demo was to Demonstrate touch screen menu and features on femtocell. Here they showed user interaction capability.

Demo 3: Sagem
Surprisingly you may not find any Femtocell related info on the Sagem website but the friendly people from Sagem explained me all about their products. You can see the Joggler type device in the picture, its known as Tabbee and has been launched by Orange in France. You can read more about it here. Its known as My Home Screen internally by Sagem. There is a similar Dect device launched with Telstra in Australia, internally called as My Communication Center. Sagem is also Alcatel Lucent Partner in their Femtocell development. In the picture above you can see the big femtocell that is soon being launched and the small one in front is the next generation of the same device that is being tested right now.



Their demo included Mobile Presence where, when the mobile reaches the Femtozone, different actions are triggered. They also showed how to remotely control TV and other applications through mobile when Femtocells are present.

Demo 4: Ubiquisys, Intrinsyc, Mobica


Ubiquisys gave a demo with Intrinsyc. Keith Day from Ubiquisys made clear in the start that they do not make Apps hence they were doing a demo with others. Their first demo was Mobica Podcast Sync App where when you arrive in the Femtozone then this app downloads the latest podcasts and you can listen to them. Once setup, its fully automatic. Could be really useful for me. You can read the press release of this one here.

The Intrinsyc UX-Zone is for Android phones. Depending on the surrounding the theme (desktop of phone) changes. When you arrive at home, it will show new apps that were not visible earlier. You can read more about it here.

Demo 5: Pirelli
This was a complete new name for me as I have never heard of them before. Their website is here.
They were showing IMTV application. IMTV is IM + TV. Their demo showed two different homes having a Quad-Play bundle from their operator. With the help of 3G Femtocell and the set top boxes the two homes can interact via Instant Messaging (IM). It is also possible to share information like what one home is watching to other.

The set top boxes are designed with open API so some third party can develop apps using it.

Demo 6: Airvana
Airvana has been in leading position in Femtocells. I always see some of their Femtos being tested somewhere or the other.
They were also prodly showing off their products and the name of their partners as can be seen above and below

Their demonstration though not groundbreaking but was done very well. The concept was explained clearly and in a way that anyone can understand.

A scneario was created with the person doing demo saying that he has two daughters and whenver they enter the femtocell zone, he gets an SMS saying that they are home. If for example one of them gets their boyfriend then the person will get an alert as whenever a new user camps in the cell, he can monitor. He can also monitor the number of active users so if there is a party, he can find out. Maybe we should call them Femto Spy Apps ;).

You can also synchronise the Digital Picture frame to your mobile so that whenever the phone comes in the Femtozone, the pictures are uploaded to display automatically.

Demo 7: Alcatel-Lucent
Their Demo included a new location aware "Over the Top" (OTT) apps from Google Latitude, Geopepper, etc. This can also help in things like retail affinity and proximity marketing. Another demo was of Geo mag. A service that delivers e-mags when a user enters a Femtocell

Another demo was Home notes, a 21st century version of post-it notes, whereby you can text or e-mail your messages to a place delivered only when the user has entered the target femtocell. Somewhat similar to IP Access application mentioned above.

Demo 8: Huawei
Theirs was a simple demo of detection service. When a family member enters the femtozone, you will receive notification SMS. The other was that when the UE is in Femtozone, the handset will be updated with a list of latest services and can enjoy them with single click. By the way, their Femtocells are of different shapes which are quite interesting.

Demo 9: Thomson

They were showing Integration of a standard mobile handset (with no additional client software) into the home network and using the mobile as universal remote control connected via 3G. The mobile phone can be used to control home multimedia system in dlna environment

For handset as universal remote control, Keypad and display for an X.10 control application hosted by the Femto CPE in OSGi environment. They showed the phone switching a light in the house on and off remotely.

Demo 10: Softbank
There was a video demo showing how useful Femtocell can be in daily life. For example a person is leaving home but has forgotten to close windows, so he gets a notification just when he is locking the door. Also if some friend comes to your house while you are shopping outside, you do not have to rush back. You can remotely unlock your door for him.

Along with the demo's mentioned above, LG-Nortel was showing their WiMAX Femtocell solution.

Then there was Continuous Computing with Starent Networks and PicoChip demonstrating their successful Iuh Inter-operability.
And finally, I met heard about another company called Rakon. They make oscillators for femtocells. You can see their flyer here.

3 comments:

Marcin said...

Thanks a lot! Very good post!

Anonymous said...

Dear Sir, thank you very much for posts like these. They help people like me understand what is going on in the technical world. I would very much appreciate if you can share presentations as well. Many thanks.

Konda.

Zahid Ghadialy said...

Hi Konda,

Glad you liked the blog. Unfortunately I am not attending the complete summit and wont have access to the presentations as a result. Also I am not sure if the presenters would be happy if I share their presentations. I will still see if I can get hold of some of them and post a blog on some interesting topics.

regards,
Zahid