CTIA Wireless 2012 Product Primer

Hot products at the annual wireless conference--this year in New Orleans--include everything from LTE signal boosters to wireless pet trackers and, oh yes, smartphones.

New Orleans Goes Mobile

Although CTIA as a conference doesn’t get the attention from a gadget perspective that the Consumer Electronics Show and Mobile World Congress do for product releases, it’s still a great place for companies to show off their latest tools and toys.

In this slideshow we’ll take you through some of the more intriguing products that will grace the showroom floor at CTIA 2012 in New Orleans, from LTE indoor signal boosters to wireless pet trackers.

HTC Droid Incredible 4G LTE

Manufacturer: HTC

What it is: And LTE-capable version of HTC’s Droid Incredible device line that features all the bells and whistles we’ve come to expect from Android devices: Android 4.0 (“Ice Cream Sandwich”), an 8MP camera, NFC connectivity and a 1.2GHz dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 processor.

The HTC Droid Incredible 4G LTE will be available on Verizon. No pricing has yet been announced.

AT&T Digital Life

Manufacturer: AT&T

What it is: AT&T and other big wireless carriers have been looking for ways to deliver value-added services that will give them revenue streams beyond pushing bits. Digital Life, AT&T’s new wireless home security service, is just one such solution as it gives users the ability to wirelessly monitor home cameras, window and door sensors, thermostats, door locks, smoke detectors and even appliance power controls through any web-connected PC, smartphone or tablet irrespective of carrier.

AT&T is trialing the services in Atlanta and Dallas this summer with hopes of launching it nationwide soon afterward.

Kyocera Hydro

Manufacturer: Kyocera

What it is: Kyocera has created a smartphone that can be submerged into water of one meter deep for up to 30 minutes. Other than its ability to stand up to the forces of water, though, the Hydro doesn’t offer much in the way of cutting-edge tech.

The Kyocera Hydro features a 1GHz single-core processor, a 3.5-inch display screen with a resolution of 480x320 and a 3MP camera. It comes loaded with Android 4.0 (“Ice Cream Sandwich”).

Samsung Focus 2

Manufacturer: Samsung

Price: $49.99

What it is: Another Windows Phone offering from Samsung that will run over AT&T’s LTE network and, more importantly, will only set you back $50. Since the Samsung Focus 2 is relatively cheap, it’s a bit behind in the current specs that we’ve come to expect, as it features a 5MP camera with 720p video capture and a four-inch Super AMOLED screen.

Like all Windows Phone 7.5 devices, it also comes complete with Microsoft Office and SkyDrive for cloud storage. Nothing groundbreaking, but it’s the cheapest Windows Phone device yet released on the AT&T network.

Dialogic PowerMedia Extended Media Server

Manufacturer: Dialogic

What it is:Dialogic PowerMedia Extended Media Server is a truly nifty video conferencing platform that lets users video conference and share videos on a multitude of different devices, including PCs, smartphones, tablets or smart TVs. Users can even live-stream videos, such as sporting events, and watch them live with friends who can provide comments in real time.

The platform is being marketed to service providers, who need to deploy Dialogic’s application and multimedia servers across their own networks before offering video conferencing capabilities to their customers.

SureCall Force-5

Manufacturer: Cellphone-Mate

Price: $2,990

What it is: The SureCall Force-5 is a five-band cellular amplifier for both voice and data services that works on both AT&T’s and Verizon’s LTE networks, as well as 2G and 3G bands. Cellphone-Mate claims that it can enhance both voice and data coverage by between 20,000 and 100,000 square feet depending on location and initial signal strength.

The amplifier does not work on Sprint’s iDEN or WiMAX networks.

SuperTooth Disco2

Manufacturer: Supertooth

Price: $99

What it is: SuperTooth’s Disco2 audio system lets you use Bluetooth to stream your tunes from your PC, iPad or smartphone directly to stereo speakers. Each speaker puts out 16 watts RMS audio power so you’ll be able to get a full stereo experience without having to hook up any wires.

Tagg the Pet Tracker

Manufacturer: Snaptracs

Price: $99.95 for the initial equipment and the first month’s use, $7.95 monthly subscription fee

What it is: It’s a way to track your pets wirelessly, of course! Tagg the Pet Tracker is a lightweight GPS device, designed for animals that weigh 10 pounds or more, alerts users if their animals happen to wander outside of their designated “Tagg Zones.” This makes it much more effective than a microchip, which only tells someone who "reads" the chip what your contact information for the animal is.

You can interact with your animal’s GPS tag through either the official Tagg webpage or through a mobile app that’s available for iPhones, Android devices and the Verizon app store.

Taqua TCS6100, With VoWiFi and WoLTE Capabilities

Manufacturer: Taqua

What it is: Taqua, which provides fixed and mobile convergence switching, IP peering and backhaul systems to carriers, is updating its TCS6100 small cell convergence center to support both Voice over Wi-Fi (VoWiFi) and Voice over LTE (VoLTE) for users.

In other words, carriers that deploy this small cell convergence system will be able to offload voice traffic off their main cellular networks and onto Wi-Fi and LTE networks.

'No Texting While Driving' App

Manufacturer: 10n2 Technologies

What it is: If you’re one of those people who is always tempted to text or read Twitter on your smartphone while driving, this app is for you. Basically the app sends out an “attention verification test” when you try to access your device that gives you a series of timed tasks to perform before you can access your device.

Because someone who’s driving will never be able to perform the tasks in time, the app essentially locks the device for anyone who’s driving.

Sprint announced a bundled app service for its family plan customers with Android phones called Sprint Guardian. It includes a no-driving-while-texting app.

PhoneEasy 740

Manufacturer: Doro

What it is: Have you tried in vain to buy your grandmother a smartphone only to have her complain that it’s just too complicated to use? Well Swedish company Doro specializes in making mobile devices simpler and more intuitive for seniors and its Doro PhoneEasy 740 (pdf) is an Android-based device that reorganizes the typical Android homescreen into a simple vertical menu that users can scroll through using only a keyboard. While it obviously doesn’t have all the bells and whistles of today’s topnotch smartphones, it does cover the basics such as contacts, photo-taking and text messages that will be useful to people not familiar with cutting-edge tech.

The Feigner

What it is: Are you always dropping your smartphone because you’re clumsy? Well fear no more because the Feigner gives you the ability to attach your phone directly to your body and ensure that it will never crack open on the pavement again. The Feigner is pretty simple: It’s a ring that you can put around your finger that’s attached to a string that’s attached to a sleeve that covers your smartphone. And presto! Your phone is now an extension of your body!

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