Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Lucent's vision of a completely connected world--it's scary!

I'm posting today from the Yankee Group Wireless Leadership Summit 2006 at the Roosevelt Hotel in New York. A very good roster of speakers, including Gary Forsee, CEO of Sprint Nextel, and Kris Rinne, Cingular's CTO.

Lots of talk of convergence (which we've heard before) and anytime, seamless networks. These things are coming, I guess, but today's reality of parallel networks and services with virtually no synergy between them makes me wonder how long it will take to reach this Xanadu.

On the point of seamless, converged services, Dave Dial, Vice President of Lucent Managed Services, showed a promotional video at the outset of his presentation today. The video showed a family-of-the-near-future managing their busy lives--first, there's a voice mail through the TV from the wife, saying she'd be home late and to pick up something for dinner. The husband bundles the little girl in the minivan for the trip to the store. Once at the store he receives an alert to his PDA that an accident has backed up traffic and suggesting an alternate route, etc. Typical promotional stuff.

The chilling part--the little girl never stops watching her TV show (the Discovery channel, by the way) the entire time. It pauses when the voice mail comes in, seamlessly transfers to the video screen in the minivan, then moves to Dad's PDA. She doesn't miss a minute despite all the interruptions.

Aaargh! I never thought I was a Luddite, but for goodness' sake. No video screens in the minivan for me. And if my kids' eyes are glued to LCD displays while they follow me through the grocery store... well, let's say that's not my ideal perfect vision of the future.

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