I had to drop off a parcel of documents to the courier yesterday, and decided to stop in for a sushi lunch at Ebi, which is right next door to the little post office around the corner for us. I ordered the sashimi lunch special. Over a steaming hot bowl of miso soup, it occurred to me that next week's ETel Conference in San Francisco is a bit like a bento box — full of small portions of really delicious stuff that will no doubt leave you hungry for more.
From a technologists perspective, ETel was easily the most innovation focused show I went to last year. It has a totally different flavor from VON (where you'll see the largest carriers and equipment manufacturers talking about their deployments) or Internet Telephony (where a lot of business gets done between even small vendors right on the show floor). ETel is the event where the Web 2.0 crowd in the Valley hangs out with the communications crowd. It's a mixing pot where the future of communications technologies can be discussed, debated, and dissected. Some of the sessions I'm really looking forward to this year include:
- Stowe Boyd and Debi Jones — Communications Underload: a Contrarian Approach
- Greg Unrein — XMPP and Voice: a New Way to Chat
- Om Malik's Launch Pad, where iotum partner Flat Planet Phone Company will be demoing their service.
- Om Malik — The Business of VoIP
- Ndiata Kalonji — Social Networks Need Social Networks
- Kaliya Hamlin — Empowering People and the Coming Identity Layer of Everything
- Lee Dryburgh — Autobuddies: Connecting Relevant Strangers
- Ram Fish — Next Generation of WiFi Handsets and Services
- Jeff Bonforte — Where Will Voice 3.0 Take Us?
- Mark Simpkins — New Opportunities from Socially Responsive Design in Mobile Communications Systems
- Jyri Engestrom — Ambient Storytelling: Social Communication Through Handset Presence
- Martin Geddes — Wake-Up Call to Telcos
- Wendy McMillan — the Future of Voice
- Norman Lewis — You Ain't Seen Anything Yet Mate: Digital Children and the Future of Disruptive Innovation
- Mark Spencer — the Future of Asterisk
- Juergen Fay — Mobile Devices: Past, Present and Future
- Ajay Madhok — How Consumer Identity Powers the Next Telecom Wave
See you there!