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App-Rising.com covers the development and adoption of broadband applications, the deployment of and need for broadband networks, and the demands placed on policy to adapt to the revolutionary opportunities made possible by the Internet.

App-Rising.com is written by Geoff Daily, a DC-based technology journalist, broadband activist, marketing consultant, and Internet entrepreneur.

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January 11, 2008 4:27 PM

What I Liked at CES - Innovative Apps from South Korea

With their leadership in the deployment of fiber to the home, I suppose it shouldn’t surprise anyone that two of the most innovative broadband-connected devices on display come from South Korea.

The first is called the Virtual Studio from Darim. What it allows you to do is create presentations for the web where it looks like the speaker is standing in front of a futuristic screen that can virtually display any content, like PowerPoint slides or video.

The experience it creates is akin to a weatherman in front of a map, only you can also do things like reorientate the position of where your head shows up on the screen and dynamically switch between content on the fly complete with cool 3D transitions.

The system itself is a box that you connect a camera and a broadband connection to that you control with a separate LCD touchscreen. This all includes a hosting service and a host of value-added possibilities, like the ability to install a telepresence videoconferencing system alongside these presentation system.

While many of DARIM products are for high-end professionals, Virtual Studio is aimed at a broader smaller business market, with its basic entry level version clocking in at $13,000. Still a significant investment, but much cheaper than the tens and hundreds of thousands of dollars analogous broadcast equipment can cost.

The other innovative Korean product I wanted to mention is SBN Tech’s Video Phone. (Should admit this is my generic name for it; there wasn’t any literature I could take away and their website doesn’t seem to list this specific product.)

While videophones aren’t new, what I liked about theirs is first off its 10-inch touchscreen. It’s the biggest screen I’ve seen on a videophone and the picture looked great, though I can’t speak for its performance as they were running it over a closed network, not the Internet. Another advantage to this device is its attempt at interoperability. While a language barrier prevented me from understanding all of what they were saying, I did catch that they’ve built this videophone to work with those made by D-Link. Plus, like seemingly everything these days, it has built in Wi-Fi so no need to connect to a computer to get online.

What I also liked was the fact that while today the device primarily just makes calls, it has the capacity to run additional applications on top of or around the live video. While it may be a challenge figuring out which applications to pursue first and how to do so without overly complicating the device, this was one of the few products that gave me a real wow factor that I saw on the show floor.

The biggest issue I had with it, though, is its cost. I can’t remember the exact numbers, but it’s going to be either $300-400 for the videophone, and then another $30 or so a month for the ability to make calls. That seems like a lot, especially per month, as there a number of free videocalling options other there, but then I realized that $30 a month is roughly what people pay for voice service. So perhaps that number isn’t so high if we assume that some day we might start to see videophones becoming more prominent than voice-only ones.

Here's a short video showing what it looks like:


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Comments (1)

The video is very helpful. I love the touch screen - so easy a 3 year old could use it to call grandma. In fact, I bet they could sell a few on that premise alone!

Thanks for posting on the CES bests. It’s fun for those of us who weren’t able to go to get a glimpse. I bet the 3D Web was fascinating. I seem to remember reading somewhere (maybe Wired) that LEGO was getting into a form of second life for kids. You’d think 3D would be a huge asset there.

Posted by Ann Treacy on January 13, 2008 8:57 AM

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