The United States leads the world in operating systems,startups, and drunken teenage starlets. When it comes to cell phones, however, we might as well be . With the exception of the , a truly game-changing piece of technology, all the cool handsets appear first in and Asia.
The main reason for this is because people in Europe and Asia are more dependent on their cell phones than on their PCs, high-speed mobile broadband service has developed much faster. Buying a handset overseas is a lot like buying a computer--you can mix and match models and service providers.
Inyou can point certain Sony Ericsson or at a building, and they will display information about what's inside it, such as directions to a third-floor office or a menu for the rooftop restaurant. This trick is accomplished via the phone's GPS chip, its electronic compass, and Mapion Local Search software powered by San Francisco-based GeoVector. Handsets incorporating GeoVector technology will start to appear stateside by year's end, says CEO John Ellenby.
Also big in Japan: mobile phones that have motion sensors built in. Last yearlaunched cell phones that let you play games or fast-forward through MP3s simply by waving your hand. In the United States, has shipped handsets with games powered by Gesturetek, a similar technology that relies on the phone's camera to detect motion.
Insome cell phones, buses, and cars will be able to receive live of the this summer. Unlike streaming services such as MobiTV or Verizon's VCast, China's mobile TV will transmit signals directly to a UHF/VHF antenna built into the phones, thus bypassing the cellular network and allowing for 50 times the bandwidth. Mobile TV is also taking off in Japan, Korea, and .
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