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November 16, 2006

Clearwire's laser show replay

Posted by Tricia Duryee at 12:25 PM

Last night, Clearwire was expected to host what it called the largest ever laser light show at the Space Needle.

The landmark would be engulfed by lasers, like spotlights beaming from the ground up. However, because of weather conditions -- mostly wind -- it was less than spectacular. (Fittingly, the door gift to a launch event inside the Needle was a high-tech laser pointer with USB drive).

The show wasn't a complete disappointment, though. An image of the Clearwire logo was displayed down the side of the Needle, and a few lights at the top flashed green and blue. On the street below, motor scooters towing billboards circled the Needle, displaying ads for Clearwire.

To make up for the event, Clearwire said yesterday it plans to replay the show tonight at 9 (weather permitting, I suppose).

The wind factor wasn't an excuse. At the top of the Needle, the wind was blowing hard enough to sway the Needle an inch to two inches in each direction.

During the three-hour event, Craig McCaw, the co-CEO of the Kirkland company, made a presentation that included the history of the Needle dating back to the 1962 World's Fair. At the time, he said, transporting people was the focus of attention. But times have changed. "Transporting information is more important than transferring you."

The statement highlights Clearwire's wireless broadband service, which people can take with them and use in multiple locations to get Internet access.

The Seattle launch will be the company's biggest test to date. It's not only the largest area in which it has rolled out service, but it also offers some of the most difficult terrain in the world for providing wireless technology.

UPDATE: Clearwire said they have decided to forgo doing another show tonight. The lasers that did appear seemed to capture the essence enough.

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Tricia Duryee
Tricia Duryee
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