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October 24, 2007

CTIA: The nightlife

Posted by Tricia Duryee at 12:19 PM

SAN FRANCISCO -- It's a long tradition at tradeshows that after an exhausting day roaming the conference floor, chatting with all the players and learning a ton that you go out and hit the nightlife afterwards.

Last night was no exception.

First on the agenda was to stop by the W Hotel, where Amdoc's two Seattle divisions, OpenMarket and Qpass, were throwing a party. The party was on a rooftop deck and people were lounging in big cabanas.

The second stop was at another locally inspired scene. It's becoming a tradition for Ontela, SinglePoint and Zenzui to throw a party, and it's a great chance to see all the wireless folks from the Northwest in one place.

I saw many other companies besides the sponsoring parties. I met the chairman of BlueFrog Mobile, who gave me a quick demo of its text TV application; and I met the executives at Travelling Wave, who are building a new type of voice recognition software for mobile.

Travelling Wave also treated me to a demo. It works like this: a person says a word and then starts typing it, and the system usually recognizes the word after one or two letters. It worked fairly flawlessly, especially given the loud, bumping music in the background. The one time it flubbed was when an exclamation point was recognized as a smiley face. :-)

I also met a handful of former Microsoft employees, VCs and others.

The last and final stop on the agenda was the party sponsored by Nokia and mSpot, which was far and away was the most popular.

The event at Ruby Skye featured hip-hop artist Ne-Yo. Long before he went on stage, a line wrapped around the block, and the word was the club, with a capacity of 900, was full, and the nearly 3,000 that RSVP'd would definitely not get in.

In case you missed it, here's what it was like inside:

From the balcony, you can see a DJ spinning before Ne-Yo took the stage.

IMG00055.jpg

Here you can see the crowd getting into Ne-Yo's performance.

IMG00063.jpg

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Tricia Duryee
Tricia Duryee
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