Von Wrap

I’m feeling compelled to say something in the way of a summary about last week’s VON show.

About the only thing that I could spot in the way of a trend was the increasing number of infrastructure technologies and support services on offer. That led to the observation on Tuesday by Shoretel’s Ed Basart, “I don’t see too many customers around here.”

In other words, VoIP is now just…the phone company. And all the folks who know how to deliver everything from voice fidelity to trouble shooting to truck rolls are now pitching their wares in a big way to VoIP providers.

Essential, but not exciting if what you’re looking for is new gadgets and gizmos.

But that’s not to say there weren’t some new developments. One of the other trends that you could see at VON is the move to special purpose devices that offer voice as just one more application in addition to video, music or mobile data entry.

Norwegian Trolltech is riding the mobility wave with its open source Qtopia application platform for embedded Linux devices. Currently the biggest sellers using the company’s software are five models of Skype phones.

While there were many vendors promoting Asterisk front-ends and Asterisk-in-a-box products, European Swyx was promoting its own proprietary software PBX. The SIP-based system runs on a Windows server and the big advantage that Swyx claims over Asterisk is the simplicity of its Web-based, menu-driven management console.

The big buzz for the past two years now at VON has been that other ‘v’ — video. Last week there were certainly some interesting new offerings at the video pavilion of the show, some of them brand new at VON.

UK-based Vividas and Vancouver, B.C.’s Clipstream were both showing playerless video streaming will interest anyone who has wrestled trying download the right player for a video clip and finally just giving up in frustration. The Clipstream player is encoded with the video so all you do is click and play. Some major content publishers have licensed the software, according to he company, so you should start seeing it soon.

Another newborn company at VON was NYC-based Magnify.net, the latest invention of documentary director Steve Rosenbaum. Magnify makes it easy and automatic for bloggers — that would be you and me — well, and anyone with a website to discover and add video to sites.