RealTime IT News

Luxxon Offers NBA Championship Coverage Via iPAQs

Those with Compaq's iPAQ Pocket PCs can get a taste of the latest sports series sensation and the future of wireless broadband networking courtesy of Luxxon Corp.

The Los Angeles-based rich media solution provider has teamed with Compaq, ICEwrx and Macromedia to deliver coverage of the NBA showdown between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Philadelphia 76ers. The deal, good until the winner takes all, is part of a pilot program at the Staples Center where the Lakers host their home games. Compaq will provide the iPAQ's to a select group of people for this demo. Coverage includes game offerings in real-time and highlight clips.

Icewrx was charged with installing the wireless broadband network, based on the popular 802.11b standard, inside STAPLES Center to provide wireless capability for the iPAQs. Essentially, the whole scenario is a foreshadowing of technology that Luxxon President Roger Brooks said won't be widely available until a few years down the road.

Brooks told InternetNews.com that while the demonstrations will only work for those using iPAQs within the facility, that the wireless networking range will expand greatly over the next few years as the technology continues to evolve. Basically, the experiment provides Luxxon with the opportunity to demonstrate next generation applications over bandwidth that is not readily available from today's wireless networks, but that will be available in the near future.

For its part, Macromedia will lend its Flash technology to provide a clear graphical user interface (GUI) for users who lie on the non-technical side of the tracks. Fans can quickly find the information they want about the game, whether getting quick player statistics or finding their seats on interactive charts.

And for the duration of the NBA Finals, Luxxon will utilize its Mediator streaming media system, which enables wireless operators to provide audio and video streaming applications in multiple formats. This minimizes the operator's risk by not having to base their services strategy on one format.

"The trial at STAPLES Center enables us to show a live demonstration of the type of compelling applications that can be delivered to wireless users over location-based wireless networks as well as 2.5 and 3G networks," said Dave Singhal, chief executive officer at Luxxon, in a public statement. "Luxxon's products provide the wireless infrastructure needed to power the type of compelling applications that can be delivered over next generation high-speed wireless networks."

"Luxxon's transcoding technology provides the ability to adapt the bit rate, frame rate, resolution and format of the content in real time to ensure that the stream is perfectly tailored for the various wireless devices on the market as well as the various networks," Singhal added.

Though improved wireless technologies may not be ubiquitous for a few years as Brooks suggested, few people dispute that mobility-focused applications and the devices that run them are snowballing in popularity. According to Dataquest Inc., a unit of Gartner Inc., there will be 137 million wireless data users in North America by 2005. Granted, most of these users will use mobile applications within their particular fields of work as opposed to using the devices for entertainment such as sports, but wireless device and application use is enjoying proliferation nonetheless.

This growth will be driven by the rollout of packet data networks on a nationwide basis, increased overall usage of wireless devices to receive messages and e-mail, inexpensive wireless data devices, and company specific applications, which improve the productivity of the mobile worker, the Yankee Group said.