At the 2012 International CTIA Wireless Conference in New Orleans, Black Enterprise presented its first-ever Best in Show Awards to nine device and software manufacturers, including companies like Samsung, Western Digital, and Novatel.
The winners were picked with the help of the Black Enterprise Tech Advisory Board, which includes Mario Armstrong, Ramon Ray, K.T. Bradford, Sherry L. Smith, Jeffrey L. Wilson, and Terrance Gaines. Winners had to be an exhibitor at the show or nominated for a CTIA Emerging Technology award.
Tell us in the comments below, and on our Facebook page, if you agree or disagree with our choices, and let us know who you think is the best in show among all of our choices. Congratulations to our winners!
Smartest Mobile Phone:
Samsung Galaxy S3
As smart phone manufacturers go, the men and women at Samsung must be geniuses because the Galaxy S series keeps getting better and better. The Galaxy S3 has so many great features it’s hard to say where to start. There’s the 4.8-inch HD Super AMOLED touchscreen display, and the multitask feature that lets you continue to watch a video while texting, but the S Beam has got to be the best feature in my book. It allows you to place two S3’s back-to-back and you can transfer pictures, music, videos and more.
Most Accessible Storage Device:
Western Digital Portable Drives
We chose Western Digital’s next generation My Passport portable hard drives, which range from 500 GB to 2 TB, not only because of their cool and groovy new colors (they are now available in five colors: white, black, silver, blue, and red), but also because the new My Passport drives offer WD SmartWare automatic backup software and WD Security for password protection and hardware encryption. Not to mention the peace of mind you have in knowing your data is safe even if your drive falls into the wrong hands.
Handiest Mobile Accessory:
The J5 Create JUC600 Android mirroring cable
In addition to file transfer and charging capabilities, the JUC600 lets you connect your mobile smartphone to your computer and control the phone from the computer. This means you can now send texts, as well as open apps like your calendar and contacts without having to use your tiny onscreen keypad. This display mirroring works on any phone with a MicroUSB 2.0 port. It’s compatible with Android devices of version 1.6 and above, and with PC’s loaded with Windows 7 and up. All the drivers are aboard the JUC600 itself, so there is no need to download any additional software. Just plug up your phone and get started.
Most Inventive Tablet/Reader **Editor’s Choice**
10-inch NoitAvonne Loop Talbet
The editor’s pick for CTIA’s Most Inventive Tablet/Reader is the 10-inch NoitAvonne’s Loop Tablet. Impressed doesn’t begin to describe what I felt about its multi-touch display and Loop Connectivity, which allows the tablet to connect and communicate with other devices on the fly. Loaded with the latest version of Honeycomb, this tablet–designed by a black-owned manufacturer–will give you most, if not all, the features found in more recognizable brands.
Most Innovative Networking Device:
Novatel Wireless MiFi 4620L
My, my, my. Who would have guessed that Wi-Fi would have come so far? Apparently Novatel did. Verizon’s MiFi 4620L is fast. We mean really fast. Now with 4G LTE and 3G mobile broadband speeds, it supports both GPS and Wi-Fi, enabling applications to access streaming GPS. But what puts this little ditty over the top is its interactive OLED display screen, which makes it easy to view battery life, signal strength and the number of connected devices, as well as read text messages from the carrier, view network details and access your password.
Trendiest Consumer Lifestyle Product:
QNX Car 2 Platform
We’re finally catching up with the Knight Rider. Aside from getting to sit in the QNX 911 Porche concept car while the QNX guys described its features and functionality, the highlights of the platform–from instant smartphone pairing and off-board navigation to handsfree calling with HD stereo–are innumerable. In fact, what does Audi, BMW, Hyundai, OnStar, and Toyota have in common? The award-winning QNX Car Platform is available in all of these cars. It can be found in the majority of cars with infotainment connectivity. The platform connects to a host of portable devices, and to the cloud to provide access to a wealth of Internet services. It allows you to customize the digital dashboard according to the driver’s preferences.
Most Dynamic Mobile App:
No cash, no problem. Whether you’re a street vendor hawking your wares in the middle of the urban jungle or the only friend with cash after a lunch date and you need to split a check, the free PayAnywhere device and app will let you turn your smartphone into a cash register. If you have an iPhone or iPad, you can link to a cash drawer and an AirPrint-enabled or Star thermal printer to transform PayAnywhere into a POS-lite interface. PayAnywhere adheres to the strictest standards of PCI compliance ensuring your customer’s data remains safe and secure. For the convenience, you’ll only pay 2.69% per swiped transaction or 3.49% + $0.19 per keyed transaction.
Most Accessible Storage/File Sharing App:
Look out thumb drive manufacturers. Box.com is looking to put you out of business. And for good reason. Why would anyone carry around dozens of little thumb/flash drives when they can save, backup, and edit up to 5 GB or more of their data on Box.com? But let’s face it, Box isn’t the only digital storage vendor out there. So, why did they win our award? The ability to leave comments, assign tasks, and receive alerts after a document has been edited is impressive. Box.com is the tool of choice for those who want to “work well with others.”
The Most Inventive Real World Technology:
Amber Alert GPS V3 connected by AT&T
When connected to your child’s clothing, or backpack, the Amber Alert GPS V3 reports an accurate location every five minutes to a secure, web-based tracking portal or the smartphone app. At less than two inches in size, the device comes with removable plates in a variety of colors and an SOS button so the child can alert parents if they have an emergency and need immediate help. It will also alert a parent when the car a child is in exceeds a predetermined speed.