Monday, August 30, 2010

Three "Special Events" in Silicon Valley this week... and not an Apple in the bunch.

While the Apple acolytes flock to the Yerba Buena Center in San Francisco for another "Special Event" this coming Wednesday, Silicon Valley (which does not include San Francisco.. sorry) is the place to be for anyone interested in more than what the next iPod will look like.

Tuesday, August - 31: Samsung
On Tuesday, Samsung is hosting a Free the TV Developer Day at the Fairmont Hotel in downtown San Jose. Internet-connectable TVs were one of the big themes coming out of the Consumer Electronics Show this past January, and now Samsung is extending the app store concept from smartphones to the living room.

The lineup of guest speakers is especially interesting, including none other than the non-mock turtleneck wearing founder from Apple.. Steve Wozniak. Yes, the day before Apple's expected presentation of a reboot for the less than successful Apple TV, "the Woz" joins this lineup at "Free the TV":
  • Boo-Keun Yoon, President & General Manager, Visual Display Business Unit, Samsung Electronics Co., LTD
  • Tim Baxter, President, Consumer Business Division, Samsung Electronics America
  • Tim Westergren, Founder & Chief Strategy Officer, Pandora
  • Chuck Pagano, Executive Vice President – Technology, ESPN
  • Steve Wozniak, Chief Scientist, Fusion-io

Wednesday September -  1: Global Foundries
On Wednesday, Global Foundries will host their first Technology Conference at the Santa Clara Convention Center.  Global Foundries has become a key player in the mobile wireless ecosystem with their participation in the Common Platform semiconductor manufacturing alliance along with Samsung and IBM.  Other mobile chip companies participating in the Common Platform include ARM and Qualcomm.

Wednesday/Thursday September - 1/2: Set Top Box Conference 2010

As if the Woz's appearance at Samsung's event wasn't enough to overshadow the Apple event on September 1, the Set Top Box Conference 2010 opens at the Holiday Inn on N. First Street in San Jose on the same day. STB sponsors include a broad spectrum of logos across the connected-TV ecosystem; from semiconductor companies to networking equipment, traditional media companies to internet brands, and a new wave of contenders for the consumer's TV consumption device.

Don't think that Cupertino folks weren't cognizant of the STB 2010 schedule when they chose the date for their event. At the very same time as Steve Jobs is scheduled to take the stage, here's what will be on the agenda just 50 miles south:
10:00 - 11:00

Executive Panel Discussion:
TV in the Internet Era: The Intersection of Broadband and Broadcast

Panelist: Marty Roberts, Vice President of Sales and Marketing - thePlatform
Panelist: Vern Smith, SVP Business Development and GM of ViP-TV - EchoStar
Panelist: Larry Yang, Lead Platform Project Manager Google TV - Google
Panelist: Vivek Khemka, Vice President for Customer Technology - DISH Network
Panelist: Mark Barao - Ernst & Young
Also, in a session later on that day, interactive TV company itaas will present on "GoogleTV: Changing TV As We Know It".

It's looking like quite a busy week leading up to the Labor Day holiday. There's no doubt that whatever Apple announces (in their highly controlled & orchestrated forum) will be live-tweeted & blogged ad nauseam, so I'll be looking forward to really connecting with the companies driving next generation digital media technology... right here in Silicon Valley.

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