Mobile nannycam: A prototype Buick dashboard at Verizon’s Innovation Center displays streaming video from a mock living room, using LTE.
Verizon opened the testing and demonstration site last year. More than 300 employees work there with partners to develop new business models. In adjacent labs, engineers test new radio product concepts in rooms with walls that shield against stray wireless signals that could cause interference.
One business that’s already signed on is TouchTunes, a maker of interactive jukeboxes—one of which hangs on the wall at the Verizon Center. The company streams songs and video to 52,000 jukeboxes in bars and restaurants around the United States. A company spokeswoman, Liz Anklow, says an undisclosed percentage of these already use wired and wireless broadband, including both 3G and LTE, which makes it easier to sell and maintain the system in more places.
However, much of what’s on display in Waltham—save the car—could connect to available fiber connections or Wi-Fi networks, if available. But “most of this is based on the idea of ‘bring your own broadband’—everything is plug-and-play,” says Praveen Atreya, director of the center. In other words, the gadgets simply need power to operate and do not require the user to have preëxisting wired broadband service. “The vision is that there is going to be an LTE pipe providing a combination of infotainment, security services, surveillance, and home control that you can access from anywhere.”