The spotlight at this year's CommunicAsia will be on smartphones and everything they can do – except making phone calls.
The region's largest communications trade event, which begins its four-day run next Tuesday, is making a shift from mobile handsets to mobile applications, said the show's organizer, Singapore Exhibition Services (SES).
Mobile technology is increasingly expanding beyond voice communication, said SES senior project manager Agnes Leung, who added that this year's highlights include new conference tracks on mobile commerce, health care, and making secure e-payments – the next big thing in mobile apps.
As with previous years, mobile technology companies will form the bulk of the 1,200 exhibitors at this year's show – though notably absent are mobile handset bigwigs Samsung, Nokia and BlackBerry maker Research In Motion.
The companies will be discussing some of the industry's most anticipated next-generation technologies, including 4G and smart Wi-Fi networks, which allow users to switch automatically between Wi-Fi and cellular networks based on which provides a stronger signal.
The use of smart Wi-Fi, in particular, has become a hot topic in recent years as telcos explore new ways to cope with the surge in demand for smartphones and mobile data usage.
Smartphones make up 90 percent of all handsets sold here.
Among some of the new mobile apps expected to steal the show next week are those by local start-up Zensorium, which makes a heart-rate monitor for the iPhone, and France's TazTag, which will be launching the world's first tablet computer embedded with payment technology based on the Near Field Communications wireless standard.
CommunicAsia is part of a larger infocomm and technology trade show, Infocomm Media Business Exchange (IMBX), which includes BroadcastAsia, a trade show for the broadcast industry.
This year's projected visitorship is similar to last year's figures, said SES. IMBX is expected to host 53,000 visitors, of whom 60 percent will be from overseas.
Some 17,000 have already pre-registered for this year's show, with a reported purchasing budget of US$4 billion.
The 2,000 exhibitors at IMBX this year include Huawei, Canon, Sennheiser and Panasonic. CommunicAsia and BroadcastAsia will be held from June 19 to 22. CommunicAsia will be at Marina Bay Sands, and Broadcast Asia at Suntec Singapore.