The CITA Wireless conference took place in La Vegas last week and along with the world's biggest tech manufacturers, the event also attracted some of the smaller, lesser-known vendors.

Sometimes it's the smaller companies that offer the most interesting products, even if they never gain popularity with mainstream consumers.

For example, the big attraction from Kempler & Strauss's was the W PhoneWatch, a wearable GSM phone and wristwatch that is sold unlocked for $199 (£130) and includes a SIM card to be activated with service from a number of providers.

The W PhoneWatch includes a touchscreen interface, still and video cameras, an MP3 player and productivity applications that can be backed up on a 2GB micro SD card.

It includes Bluetooth connectivity for use with in-car and in-ear devices.

Kristin Proctor, a spokeswoman for Kempler & Strauss demonstrated the ability to type and send a text message, although the device has no web connectivity. LG also offers a wristwatch phone.

The W PhoneWatch became available in the US in February, and sales have hit 4,000 via the Kempler & Strauss website; the company considers that figure to be encouraging.

Kempler & Strauss was expecting to show off a Billionaire-7 smartphone, which is based on Windows Phone 7 Series, but the prototype was not ready to demonstrate, Proctor said.

She described it as having a touchscreen and full physical keyboard.

Elsewhere, Connectify showed off software that's designed to turn a Windows 7 laptop into a Wi-Fi hotspot, which a user's friends or co-workers in the vicinity can use to connect to the internet.

Connectify CEO Alexander Gizis said in an interview that he is considering offering a $10 (£6.55) enterprise version of the software, which has already been downloaded by 300,000 users.

"Why buy a separate Wi-Fi router when you can turn your laptop into one?" Gizis asked.

Gizis joined several other entrepreneurs, mostly from smaller companies, who demonstrated their wares at the Wireless Innovators Dinner, which was timed in conjunction with CTIA but is sponsored by MobileTrax, an industry research firm headed by well-known analyst Gerry Purdy.

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  1. CITA's most innovative gadgets
  2. Even more wireless gadgets

The CITA Wireless conference in Las Vegas last week has a number of innovative wireless gadgets on display. Here's our pick of the best.

Also at the Innovators event, executives from a Finnish start-up named Aava Mobile described their reference design for a fully open mobile device that can be customised by manufacturers and wireless carriers.

It's based on Intel's forthcoming Moorestown chip, which is part of the Atom lineup and is expected to be released in May, said CEO Markus Appel.

He said it will run either Android or MeeGo. Aava first described the concept in February at the Mobile World Congress.

At the Innovators event, Apple showed how the design could be used to support other conceptual products.

He showed an artist's rendering of a smartphone attached to a device that would project a virtual keyboard via a laser onto a tabletop, as well as a drawing of a smartphone attached directly to a projector to display the phone's content on a screen.

Also, a company called Toktumi demonstrated Line2, an iPhone app that allows a second line on an iPhone that functions as a voice-over-IP connection when the device is used in Wi-Fi zone.

Line2 can also turn an iPod Touch into a VoIP phone, said Peter Sisson, founder and CEO of Toktumi.

Sisson gushed with enthusiasm when describing how the application won praise from New York Times reviewer David Pogue.
Pogue noted that the VoIP calls won't give carriers any revenues, meaning "it can ruin the sleep of mobile phone executives everywhere".

Line2 service costs $15 (£9.83) a month after a 30-day free trial.

Another unusual new product shown at CTIA, the Zero Charger, came from a big company, AT&T, in conjunction with Superior Communications.

The Zero Charger plugs into wall outlets like other chargers but, unlike other chargers, it senses when a mobile phone isn't plugged into it and stops drawing power from the wall.

Most chargers are guilty of what's known as 'vampire draw', meaning they keep drawing - and wasting - power even if the device to be charged isn't plugged in.

The Zero Charger will be available in the US in May at AT&T. Pricing or UK availability has not been announced, but the charger will cost about the same as existing replacement chargers, AT&T said.

It's USB compatible and will work with many mobile devices, helping reduce the need for a variety of chargers for different devices.

  1. We look at the most innovative products on display at this year's CITA event
  2. Even more wireless gadgets

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