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Military Embedded Systems

VITA’s Embedded Tech Trends a good start

John McHale Editorial Director

VITA's first Embedded Tech Trends (ETT) conference held last month in Cocoa Beach, Fla., -- the 2012 version of the old Bus & Board conference -- was a good start to recreating the positive networking environment that made Bus & Board (B & B) a must attend for those in the board industry.

The 2012 ETT was built around media meetings just as B & B was, but this year it had a more laid back, informal atmosphere for editors to meet with key companies than its previous incarnation. Of course this could be due to the fact there were fewer sponsors requesting meetings.

However, I also attribute the collegial atmosphere to companies wanting to actually network and discuss market trends and publication directions rather than just pushing their latest press releases or product announcements. They can accomplish that over email. Face to face meetings should have a little more depth as opposed to media speed dating, with reporters going from one company to the next every 15 minutes.

The conference content was steady, with updates on various VITA initiatives such as small form factors and optical computing. One complaint I heard was that the conference seemed heavily tilted toward the defense market, with not as much emphasis on medical, transportation or industrial markets.

One way to address that at the next ETT would be to get focused market presentations from system integrators in the defense, medical, and industrial fields. Essentially get the integrators to tell the audience what they challenges they're facing that can be solved by a standards body such as VITA.

Another way would be for ETT to re-engage with the standards body to broaden the reach of the conference, as many of the sponsoring companies also produce and other PICMG standard products.

Overall, Jerry Gipper, marketing director of VITA and host of ETT 2012, did an excellent job of putting a fresh look on the old B & B model and has a bit of momentum going into next year's event, which will be held during January, 2013 on the Queen Mary in the Grand Ballroom. The Queen Mary is anchored in Long Beach, Calif.

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