Be a superhero in online comic strip

iAwards recognize local innovation

Social network computing is sweeping across the globe at a wholesale rate but could an Australian company create the next MySpace, YouTube or iPod?

Exciting new Australian technological innovations including a free Web site that helps users create and share cartoons in a few simple clicks, a wireless device that delivers video, audio or data in seconds, and a travel booking system that takes the headache out of organising holidays are just three of the finalists chosen for the 2007 iAwards.

Presented by the Australian Information Industry Association (AIIA) and the CSIRO ICT Centre, the iAwards recognize ICT innovations on an annual basis.

Finalists have been selected in 14 categories, celebrating the 'latest and greatest' Australian-developed ICT products and services that may make an impact on a wide range of industries.

"Technology companies are clearly at the forefront of technical innovation, as the high quality of this year's finalists once again proves," according to AIIA's CEO, Sheryle Moon.

"Australia's ICT industry holds the key to solving many of our nation's challenges - such as water and energy management, health and an ageing population."

In the R&D category, the NICTA Gigabit Wireless Project has been chosen as a finalist for a technology that will allow people to wirelessly stream a DVD-sized video from a PC to an iPod within 30 seconds.

Project leader, Dr Stan Skafidas, said the nomination recognizes NICTA's 60GHz Project team and the support it receives from IBM, Anritsu, Agilent Technologies, Synopsys, Cadence, Ansoft and Suss microTech., finalist in the media and entertainment category, is a Web site that enables anyone to freely create a comic strip from their own photo images and then share that creation with the world.

Australian online travel service Webjet is a stroke of luck for customers and travel agents making complex travel arrangements.

Instead of juggling flight, car hire, hotel accommodation and travel insurance information from multiple sources, Webjet's site collects all the information into one easy-to-read display, and all products can be purchased in a single credit card transaction.

Finalists will now proceed to the second round of judging which will be held in Sydney on May 17, 2007.

A judging panel of 40 high-profile representatives from the Australian media, academia, government and the ICT industry will choose the winners on May 30, 2007.

In the applications and infrastructure tools category finalists include The Distillery, QSR International and Synetek Systems.

For communications applications, finalists include Open Kernal Labs, iVolve and Polaris Communications.

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