From the handheld heavyweights to the high-tech wannabies, this week's Demo 2001 in Phoenix will be ground zero for the introduction of consumer and corporate products, services, and solutions.
Redmond, Washington-based Microsoft Corp. will unveil its wireless e-mail management system, Outlook Mobile Manager, which can monitor, manage, and filter e-mails on Windows CE devices.
Applying user-defined business rules, the Mobile Manager is also able to select the appropriate device for its messages, including pagers, cell phones, handhelds, or desktop computers, or any combination of user-selected devices.
Santa Clara, Calif.-based Palm Inc., calling its participation at Demo a "technology demo" will highlight its Bluetooth strategy for Palm devices, demonstrating its use of Bluetooth in its devices for collaboration, sharing of files, and Palm-to-Palm device communications.
Although not making its own technology introduction, Mountain View, Calif.-based Handspring Inc., a Palm licensee, will be on hand with two Springboard module manufacturers. Presenter-to-Go from Margi Systems allows users to make presentations from a Visor. Eyemodule2 from Ideo is a digital camera add-on with a thumbnail viewer that can even film so-called minimovies.
Personalized information will also be one of the many wireless service focuses in Phoenix. Oakland, Calif.-based HandsOn Network Inc. will allow users to create their own profiles by filling in resposnses to a preformatted form. Once complete, users scheduling a trip, a day of golf, or a restaurant reservation will receive back from a single query a plethora of customized information.
And the corporate side will be represented as well. If the Web is a place to do business, then products that improve the performance and appearance of Web sites should help make businesses more successful.
Cambridge, Massachusetts-based LingoMotors will announce a natural-langauge search engine for online stores and content sites. Called TurboSearch, the software uses natural-language queries that are understood by a search engine. The product is available immediately, and LingoMotors expects to go live with its first big e-commerce customer by the end of February.
Eyematic Interfaces will show a suite of software tools for creating "avatars" -- animated representations of users that mimic movements and facial expressions in real time with the help of a Web cam. Its eyePublish product is aimed at organizations that could use it to brighten up online customer service presentations. The product is also aimed at news and other content providers and at consumers for use in chat rooms or for creating animated clips for friends. It is due by early in the second quarter.
Whereas most products that boost Web performance use caching techniques, Campbell, Calif.-based RedlineNetworks takes a new approach with its content acceleration appliance, the T/X 2100 Series. Instead of caching, the appliance server uses algorithms and proprietary technology to remove unnecessary data packets and compress the size of remaining packets for faster delivery. Shipping is set for March.
FineGround Networks Inc., in Campbell, Calif., will ship FineGround Condenser, server software that aims to speed the delivery of dynamic Web content to users and reduce bandwidth costs. It achieves this by eliminating redundancy in downloads by storing a copy of a Web page in a network cache or in a user's browser and then delivering only incremental changes the next time that page is accessed.
Salesforce.com Inc. will announce the addition of online CRM (customer relationship management) capabilities to its hosted SFA (sales-force automation) product. These enhancements, due March 12, allow customer support and other information to be integrated with sales data, creating a more unified view of customer interactions.
Finally, one of the more unique hardware products at the show will be an electronic pen from Wellesley, Mass.-based Digital Ink. The pen uses ink and writes on any paper, but the cap and the barrel of the pen communicate through infrared with the cap capturing the key strokes as a graphical image. The pen stores up to 1MB of data and is connected via a serial cable to any cell phone. Captured data can be sent via e-mail or fax to any other Internet-enabled device.
James Niccolai is the San Francisco bureau chief for the IDG News Service, an InfoWorld affiliate.
Demo 2001 -- product and services launchpad* Peer-to-peer2Birdge Personal Server allows users to create their own portals.
Ecertain Digital Certainy offers low-cost, secure PC-to-PC file transfers.
United Devices MetaProcessor Platform distributed network out-performs massively parallel systems.
* Gadgets and goo-gaws
Digital Ink puts wireless technology inside a real pen.
Kodak combines video clips, music, and camera in a single device.
MainStreet Networks' Internet Web server attaches to home electric meter and gives Internet access.
* Wireless Technology
Action Engine e-sistant verifies batch processing of queries for mobile phones.
Dashbox servers manage and distribute personal info to any device via any electronic or paper channel.
HandsOn Network MC2 Platform becomes an electronic assistant that responds to a single request with multi-tiered information response.