British computer society BCS technology finalists focus on the users

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British computer society BCS technology finalists focus on the users

John Kavanagh
Projects using IT in areas ranging from intelligent data analysis to helping elderly people live independently are among the finalists in the Technology section of the 2004 BCS IT Professional Awards, run in association with Computer Weekly.

Thirteen finalists and medal winners have emerged across the four categories in the Technology section.

Systems

BT Exact has four finalist projects. Its Fastnets technology gives smoother video streaming over mobile networks, avoiding start-up delays of up to 30 seconds and the affects of congestion, which can cause the picture to freeze.

BT Exact's iOpt Intelligent Optimisation Toolkit supports the development of e-business systems. Users can model and sort out problems affected by a large number of constraints. Modules are available for specific applications, including resource scheduling and network planning.

Kalido says users can adapt its Kalido datawarehouse package to any business model and use data from existing files and standard database software such as Oracle, SQL Server or DB2. Data is validated against the rules defined in the business model. Kalido can then be used to analyse business performance.

Plasmon Data's Ultra Density Optical has been endorsed by IBM and industry analysts as an emerging optical storage standard for archive data. Systems provide 30Gbytes of storage using a laser technology which provides higher density.

Applications

Hawk-Eye Innovations' Hawk-Eye Tennis System can show television viewers the path of a tennis ball during a rally within five seconds of the end of the rally. It does not interfere with play and uses data from TV cameras.

Oki Systems (UK) has developed the Oki Print Wizard to help office staff create and design documents. It provides step-by-step instructions, basic design advice and standard templates.

Royal Mail Group's Smartstamp service and software enable users to print their own postage on envelopes and labels from their PC.

Services

BT Exact has developed a data analysis system which can work from vague knowledge bases and user requirements.

Tesco.com has given its grocery home shopping delivery drivers rugged pocket PCs to replace paper documents showing details of customers and products ordered and supplied.

The Dorchester Hotel's In Room Technology Service aims to give travellers "the best in technology infrastructure and equipment" to provide entertainment and to enable them to work.

Turning Points has combined global positioning system technology, compressed audio data and the internet to provide local information in audio form for tourists and other users. Its Soundscape system determines a user's location and sends relevant information.

Social contribution

BT Exact and Liverpool Direct are working with Liverpool City Council to install monitoring and communication systems in elderly people's homes to enable them to live independently. Unobtrusive sensors monitor movement around the home and check whether a cooker has been left on, for example. If no movement is detected at a time when a person is usually active, the system can send a voice message and alert a neighbour or relative if there is no response.

Lincolnshire County Council and Ramesys have set up one of the world's biggest schools networks, integrating 17,000 PCs serving 110,000 users across 520 sites. Teachers and students can access information from school, home, libraries, youth clubs and hospitals. Teachers can share lesson plans and children can access teaching information and work together.

The finalists in the Business Achievement section of the awards were announced last week.

The finalists will present to a judging panel on 15 September and the winners will be announced on 19 October at the Park Lane Hilton in London.

www.bcs.org/awards/professional >>

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