At the DemoMobile 2004 conference in San Diego about 40 suppliers had six minutes each to demonstrate their wireless technology invention to the crowd.
Other products, although amazing in description, do not translate very well on the live screen and in such a tight time constraint. Some demonstrations, however, entirely captivate the audience and leave in their wake an audible buzz of excitement.
Motion controlled technology
Measured in decibels, the biggest buzz at the show was created by a Finnish company called F-Origin, which showed the first public glimpse of a motion control technology that lets users browse the web or documents by just tilting a handheld device.
Based on sensor technology, F-Origin's Iris works like an electronic mirror. Although it is on a small screen, the text of web pages or documents appears as it would in a regular sized browser, so it is easy to read. In addition, the content does not need to be repurposed for the small screen.
Users can rotate the device 90,180, or 270 degrees with corresponding orientation change on the screen. F-Origin is in talks to sell the platform-independent hardware and software component technology to smartphone and PDA manufacturers.
The company sees the ability to let business users easily read e-mail attachments as an early application, said J P Metsavainio, chairman of F-Origin.
Another company that made waves at the show was EverNote, which showed off its note management software for collecting, finding, organising, and managing handwritten ink notes, web pages, e-mails, images, text, and templates.
EverNote 1.0 looks like a continuous virtual scroll of data and notes with a time band running along the side for easy date-ordered recollection. Users can wirelessly synchronise data over the internet between devices such as PCs, smartphones, and PDAs.
EverNote can recognise and search through handwritten notes in several languages and display both text and ink versions, according to company officials.
The software can be used on a devices running Windows 2000, XP, and XP Tablet Edition; Palm OS 4 and higher; and Windows Mobile. EverNote can take input from a variety of devices such as Tablet PCs, smart phones, PCs, electronic pens, PDAs, cameras, and scanners. The software enters public beta in October.
Solar powered router/server
DropZone Networks used DemoMobile to unveil its IntelliEdge Platform that combines a multiprotocol wireless router and an application server in one package that can run on solar power.
The goal is to create an outdoor wireless broadband network system that can be used by service providers, municipalities, and enterprises, according to David Spector, founder and chief technical officer.
Because IntelliEdge doesn't rely on AC power and allows broadband wireless applications at the edge of the network, where the users are, it can overcome latency and multi-hop signal issues that have troubled earlier wireless outdoor networks.
The demonstration showed the platform running a mobile MP3 download and a VoIP call simultaneously while unplugged from any power source. IntelliEdge supports 802.11a, b, g, and WiMax.
Cathleen Moore writes for Inforworld