Tuesday started with companies that had demoed before, but that had improved or different products to show.
First, Anysoft demonstrated their Digital Cortex that enables front-end application integration without requiring access to the underlying application code and database. They are able to interchange data with running programs by working directly with the applications' UIs. In their development environment, you can look at the UIs of most any application and they will figure out where there are input fields, text boxes, drop downs, etc., and then you can hook up to that.
Epicentric then showed their Foundation Builder. It enables quick creation and customization of applications for access within their portal system.
Next was Full Audio. They produce a private-label on-demand music system (the legal follow-ons to Napster sort of) that is licensed by major-market radio stations.
The final company in this segment was UpShot showing their Marketing product that helps track lead flow in sales.
The next segment was "Building the Wireless Infrastructure".
The first company was ArrayComm. They announced iBurst, a high-speed (1Mb per node, 40Mb per cell site) Internet (IP-based) access system. It uses phase array antennas to direct cell-type signals directly to each receiver, improving spectrum utilization and lowering power requirements. Phase array antennas can be aimed electronically and instantly, so they can track multiple devices at once with similar signals that don't interfere. They demoed by showing, on video, someone by the pool downloading stuff real fast, then they followed him walking back to the ballroom while a slower dial-up completed the same thing. Here he is walking through the hotel lobby:
The next company was Space Data. They are doing something quite cool: Bringing wireless communications services (cell phone, paging, telemetry) to remote and rural areas currently without service by using repeaters carried by weather balloons at 100,000 feet. They piggyback on the National Weather Service weather balloons that have been sent aloft twice daily for 60 years. In return for sharing the balloons, Space Data lets the Weather Service use the GPS data transmitted back to help track the balloons. Each balloon is able to serve an area of 350 miles in diameter. Only 70 simple base stations are needed to serve the entire USA. Here are maps and a sample balloon with a simple repeater being released:
What struck me about Space Data was the simplicity tied with value. If you want to track trucks or cows (they've had requests from ranchers), all you need on the thing being tracked is a simple multichannel telemetry transmitter the size of a credit card, perhaps with another tiny card with GPS electronics. Because the balloons carry their own GPS units, they tell the ground stations with simple antennas where they are so you don't need sophisticated triangularization to do tracking and to determine when to launch another. The balloon repeater electronics, parachutes, etc., cost just $300 each, and are reusable when recovered. These are for low volume transmission in rural areas, but as any cell phone user knows, when you leave a major highway in most non-urban (and even some urban) areas, there are holes everywhere that we need filled to really make communications ubiquitous and dependable. They compete with companies like New Iridium.
After the Wireless Infrastructure segment, we heard from the "Working Together" segment.
The first company was Reality Fusion with their TeamView videoconferencing service. Using off-the-shelf PCs and video cameras, and costing in the same range as today's audio conference call services, they built their system assuming normal IP connections (no special quality of service) and normal PCs that can run innovative software that adds chat on the side, slide presentations, and other collaboration features. Their demo had a Star Trek theme: The Starship Enterprise was grounded for budget reasons, so they had to use this new conferencing system. After all, it does bring new capabilities to the enterprise...
Next, Sonexis showed their on-demand audio conferencing appliance. In a company, you just plug this 1U-size thing into a telephone T1 line and your LAN, and you get up to 96 telephone or 120 IP connections of audio conferencing, with screen-based control. No need to spend on an outside voice conferencing service. It pays for itself (starts at $25,000) very quickly if you use a lot of conferencing.
Emeris Technologies showed their new Annotis Mail product for annotating email with markup. The marked up mail goes on as HTML mail if it wasn't already.
Finally, Virtual Ink Corporation showed their new mimio Xi portable whiteboard recording system. Unlike their previous products, you don't need to be connected to a computer when using the device. You just unfold it, stick it on a whiteboard with suction cups, and use regular pens in their special holders. When done, you take the unit over to a PC, and transfer the whole recorded session over USB or whatever. You can also use it "live" connected to a PC and a projector with a "blank" pen:
The final segment of the morning was "The Web Made Local".
Next was Mobular Technologies with their Mobular Engines Builder ASP. This lets you construct compressed, self-extracting databases that can be constructed from structured (e.g., database) or unstructured (e.g., PDF) data. Users then download them from email or web pages and browse mainly off-line. This lets you send a pretty high quality catalog, complete with a search engine with data-driven results, in a small amount of memory and keep the load on servers down yet still have great responsiveness for readers. It's sort of like a combination of Flash, PDF, and a database. It's amusing, somebody said, that one of their clients for email marketing is Hormel, the makers of Spam (the meat)...
The last presenter of the morning was Netli, Inc. They run an overlay network and special software so that network delays from your data center through their access points travel with much lower propagation delays. They showed how much faster web sites connected through their system loaded from far away. For example, eBay is very fast to display a page near its servers in California, but takes 2 seconds in New York, and longer in Europe. (No pictures.)
That's it for the morning.