Bob Metcalfe's report from DEMO

www.infoworld.com |  Business

The first thing to report from DEMO in Indian Wells, Calif. is that, while a lot of
other people are going to regret it later, technology companies are enjoying the
Internet stock bubble now. Let the good times roll.

There were 80 well-funded companies at the resort conference demonstrating hot new
products to a thousand industry enthusiasts -- see www.demo.com. And there were
extravagant parties with Shawn Colvin (ask your children) and The Spinnners (ask your
parents).

Not to be systematic or anything, but three new products stood out for me. They
were: the StoryBox Connected Digital Frame, the Third Voice distributed portal, and the
Intellon Integrated PowerLine Network Controller.

The StoryBox ( target="_new">www.weaveinnovations.com) is
an Internet appliance that begins looking like a picture frame on your desk. It
dynamically displays your photo albums. Next thing you know, it's sending them to
grandma. After that, well, your Internet stocks portfolio.

Third Voice (www.thirdvoice.com) is
among several
companies introducing variations of a powerful new idea for the World Wide Web. They
call their browser plug-in and service a distributed portal -- I suggested "distal" for
short. View a page anywhere on the Web and Third Voice makes its every word active with
associations and displays related information in an adjacent window. You can comment on
the pages, see comments of other viewers, and get Web search results starting from
anywhere in the page. Then there are the targeted advertisements underlying Third
Voice's business model.

Intellon (www.intellon.com) is an old
company (1985)
taking another shot at the LAN industry's Holy Grail. The company has developed very
clever chips and is working with PC, appliance, and networking partners to get the
Internet delivered to every room in your house at Ethernet speeds through its power
wiring. In a few years, if all goes well this time, when you plug some appliance into a
power receptacle anywhere in your house, you simultaneously will be plugging it into
the always-on Internet. Or, as Intellon puts it, no new wires.

Now, I know it will take a few years, but what I want from these DEMO debutantes is
convergence -- all three in one hot new product. I want my Web content in Third Voice
context on StoryBox frames plugged into Intellon's powerline Internet.

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