Cool stuff at DEMO 2001

By Linda Musthaler, Network World |  Hardware

Are you the kind of person who likes to stay up on the latest and greatest technology innovations, but just can’t devote enough time to scouting what’s out there? If so, don’t fear, because Chris Shipley and Jim Forbes are on the watch for you. Chris and Jim are the lead producers of an annual technology show called DEMO.

Phoenix was the location of DEMO 2001, held in mid-February. As they do each year, Chris and Jim scoured the universe (well, at least 1,000 companies) to find 75 companies that offer exciting innovations in IT. These companies showed their wares at DEMO 2001. A quick look at some of them tells us a bit about our IT future.

* Educating buyers

If you are looking for a way to develop a more-educated customer base, Powered. may have a tool for you. The Austin, Texas, company demonstrated its Virtual Briefing Center (VBC) at DEMO 2001. Powered coined the phrase " eduCommerce " to describe VBC -- a sales and marketing tool designed to educate corporate buyers so they can make informed purchasing decisions. If you want to see an example of VBC in action on the Web, visit Barnes and Noble University (http://www.barnesandnobleuniversity.com). This site educates people about various topics, such as literature and languages, and then offers to sell appropriate books in that category. First the education, then the commerce. Think what this could do for your Web site.

* P2P security

Many analysts would agree that we are on the threshold of an explosion in peer-to-peer computing via the Internet. Forget the bad publicity peer to peer has gotten in the Napster battle; peer to peer has many legitimate business uses, and it’s going to be a hot technology. But, security and accountability are real concerns. ECertain has developed technology that enables point-to-point data transmissions while guaranteeing the identity of senders and receivers, what information was sent and when, who received it, and when it was received. The Austin, Texas, company says its Digital Certainty product offers four key elements: accountability, identity, integrity and confidentiality. You’ll need them all if your company jumps on the peer-to-peer bandwagon.

*PDA productivity

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