DemoFall preview: Cool stuff for end users

Many products being introduced at DemoFall are designed for IT execs to roll out across the company, but there are also several cool, new products that IT pros will want to buy for themselves.


DemoFall Preview: Eleven IT products to watch


THE OFFICE

Product: NextPage v.2 NextPage Available now, $99 per user, per year.

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Details: Tracking the location and status of Office-based documents is like herding cats - until now. NextPage v.2 is software and a service that tracks the location and status of every user's Word, Excel or PowerPoint file. Whenever a document is opened, revised, changed or e-mailed, the information is tracked by NextPage and then compiled in a dashboard view for the end user. Having the 50,000-foot view of the status of all of a user's Office documents can save loads of time. Users can make sure that they are working on the latest version, or track the changes of a document that gets sent to multiple parties. Preventing a user from wasting time working on an old version of a document should be well worth the service fees.

NEW(S) RADIO

Product: SoundBridge Wi-Fi Music System Roku Available worldwide at end of October, $399.

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Roku SoundBridge

Details: Roku's SoundBridge products have always defined cool in design and function, and this one is no different. The Wi-Fi Music System takes the world of digital networked music to the next step by combining a networked audio player (ability to listen to MP3s across a home network), Internet radio player and AM/FM clock radio (with alarm!) with built-in quality speakers into one sleek device. With this device, you'll be able to wake up to any radio station from around the world.

The all-in-one music system can automatically connect to a wireless home network (the device has an 802.11b radio but will connect to 802.11g networks) and play music stored on networked PCs in other parts of the house. In addition, the network connection lets users listen to Internet radio stations from around the world.

There's no Ethernet port or USB port, but users on the home network will be able to configure the device through a Web browser to add additional Internet radio stations or connect to a secure wireless network.

WORLD NEWS TONIGHT (MOBILE EDITION)

Product: ComVu Mobile ComVu Coming soon to a cell phone near you. Service about $10 to $100 per month.

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Details: ComVu Mobile will let consumers create live videostreams that get automatically uploaded to a ComVu streaming media server. Other people can then watch the videostream live or on demand because ComVu will be able to archive any videos users create. The service initially will be targeted towards consumers as an easy way for them to record events and instantly upload videos to people who aren't there, so they can witness the experience. Imagine having your grandmother see a video of the new baby without having to send her a tape (or DVD) days or weeks later.

CAR 54, WHERE ARE YOU?

Product: Anywhere Server Destinator Technologies Coming soon to a carrier near you.

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Details: Personal navigation systems (GPS devices or in-car navigation products) are static - the device might be able to calculate a trip from your office to your client's office, but when the traffic ahead gets bad, you don't find out about it until it's too late. What if your device could tell you that traffic was bad and immediately reroute you, while you were moving?

Destinator's Anywhere Server aims to do that. The server (which will be targeted to carriers looking to provide location-based services) knows the location of the end user (based on GPS) and then grabs information dynamically from several Web sources to provide that information back to the user on the fly.

AMERICA'S FUNNIEST HOME VIDEOS

Product: VideoEgg Publisher VideoEgg At the show.

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Details: For a lot of video bloggers and others trying to do Webcasts or other video-on-the-net projects, the process of capturing, editing, encoding, uploading and streaming is extremely tedious. The VideoEgg Publisher aims to make this process much easier for end users.

The package is aimed to let existing Web sites add powerful video functionality with minimal effort and cost. A plug-in accepts video directly from camcorders, Webcams and even video camera phones in an easy, drag-and-drop fashion. Basic editing tools will be provided to let end users pick a start and stop time, as well as do some basic cuts in the middle of a video.

SPECIAL DELIVERY

Product: EasyReach Remote Access EasyReach Coming soon, for about $80 per year for one user/PC, or $100 per year for two.

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EasyReach Remote Access

Details: BlackBerry and other handheld mobile devices are great for getting e-mail pushed from a corporate network down to the user, but pulling data from other sources (on a network file sources, or an end user's PC) can be more difficult.

EasyReach plans to launch a service that turns the handheld device into a mini PC, by letting users conduct keyword searches to securely retrieve files or e-mails from a desktop PC or file server, and then deliver them back to the handheld device. After a user types in the keyword, the service finds the file, and then sends the search results back via an e-mail. Users can then request one or more files to be sent back to the device.

Shaw can be reached at kshaw@nww.com.

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