News Briefs

Intel’s new Centrino wireless technologyimproves mobility

Intel Corp. in March announced its latest technology designed to unwire the global workforce, and along with a slew of partners, bring wireless access to a wider scope. According to Intel, mobile dilemmas include low battery life, small screens, lack of performance and speed of mobile PCs, increased work for and small keyboards. Intel’s new Centrino mobile technology combines Intel’s Pentium M processor, the Intel 855 chipset family and the Intel PRO/Wireless 2100 802.11 Network Connection designed to enable extended battery life, thinner and lighter notebook designs and overall better mobile performance on any form factor from Tablet PCs to full-sized notebooks. The processor also includes a 400MHz system bus, a 1MB Layer 2 cache, which turns off parts of the high-speed memory when not needed, and provides support for Enhanced Intel SpeedStop technology. Bell Canada and Intel have opened a Mobile Experience Zone on the main floor of the Royal Bank Tower in Toronto to offer area customers a chance to try out the technology before they buy it. The Mobile Experience Zone will be available at no cost to the end of June. Centrino pricing begins at US$720.– Carly Suppa

Avaya equips remote workers with ‘head office’ tools

Already knee-deep in the Internet Protocol (IP) telephony and converged network world, Avaya Inc. announced in April that it has extended its capabilities to the branch office/remote worker to increase collaboration between connected and disconnected employees. The Avaya Enterprise Connect Solutions offer a set of services that provide remote workers with ‘headquarters-like’ features and functions including its MultiVantage IP telephony, contact centre, unified communications and messaging applications from a central location to any size office or home over a secure converged network. In conjunction with Minneapolis-based Multi-Tech, a remote-access and telephony product manufacturer, Avaya unveiled the IP telephony gateway designed for large companies with small, distributed offices. According to Multi-Tech, the offering brings an economical media gateway to small office users that eliminates the need to manage disparate, standalone key and private branch exchange (PBX) platforms. Multi-Tech’s MultiVOIP gateways extend Avaya’s MultiVantage software communications applications from a centrally managed system to small offices with up to ten people. – Carly Suppa

SMART improves visual display technology

According to Forrester Research, the new technology for touch-sensitive displays invented by Calgary-based SMART Technologies Inc. marks an important step forward for collaboration tools. DViT (Digital Vision Touch) technology, announced in March, lets end users control and annotate the contents of a presentation with nothing more than their fingers. DViT technology uses proprietary digital cameras and software to determine the contact of a finger, stylus, pointer or other object on a display. Cameras, situated in each corner of the display, communicate position information back to a digital signal processor that determines the exact point of contact. No special pens or tools are required to interact with the display, nor are special materials required on the touch screen. Unlike touch systems in which the technology resides in the surface material, all DViT technology resides in the frame around the display. This protects the technology from day-to-day contact, allowing products that use DViT technology to be extremely durable, according to SMART. By replacing analog resistive technology with DViT technology, SMART claims to have substantially improved the image quality with more brightness and better contrast. SMART notes the suggested retail prices for products remain unchanged in spite of the improved technology.

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