Demo Products Aim to Empower Individuals

The Demo conference opens with products that emphasize the user's power to choose, both at work and play.

PALM DESERT, Calif.—The Demo conference kicked off today with products ranging from inkless printing technology to a thin-client computing solution that delivers a rich desktop experience. The theme: the empowered individual.

"The theme of empowerment is about the power of individuals to select and use products, the power to move markets, the power of new expectations—that new capabilities and new products are possible," said Chris Shipley, producer of the Demo conference.

Shipley said products that empower the individual are not limited to consumer products. Plenty of enterprise products that will debut here will also compete to change the way users work with technology today, she said.

"Empowered individuals influence which business applications to adopt. Theyre purchasing their business applications for themselves; theyre selecting their own laptops and personal storage; their personal preferences drive buying decisions," Shipley said.

Over the next two days, 68 companies will take the stage for six minutes to vie to become the next Palm or TiVo, which are two companies that debuted products at Demo and went on to become household names.

The first session of the conference featured 15 products that Shipley said prove that innovation is not only confined to Web 2.0, but exists in everything from development tools to enterprise hardware.


Adobe Systems demonstrated Apollo, its Rich Internet Application platform that allows developers to use HTML, Java, AJAX, Flash and Flex to build Internet applications to the desktop. Apollo is a cross-operating system runtime.

An audience favorite was Zink Imaging, which launched its ZINK (Zero Ink) Digital Imaging Technology, or inkless printing. Zink paper technology has millions of dye crystals on it and is used in conjunction with a Zink printer—which applies heat pulses to melt the crystals in the paper.

While demonstrators used a stand-alone, iPod-sized printer in their demonstration, they also previewed a Zink printer embedded into a seven-megapixel camera.

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Wyse debuted the Wyse N10, a thin-client solution—made up of the Wyse Thin operating system and a new multicore system-on-a-chip. The Wyse N10 is able to deliver a full desktop client experience without the constraints normally associated with thin-client computing.

In the demonstration, Wyse showed Office 2007 running natively on the Wyse N10, and ran multimedia and VOIP (voice over IP) applications on the thin client.

Despite some technological difficulties at the beginning of its presentation, Total Immersion charmed the audience with DFusion, which is software that can be used to integrated interactive3D graphics into live video. The software operates on PC devices and is compatible with HD.

Senior Writer Anne Chen can be reached at

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