Tapping CES for Enterprise Tips

While the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas spotlights what the masses will be wanting next, it also offers a wealth of insight for IT managers and users in the enterprise.

We know that the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas is all about the latest, coolest technology to be consumed by the masses, but that doesnt mean managers and users of IT cant find a way to use it at work—for efficiencys sake—to help the old "bottom line."

We are talking about all of the amazing gadgets and products that will impact the management of remote devices, wireless networking standards, laptops, desktops, embedded devices, biometric systems, competing operating systems—everything and anything that has the ability to affect infrastructure, including the impact on SMBs (small to midsized businesses).

So, with our business-to-business hats on (and a spouse-approved blackjack budget), heres what you and your CIO can take away from this show.

Who knows? Maybe youll be able to add new line items to the "miscellaneous" category of your 2005 budget.

While floods of attendees will be going gaga over the newest iteration of the "digital living room," be sure to watch for changes and developments in the Internet itself with IPv6, digital rights management and broadband. Convergence is upon us. Are you ready to unify and handle it all together?

Microsoft Corp. is sponsoring a number of panels in these areas.

Speaking of Microsoft, Bill Gates, its chairman and chief software architect, will deliver the shows main keynote address at 6:30 p.m. PST Wednesday.

We will have full coverage of this and all of the shows keynotes from technology leaders, including Michael Powell, chairman of the FCC (Federal Communications Commission); Craig Barrett, CEO of Intel Corp.; and Carly Fiorina, CEO of Hewlett-Packard Co., all week here at eWEEK.com.

When it comes to advances in security, biometric systems are the hot products at CES. Seoul, South Korea-based Digent Co. Ltd. has developed Fingerex-SD, an e-mail security solution that is integrated with MS Office Outlook by registering user fingerprints in the SD server. Users can open and view e-mail messages as long as they have a fingerprint reader.

For facial-recognition technology, Alestron Inc. of San Jose, Calif., will be showing Face Metrix, a biometric solution able to recognize identity by using generic video devices. It captures faces via video camera, extracts facial elements, compares them against those in a database and finds a match in less than a second.

On the VOIP (voice over IP) front, this fast-growing communication technology is looking like it will have a major impact at this years show. End-user devices allowing VOIP to work in new ways—as in wireless and broadband VOIP—will be announced at CES.

Wireless networking is expected to receive a security boost from a number of vendors, and a new technology called MIMO (multiple input multiple output) that uses multipath propagation to increase data throughput.

Tired of all of the wires in your office and around your PC? Well, so is Intel and its partners, who are applying a version of UWB (ultra-wideband) technology developed by the MBOA (MultiBand OFDM Alliance.) It will replace PC cables by transferring USB (Universal Serial Bus) and IEEE 1394 data over UWB wireless technology.

Securing Wi-Fi and eliminating PC cables arent the only places you can expect wireless networking to change the status quo. How about the company car?

Your sales and senior executive staff will be excited about the rumors over at PC Mag in Wi-Fi that may allow the transfer of media files, data and e-mail from home systems to car systems.

And dont forget about Linux. Archos Inc. will showcase its first "fourth generation" PVP (personal video player) at CES. The Pocket Media Assistant PMA400 is running embedded Linux and boasts wireless Internet access.

For complete coverage of this years CES, be sure to check out PC Mags Special Report "Inside CES 2005."


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