Product News

Product News

by / July 31, 1998
Team Leader
During the criminal trial of O.J. Simpson much of the prosecution's evidence was dismissed because of contamination and poor documentation.

To keep that from being a problem, Pacific Northwest Laboratory researchers and Mnemonic Systems are working on an interactive unit, called Team Leader, that enables investigators to accurately capture, store and relay vast amounts of information at crime scenes and other field scenarios.

Team Leader consists of a small computer system that can be worn by the investigator. It combines the latest
geographical information systems with global positioning, multimedia computing and communication. It integrates sophisticated software with data-collection tools, including digital video and still cameras, a voice recorder, a barcode scanner and specialized sensors.

Investigators can track their routes and create a detailed map of the scene. Upon the discovery of evidence, investigators can pinpoint its geographical position with laser measurements and positional data, capture still and video images, and record detailed audio and text notes. The digitized evidence would be transferred immediately to an evidence custodian and assigned a barcode.

Team Leader reduces the number of people needed to assess and prepare a scene for processing, reducing the risk of inadvertent contamination from fingerprints, footprints, hair or fibers.

Team Leader also serves as a portable library, providing access to volumes of stored or online information, such as maps, facility floor plans, databases, reports, forms, investigation protocols and scientific, technical and legal reference materials.

The unit will be field tested by police departments in Baltimore, Miami (Metro-Dade) and Los Angeles.

For additional information, contact Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, P.O. Box 999, Richland, WA 99352. Call Dawn White at 509/375-3688.


InnoVisions, a joint effort between Wells Fargo and Mr. Payroll, will soon make it easier for casino gamblers to receive cash from automatic teller machines by simply showing their face.

The prototype, called the Quest machine, is designed to provide casino customers convenient access to cash and streamline cash management for the casinos.

Users simply enter their Social Security number, and they will be verified -- using TrueFace, a face-recognition software by Miros -- against a previously enrolled image.

For additional information, contact Miros, 572 Washington St., Suite 18, Wellesley, MA 02181. Call 781/235-0330.


Safeguarding Democracy
Unisys is providing Costa Rica with a voter-identification system that incorporates the company's BioWare fingerprint-imaging technology. The company's BioWare fingerprint-imaging system will help Costa Rica accurately verify the identities of two million voters and ensure the integrity of the election process.

All eligible voters are enrolled and issued a tamper-proof ID card on which his/her fingerprints and signature have been electronically captured. The fingerprint information resides as a barcode on their ID cards.

Each applicant's two-finger record is searched against the entire Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS) database. The search ensures that each voter's biometrics card is inserted only once.

The system integrates with Unisys PCs and servers, a fingerprint search-match subsystem by Identicator, a Datacard ID-card production subsystem, a Hewlett-Packard optical-image storage jukebox and document scanner, the Oracle relational database, Microsoft Windows, Symbol Technology PDF_417 2D barcode readers, Hitachi video cameras and PenWare signature pads.

For additional information, contact Unisys, P.O. Box 500, Blue Bell, PA 19424. Call Steve Holzman at 215/986-5098.


Take Your Best Shot
Early and timely immunization are the most effective ways to protect children and adults from diseases. Enterprise RMS, by Computer Data Systems, is an immunization registry program that provides accurate immunization histories and information on immunization-registry development and implementation.

The software provides comprehensive immunization evaluation and recommendations, automatic patient recall, secured access and much more.

The system is currently in use by the Hawaii Department of Health and the Connecticut Department of Public Health.

For additional information, contact Computer Data Systems, One Curie Court, Rockville, MD 20850. Call 301/548-2160. Fax: 301/548-2101.


Digital Nose
Cyrano Sciences has developed a portable electronic nose that can be used for a variety of odor-detecting applications. The electronic nose employs sensors and computer neural networks capable of creating a digital fingerprint of an odor.

The electronic nose is well suited for:

* Medical diagnosis -- to identify chemical components, wound types, skin conditions and bodily fluids;
* Hazardous-material work -- locating hazardous materials and odor sources;
* Food quality and process control -- to monitor taste, quality, freshness and contamination; and* Law enforcement --counterfeit detection and investigation.

For additional information, contact Cyrano Sciences, 73 North Vinedow Ave., Pasadena, CA 91107. Call 626/744-1700.


Mr. Bond ... Your Watch

Watch Camera is a miniature camera built into a functioning digital watch.

A miniature, high-resolution lens takes exceptional photographs, even closeups. A special film cartridge provides 15 exposures with 8mm negatives.

For additional information, contact Communication Control Systems, 9557 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills, Calif. 90212. Call 310/274-7700.


TV Editor
With federal "V-chip" enforcement starting in January 2000, the Parental Guide Company is developing PG-chip, which allows parents to select a rating and eliminate offensive material without eliminating an entire program; by contrast, the V-chip eliminates the entire program.

PG-chip reads rating information encoded into the broadcast signal and edits the undesired audio and video portion, allowing unaltered access to the rest of the program.

For additional information, contact the Parental Guide Company, 5723 F St., Omaha, NE 68117. Call 402/734-9999 or 888/PGV-CHIP.


Drug Screen
Rapid Drug Screen provides fast, on-site drug screening and eliminates the long wait associated with sending specimens away to expensive or remote laboratories.

Approved by the Food and Drug Administration, the unit's one-step process delivers accurate screening results in just three minutes for marijuana, cocaine, opiates and other drugs. It is currently used by the corrections departments of Georgia and Dade County, Fla., and numerous public and private schools, construction sites, substance-abuse counseling and halfway houses, and police and sheriffs' departments.

For additional information, contact LCI Health Products, 3741 Sunny Isle Blvd., No. 192, Sunny Isle, FL 33160. Call 800/999-4027.


Network Storage
RAIDserver, a direct network attached storage solution for expanding networks, runs UNIX and Windows and can be added to any 100 Base-TX or 10 Base-T LAN.

For additional information, contact Raidtec, 400 Overlook Business Park, Bldg. 12, 1360 Union Hill Road, Alpharetta, GA 30004. Call 770/664-6066.


Laptop on a Diet
The size of notebook computers is continuing to shrink. Sony's VAIO 505 is less than 1 inch thick and weighs under 3 pounds.

It comes with a 200MHz Pentium processor, a 2.1GB hard drive, a 10.2-inch SVGA active-matrix monitor, 32MB SDRAM (expandable to 64MB) and a 90 percent-sized keyboard.

VAIO 505 supports one PCMCIA type-II card and provides a digital touchpad with a pen input for signatures or drawing -- all for a cost of $1,999.

For additional information, contact Sony.


Mr. Bond ... Your Phone
If James Bond carried a mobile phone, it might be the Bosch World 718 mobile phone. Users making international trips can immediately make calls upon their arrival, avoiding the need to rent a mobile phone.

The Bosch 718 instantly detects which country the user is in and changes frequencies to operate on that country's Global System for Mobile Communications network.

All functions are activated via three variable buttons, called "softkeys." The large graphic display informs the user of important operating modes.

For additional information contact Audiovox.


Closeup Photo
The Micro5 SLR Camera developed by Polaroid is a portable color camera that easily makes instant, clear, close-up pictures with pinpoint focusing and five magnification options -- .2x, .4x, 1:1, 2x and 3x.

The camera is well suited for law-enforcement applications -- crime-scene investigation, forensic work, fingerprint documentation -- along with medical and insurance applications. It runs with four AA batteries.

For additional information, contact Polaroid at 800/343-5000.


Internet's Potential For Embedded Application
Vadem's IPoint provides a complete hardware and software solution, capable of bringing instant Internet capability into any end product. The hardware platform (Vadem's VG330), a highly integrated "system-on-a-chip," provides all necessary peripherals.

Internet integration to the embedded Internet class of applications includes utility meters, security and remote surveillance systems, point of sale (POS), ATMs, vending machines, remote health care devices, remote monitoring of network devices and remote diagnosis devices.

For additional information, contact Vadem, 1960 Zanker Road, San Jose, CA 95112. Call 408/467-2100.


Well-traveled Dictionary
Language Dictionary CD is a cross-platform CD-ROM that contains dictionaries for 15 languages: U.S. English, U.K. English, Danish, Dutch, Finish, French, German, Italian, Norwegian, Portuguese, Brazilian Portuguese, Spanish, Swedish and Swiss German. It contains spell-checking, thesaurus and hyphenation assistance for text within databases, graphics, presentations, published works and correspondence.

Each dictionary contains more than 200,000 words.

Language Dictionary CD runs on both Mac and PC computers and costs $49.

For additional information, contact ClarisWorks at 800/633-2239.


Wireless Ethernet
Some buildings can't be wired because of asbestos or old age. In these cases wireless networking is the ideal solution.

OTC Telecom's AirEZY series of spread spectrum wireless LAN products provides PCs, Macs and client/server networks with reliable wireless networking capabilities and direct access to existing Ethernet environments.

AirEZY offers a platform-independent wireless connection that can be interchanged with wires without disrupting network connectivity.

For additional information, contact OTC Telecom, 2036 Bering Drive, San Jose, CA 95131. Call 408/245-6888.


Ethernet Networking For All
Users with little technical knowledge can purchase, install and manage a local area network at home or a small office.

Linksys provides all necessary equipment and removes the complexity of building a network with its Fast Ethernet Network Starter Kit.

The kit includes two EtherFast 10/100 LAN cards (32 bit, 100Base TX 4-port hub), two 15-foot, category 5 network cables -- all of which connects up to four computers.

For additional information, contact Linksys.


If you have a comment about a product or service you are using -- or have a suggestion for a product news item -- please e-mail Kaveh Ghaemian or fax 916/932-1470 with the details. Include your phone number for verification and note whether we may publish your comments.

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