by / May 31, 1998
High-Flying Cop

In an effort to fight crime more effectively, the South Bay Police Agencies -- a coalition of six Southern California police forces -- is using the Robinson R44 police helicopter.

The R44 is equipped with the Wescom 12DS gyro-stabilized infrared sensor and a television camera system as well as a public address/siren system, search light and video recorder.

For additional information, contact Robinson Helicopter Company, 2901 Airport Drive, Torrance, CA 90505. Call 310/539-0508.

Seal & Sons Photography

To study the diving and foraging behavior of seals, researchers at Texas A&M University, in Galveston, are using self-contained infrared cameras mounted on the heads of Weddell seals.

Weddell seals might be a little slow or noisy on land, but they are adept camera operators under the icy waters in Antarctica.

First, a hole is drilled through the icy surface, and a seal is captured as soon as it surfaces for the air. After the camera is safely mounted on the seal's head, it is released and the recording begins. The camera is recovered as soon as the seal surfaces for air.

For additional information, contact Texas A&M University, 5007 Avenue U, Galveston, TX 77553. Call Dr. Randall Davis at 409/740-4712.

Telesurveillance at the Border

Remote telesurveillance, by Alpha Systems Lab (ASL), is making round-the-clock, U.S./Canada border crossings possible at many small and remote ports of entry (POE). The system was developed to help port inspectors process the rising number of travelers crossing the border.

According to ASL, the system allows the video inspection of any portion of a vehicle by zooming in, for example, on a driver and his license, any passengers, the inside of the car and the trunk when opened by the driver. Audio and video are recorded on a VCR.

At the select sites, local residents can apply for a border-crossing permit for use at any time, whether inspectors are on duty or not. The applicant's voice signature is recorded, and a personal identification number and photo ID are assigned.

For additional information, contact Alpha Systems Lab, 17712 Mitchell St., Irvine, CA 92614. Call 714/622-0688.

Invisible Marking

The Secure Marking Kit, by Innovative Security Products, lets users mark and identify their valuable equipment and assets, such as computers and other office equipment. The system is designed to discourage theft and provide a way of easily recovering stolen property.

The kit contains an ultraviolet (UV) pen, which is used to apply invisible marks to objects, and a UV lamp, which illuminates the invisible marks.

The UV pen can mark on nearly any surface -- wood, plastic, metal, glass, cloth, paper -- and will not deface or damage equipment. The light is powered with four AA batteries.

The Secure Marking Kit costs $34.94.For additional information, contact Innovative Security Products, P.O. Box 8682, Prairie Village, KS 66208. Call 913/385-2002.

Virtual Weightlessness
Alien Furniture Technology has developed an ergonomic chair and computer workstation that enables and encourages users to sit, stand and recline while working.

According to the company, stress, muscle tension, and neck and back pain seemingly disappear while the user and workstation float as one -- all at a cost of $5,295.

For additional information, contact Back Be Nimble, 2405 Rice Blvd., Houston, TX 77005. Call 888/626-3026.

Secure School Badge

To help increase the security on school campuses, Temtec has developed TEMPbadge, a self-expiring school visitor badge that changes color as the day progresses, so visitors cannot reuse the badge another day.

The badge is also well-suited for various applications in government and private industry.

For additional information, contact Temtec, 100 Route 59, Suffern, NY 10901-4910. Call 914/368-4040.

Faster CD-ROM Drive for Laptops

Panasonic's KXL-810A is a portable 20X CD-ROM drive specifically designed for notebooks.

Power can be supplied from a user's computer (via a PCMCIA slot), six AA alkaline batteries, a NICAD rechargeable battery or an AC adapter.

It weighs 12 ounces, is compatible with Windows 95, NT and 3.1, and costs $399.

For additional information, contact Panasonic Computer Peripheral Company, 2 Panasonic Way, Secaucus, NJ 07094. Call 800/742-8086.

Panasonic's KXL-810A 20X CD-ROM

Say Cheese!!! On a Floppy Disk

Mavica, developed by Sony, is a digital camera that records images on a standard 3.5-inch floppy disk.

Mavica features a 2.5-inch color LCD screen for monitoring, composing and play back; a 10x power zoom lens; auto-focus; an auto-iris; a built-in flash and a timer.

Its five mode settings allow for various light conditions and picture types: portrait, landscape, beach and ski, sports, sunset and moonlight.

It is powered by a lithium-ion rechargeable battery, which allows up to 500 shots.

Mavica also features ArcSoft PhotoStudio software for manipulating images, adding text and changing backgrounds.

Mavica is compatible with Windows 95, Windows NT 4.0 and Macintosh operating systems.

For additional information, contact Sony.

Travel Kit
The Road Warrior Survival Kit provides mobile professionals with eight essential computer accessories that can deal with communications or computer problems.

The kit includes:

* An 8-foot telephone cable that retracts into a small credit card-sized cartridge;

* A phone jack adapter for an instant conversion from a single-entry phone jack to a double-entry phone jack;

* An IBM-compatible printer cable with 25-pin parallel and centronics connectors;

* A duplex coupler for extending or combining telephone cables;

* A dual-outlet surge protector;

* A 3-to-2 converter;

* A telephone-line polarity tester to prevent damage to a modem.

* The High-Tech Tips for Road Warriors reference book, which provides helpful computing tips, guidance and information, including the locations of U.S. embassies worldwide and international area codes.

The Road Warrior Survival Kit cost $39.

For additional information, contact 1-800-Batteries, 2301 Robb Drive, Reno, NV 89523. Call 702/746-6140.

Upgrade Your Computer Skills

Want to know more about a new software program? ViaGrafix provides over 500 easy-to-follow training products on video and CD-ROM that teach users how to use Windows 95-NT-3.1, Excel, Word, the Internet and more. Tutorial materials are available for every skill level.

For additional information, contact ViaGrafix Software and Training Products for Computers, 1 American Way, Pryor, OK 74361. Call 918/825-7555.