Product News

Product News

by / May 31, 1997
The Vertical Commute

Forget about Corvette, Ferrari, Lamborghini and other boring modes of transportation. Skycar, developed by Moller International, is a personal transportation vehicle, that takes off and lands vertically like a helicopter and flies horizontally like an airplane. It features eight engines, and has two airframe parachutes in case of catastrophic failure. It has only two pilot controls, and much of the guidance system is computer-operated.

Skycar carries two passengers, cruises at 350+ mph at 15 miles per gallon, will climb at 7,800 feet per minute and go 900 miles on a tank of automobile gasoline. It requires a 35-foot diameter landing pad, and has a low noise level.

For additional information contact Moller International, 1222 Research Park Drive., Davis, CA 95616. Call 916/765-5086.


Virtual Touch

Prosthetic technology has come a long way from the days of wooden legs, hooks and braces. NovaCare Inc.'s Sabolich Research Center in Oklahoma has developed two new technologies to help amputees feel hot and cold and sense pressure through their artificial limbs.

For example, a mother who has lost both arms can check the temperature of the water before bathing her child. As she dips the artificial hand into the water, sensors in the hand deliver an electrical signal to her upper arm, where it is felt as warm, cold or hot.

Pressure sensors deliver vibrations to the undamaged portion of the upper limb, allowing those with electrically operated hands to sense how hard they are grasping an object. The faster the vibration, the tighter the grip. Patients easily learn to interpret the signals, says the company. Sense of Feel is also useful in lower extremities, where amputees can sense toe and heel pressure and thus improve balance.

The technology is not yet available to the general public, but is in beta testing.

For additional information contact NovaCare Sabolich, 4301 North Classen, Oklahoma City, OK 73118. Call Marge Pittenridge at 800/522-4428. Internet: .


Total Access
The Nokia 9000 Communicator combines digital cellular phone, cellular data and fax modem, personal e-mail, Internet terminal and personal organizer. It provides up to 180 minutes of talk, fax, or data time, or 35 hours of standby. It has 8MB RAM, and data remains safe even if the battery runs down completely. Price is approximately $1,000.

For additional information contact Nokia Corporate Communications, 2300 Valley View Lane, Suite 100, Irvine, TX 75062. Call 972/257-9573.


Portable Bomb Sniffer
K9s may soon get a break. The GVD6 portable Graseby Explosives Vapor Detector can help officials find bombs and explosives. The system, contained in a briefcase, uses ion mobility spectroscopy technology and is well suited for law enforcement and airport security.

For additional information contact JGW International Ltd., 10640 Main Street, Suite 200, Fairfax, VA 22030. Call John O'Neil at 703/352-3400.


Dolphins Use Touchscreen Kiosks

Dolphins at Sea Life Park in Hawaii are using an underwater touchscreen -- developed by Carroll Touch -- to interact with computers, giving researchers a firsthand opportunity to study these intelligent mammals.

The system includes an infrared beam grid mounted on a tank window and a monitor screen that faces the dolphins through the window. Infrared beams projected through the tank window are directed parallel to the window by four 45-degree mirrors. When a dolphin's snout interrupts the infrared beams, the touch is detected by the infrared beam grid and relayed to a Macintosh computer.

Carroll Touch has a special Web page devoted to the dolphin touchscreen at .

For additional information contact GTT Communications Inc., 5524 Bee Cave Road, Building L-2, Austin, TX 78746. Call Jean Gardner at 512/347-1010.


Secure Borders

International border
crossing is growing annually -- more than half a billion travelers in 1995 -- raising considerable concern about crime, terrorism and increasing the urgency for an automated yet secure clearance solution.

Bermuda International Airport will pilot FastGate, developed by IBM, to move travelers through immigration checkpoints quickly with increased security. The system uses biometric technology such as digitally recorded fingerprint, hand geometry or voice print, to confirm identity by accessing a security database managed by IBM.

Travelers are enrolled by providing a credit card and information such as name, address, date of birth and passport number. The first time the traveler goes through the airport, the biometric information is verified and entered into FastGate by airport security staff.

For additional information contact IBM, 6710 Rockeledge Drive, Bethesda, MD 20817. Call Ken Croken at 301/803-2753. E-mail: .


Monitor Internet and Intranet Traffic

Gone are the days of "hacker-written" programs for monitoring Web traffic activities. WebBoy, developed by NDG, does it all in realtime -- where they go, what they look at and what they do.

WebBoy provides an accurate list of IP networking usage, all accessed URLs, cache hit ratios, Internet protocols and user defined protocols.

Australia's federal police agency is planning to use WebBoy on government networks to tackle illegal activities on the Web.

WebBoy retails for about $400.

For additional information contact NDG Software, P.O. 1424, Booragoon, Western Australia, 6154, Australia. Call Lou Schillaci at +61 9 388 8814. E-mail: . Internet: .

E-mail Directory

Changed your e-mail address? Contacts can't find you? "Find mE-mail" is a free interactive e-mail directory that allows users to find your new e-mail address. A password is assigned to each user, ensuring that only they can alter the record. Wildcard searches are not permitted.

For additional information contact Find mE-mail at 505/254-1837. E-mail: . Internet: .

Hitch up Your Modems

MidPoint software, developed by MidCore Software Inc., gives workgroups high-speed shared access to the Web, e-mail and other Internet services by teaming up modems. For example, MidPoint can team two 33.6Kbps modems to create a 67.2Kbps connection to the Internet over ordinary dialup lines.

MidPoint requires Windows 95, Windows NT or OS/2 as a gateway. Network guests can use Macintosh, Windows (3.1, 95, NT), OS/2 or UNIX operating systems. No MidPoint software is required on any guest.

MidPoint is available in 5-, 20- and 50-user editions. A workgroup can establish Internet access for about $24 per user.

For additional information contact MidCore Software Inc., 900 Straits Turnpike, Middlebury, CT 06762. Call David B. Wilson at 205/577-5370.

Orion Computer Blue Book

Looking to buy a used computer -- systems, fax machines, monitors, printers, plotters, scanners, modems, disk drives, tape backups, terminals, etc. -- or want to know how much yours is worth in the market? The Orion Computer Blue Book has the answer and can be used as a reference. The book lists retail prices, used prices, the year introduced and the year discontinued.

The book is the result of surveys gathered nationwide from dealers based on their "asking price," "selling price" and "days to sell." The used price is calculated based on what an average store could sell the product for in 30 days or less.

The book is published quarterly and is priced at $104 ($416 annual subscription).

For additional information contact Orion Research Corp., 14555 N. Scottsdale Rd., #330, Scottsdale, AZ 85254. Call 602/951-1114. E-mail: .

Virtual Visibility

Low visibility is one of the major causes of airplane accidents -- and Collins Commercial Avionics has a solution.

Regardless of visibility conditions, Collins Pro Line 21 situational awareness database allows flight crews to view the airspace, terrain elevations and surface, surrounding traffic as well as other aircraft,
in realtime 3D on high-resolution color LCDs.

For additional information cantact Collins Commercial Avionics, Rockwell International Corp., 400 Collins Road NE, Cedar Rapids, IA 52498. Call David D. Yeoman at 319/295-5772.

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