www.nec.co.jp/press/en/0309/1701.html] or so per fill up in a laptop, but it is also compatible with
all mobile formats—Bluetooth, cell (CDMA, TDMA, GSM, GPRS, and UWB), Wi-Fi
(802.11a thru k), the walkie-talkie standards (FRS and GMRS), and others. The
chip is software upgradeable to adapt to future mobile standards. Now you can
use your laptop, PDA, or other intelligent mobile device everywhere. The Neutrino
Plus chip switches to the least expensive connection having appropriate quality
as one moves from place to place.
The Plus in the Neutrino Plus chip is its inclusion of an FM, XM tuner/ receiver
plus a 3-inch satellite TV dish. While you can poke around on the net to find
creaky Web radio and TV broadcasts, with Neutrino Plus you can just tune the
chip to NPR, CNN, HBO, or anything you can get from a radio, TV, or satellite.
The tuners are integrated into mobile devices so that you can search on broadcasts
by topic, artist, time, or other features, and when copyright allows, broadcasts
can be saved for replay, editing, or e-mail attachments.
The year 2007 has seen many advances in screen technology, especially for devices,
such as PDAs, cell phones, watches, and intelligent jewelry that have small
screens. The Origami Display Device uses a unique folding screen that unfolds
from a tiny ornamental butterfly or dragon to a screen a square foot or larger,
then snaps back automatically. ODDs in the shape of small squares or polygons
are also available. The new Rotoli Reali scrolling screen uses quite a different
approach to packaging a large screen in a small package. A typical Rotoli Reali
is about 7 inches long and unscrolls to 12.5 inches, the aspect ratio and size
of a 14-inch HD TV. It scrolls up to the thickness of a pencil, and with its
pen clip, one can keep a few of them in a shirt pocket or toss them in a purse.
One version unscrolls into a cylinder that wraps around your head to give an
out of this world virtual reality experience.
Another technology, the Direct Vision screen, creates a heads up display on
specially equipped eyeglasses or contact lenses. All in all, this cornucopia
of new screen technologies at last gives small devices access to large screens.
The Information Summarizer
Although MS Word has had a summarize function for years (see AutoSummarize under
Tools). We now have a more powerful tool integrated into our office tools, Web
browsers, news watchers, and search engines. With the Information Summarizer
you can view summaries of news, memos, documents, and Web sites condensed to
any degree before investing the time to read the unabridged versions.
Channelized Portal Information
This year, we’ve seen major applications offered in which the sole user
interface is via a portal. News services, financial applications, and self-service
applications are appearing as portal channels or portlets instead of as independent
Web pages. The foresighted pioneers who created enterprise portals now have
a wealth of channelized information with which to populate them.
MESA—the Multidisciplinary Educational Simulation Archive has finally
gotten off the ground after a rocky start. You’ll recall that MESA is
a large consortium of colleges and universities that are building reusable sharable
simulations that are as easy to include in a Web site as an image. These simulations
all allow customization by just checking a few boxes and selecting a few pull-down
menus. Faculty members are starting to add impressive simulations to online
course material that they are building themselves now that the MESA library
has several hundred offerings.
The NEC Fuel Cell Battery
While discussing the Neutrino Plus chip, I mentioned a fuel cell battery that
ran for many hours on a fill up of methanol fuel. This sounds at least as unlikely
as the other future products reviewed here, but before dismissing any of them
you should know that NEC has already demonstrated a prototype notebook PC powered
by such a battery. While no one can reliably predict the future, by trying to
do so we gain the opportunity to influence what it will be. Just a few years
ago some of the things we take for granted today would have seemed like magic.
Besides getting the payroll out and getting the e-mail through, one vital job
we all have in IT is to ensure that the magic continues.