The Pipeline

Wireless, wireless everywhere

It's not where the market is; it's where the market will be.

At least, that's how Kamal Anand, vice president of marketing and business development at Meru Networks Inc., explains his company's new wireless local-area network (LAN) system.

"It's a 'nice-to-have,' not really a 'need-to-have today,' " he said. "We see that changing."

Meru's new suite, using its Air Traffic Control architecture, includes a wireless access point, the Meru Controller security and management system, and other hardware and software components.

Although the company is entering an increasingly crowded field with the releases, Anand said officials aren't worried. Meru Wireless LAN offers advanced features, including the ability to transmit data and voice over the same connections.

The company's highest potential stumbling block in the federal market is its lack of a previous presence, Anand said. The company has focused so far on validating its technology. "Now we are quite focused on building a market with the government," he said.

As usual, though, there are other recent entries. Wireless technology continues to explode onto the scene, and SMC Networks Inc. has released the EliteConnect Wireless Bridge and the EliteConnect Power Injector. Both products help extend a wireless network across a large organization.

The Wireless Bridge, as its name implies, bridges two or more wired or wireless LANs. SMC officials say it can extend a single network through multiple buildings by wirelessly connecting each building's LAN to the others. The Power Injector lets the Wireless Bridge draw power from the wired networks.

The system also includes Web-based management tools. SMC has released the SMC2804WBRP-G Barricade, an 802.11g broadband router with a built-in USB print server.

At the International Telecommunication Union Telecom World 2003 conference in Geneva Oct. 12, Hewlett-Packard Co. announced about 16 new products to facilitate wireless communication between devices and printers.

Some of the products, for example, facilitate the automatic detection of print servers so that users who need to print documents from Wi-Fi- enabled laptops can locate and lock onto a nearby printer without needing to know anything about its configuration.

"This is a key focus for HP," said Tara Bunch, vice president of consumer solutions, programs and strategic alliances for HP's Imaging and Printing Group. The products include wireless modules for existing printers, a stand-alone wireless printer for up to five users in a small office and software for handheld computers.

Also at the conference, Dynamic Telecommunications Inc. announced ClaRiFy, a product that looks as if it was named by random use of the caps lock key. Actually, it is a code: The capitalized R and F also stand for radio frequency, which is what the product measures. ClaRiFy allows wireless phone networks to monitor various signals and adjust their own signals to maintain the best possible quality, with less static and fewer dropped calls.

Linux and Lucy

OK, there's really no Lucy; we just could not resist the "Peanuts" reference.

There is, however, a spate of new announcements related to the open-source operating system. Nvidia Corp. has been chosen to provide its Quadro FX 3000 G professional graphics system as part of smoke 6, a Linux-based online editing system. Smoke itself comes from Discreet, a Canadian company that is a division of AutoDesk Inc.

Altiris Inc. has released a Linux version of its Deployment Solution for servers, part of the HP ProLiant Essentials Rapid Deployment Pack. The product automates the deployment of HP ProLiant servers.

The Linux version provides support for Linux provisioning, operating system deployment and ongoing management, and system configuration. It includes support for multiple versions of Linux including Red Hat Inc., SuSE Inc. and UnitedLinux.

Applied Watch Technologies Inc. recently released Applied Watch Command Center, a monitoring and management system to support the open-source Snort Intrusion Detection System. The Applied Watch system is available on the Scientific and Engineering Workstation Procurement III contract through partner CEWinc.com. It supports Apple Computer Inc. Macintosh, Linux (thought we had forgotten we were talking about Linux, didn't you?), Unix and Microsoft Corp. Windows operating systems.

Pop-up computer

Sharp Systems of America has released a notebook computer incorporating its 3-D image technology. The new computer, the Sharp Actius RD3D, can switch between 3-D and 2-D views.

The computer uses Sharp's TFT 3D LCD technology, which sends slightly different images to each viewer's eyes. That makes it possible to create 3-D images without the need for special glasses or that weird lazy-eye thing you had to do to see the hidden 3-D images in those abstract pictures that were so popular a few years back, before we all went blind.

Sharp officials say the technology is useful for design applications, drug discovery, medical imaging, mapping, geographic information and other uses. n

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