Dems wired for business

Not to be outdone by the Republicans, which had the first-ever broadband convention last month, the Democrats have harnessed tech tools such as streaming video, smart cards and wireless applications for their party's Los Angeles soiree.

Webcasting and interactive chat sessions are being enabled by AT&T, which is hosting the Democratic National Convention's Web site. And Aether Systems, through technology partner Eventcentric, is supplying ScoutWare software that enables convention-goers to use handheld devices to access news and other information.

Voter.com is giving out about 10,000 smart cards, supplied by CardLogix Corp., that delegates, press members and other attendees can use to access kiosks in the Staples Center and throughout Los Angeles. Attendees can use the cards and kiosks to obtain and secure personalized information such as convention schedules, issue updates, status on platform votes and delegates' home district data for each delegate.

CardLogix has focused primarily on vertical markets such as health care but sees the convention as a chance to raise the visibility of its technology.

"These people make budget decisions in areas where the government could use smart cards," said Bruce Ross, vice president of marketing at CardLogix. "A lot of people have never used smart cards before. It certainly is a place where people can get their hands on the technology."

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