Security moves to centre stage

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Software and hardware products that help enterprises and authorities improve security feature strongly among new products and services due to be launched at CeBIT 2005 in Hanover.

Here is a selection of the innovations to be announced tomorrow and over the remainder of the show, along with other business software innovations and hardware and gadgets:

German-based Desko (hall 17, stand A01) launches a full-page passport reader with an integrated RFID (radio frequency identification) module, which can optically process travel documents and read key personal data from them directly. With the RFID module, passports equipped with a chip containing personal details and biometric data in accordance with new International Civil Aviation Organisation rules can also be analysed.

The company’s customers include airlines, government authorities and the police.

San Jose-based Finjan Software (hall 7, stand B49) unveils its new internet security appliances, the Vital Security Appliance Series NG-5000 for enterprises of 251-20,000 users, and the Vital Security Appliance Series NG-8000 for enterprises of 20,000-250,000. Reflecting its confidence in the system’s enhanced capabilities, Finjan announced a “zero-virus infection - guaranteed” policy.

Canada’s Eicon Networks, (hall 16 stand G19) will demonstrate its new Shiva VPN gateways for secure data communications in small and medium-sized enterprises. Shiva VPN gateways form part of a new range of Eicon products that focus on the areas of voice, speech and conferencing, IP telephony and simple application development.

Glück Kanja Technology (hall 7, stand C22), based in Germany, will unveil a solution enabling transparent encryption of workgroup files for the user on local hard drives and network drives.

The key feature is that data back-up services and server administrators can still access the files, but only authorised users can read the data they contain.

Business software

The new generation of the Sun Solaris operating system is being unveiled, and, according to Sun Microsystems, version 10 is available as a free download. The US company (hall 1, stand 8A2) says the new OS enables Linux and Solaris applications to be run natively without significant drops in performance and without requiring special adaptation.

It runs as a 64-bit system on servers with Sparc, AMD Opteron and Intel processors and on more than 250 systems from other providers such as Dell, HP and IBM. Sun claims no other operating system supports such a wide variety of platforms.

On the Microsoft stand (hall 4, stand A38) the focus is on version 4.0 of the Microsoft Business Solutions-Navision software, which is being unveiled at the show and is aimed at SMEs. It offers additional functions for production planning and control, and financial management, and provides a comprehensive tool for generating analyses and reports. Microsoft will also be showcasing additional product planning options for the Axapta, Navision and CRM corporate software.

A smaller company, San Francisco-based Riverbed Technology (hall 1, stand 7G2) is unveiling its award-winning Steelhead technology at the event, designed to make core applications running across wide area networks (Wans) perform up to 100 times faster. Riverbed’s Steelhead appliances enable organisations with offices in multiple locations to consolidate resources and lower costs without limiting performance for remote office users.

Navigation

Munich-based Destinator Europe (in the Microsoft Deutschland exhibition area, hall 4 stand A38, and the Navteq stand, hall 11 stand C60) will present its new navigation solution for PDAs - Destinator PN. The successor version to the well-established Destinator 3 and Destinator 3 Professional navigation solutions comes with a new graphic user interface and offers several new or optimised functions that make mobile navigation easier and more effective.

Another German company, Navigon, (hall 11, stand A70) is unveiling at CeBIT its PNA (Personal Navigation Assistant). The device can stand alone, wireless, on the dashboard, and its flat screen interface enables easy navigation to your choice of street name, house number or postcode, using voice commands.

Hardware and gadgets

NEC-Mitsubishi Electronics Display-Europe (hall 21, stand B58) unveils a new LCD monitor pre-series model with LED backlight technology. Innovative LED-based (light emitting diode) backlighting can generate white light with an extended colour spectrum. This development enables the display of a broader range of spectral colours.

From Dutch-based Sandisk comes an innovative SD flash memory card with built-in USB connectivity: this makes card readers unnecessary because the device can be plugged into any SD card slot (such as those on digital cameras) and then connected to any USB port. Sandisk (hall 1, stand 4E6) developed a new mechanical design that enables a high-speed 2.0 USB flash drive to be integrated in the small SD form factor. The first products featuring the technology are due to be launched soon. Storage capacity will be 1 gigabyte.

Taipei-based A4 Tech (hall 19, stand C25) launches a wireless optical mouse that needs no batteries because it receives a permanent low voltage from an induction mouse pad. This inductive technology enables the development of wireless optical mice that are lightweight, robust and have no ergonomic limitations. Used in tandem with RFID technology, the manufacturer says it can guarantee fault-free operation even with several users in one room.

Zebra Technologies of the UK (hall 17, stand D32) unveils a colour card printer that tackles both sides of a card at the same time but takes up no more space than a conventional printer. It is also easy to operate and self-cleaning, says the company. Hassle-free operation means the card printer will also appeal to home users. It has a card loading capacity of 100 copies and features a USB port.

Finally, FeOnic, the UK company whose revolutionary Soundbug audio product launched at CeBIT 2002, will be showing demonstrators of a new generation of audio devices, based on the same smart material technology but with better sound quality. These devices are the first fruits of the company’s co-operation with Taiwan-based Sinbon Electronics.

“Our initial product is targeted at owners of MP3s, i-Pods, laptops, PDAs and mobile phones. The broad bandwidth and higher volume of FeOnic’s new F Drive have the ability to change the way that we hear things, either on the move, at home or the office,” says Brian Smith, managing director of FeOnic (no stand, see www.feonic.com or www.sinbon.com).

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