"We were pleased with the number of visitors who attended the
exhibition but were absolutely delighted with the business generated
at the show," said Noel Gray, general manager of Australian
As part of the exhibition, awards were given on 1st September for
Corporate IT Best Product Award to Network Disk Server ND520, The
Best Multimedia Product: BeOS 4.5, Best Personal Computing Product:
3Com Palm IIIe. The best Product of Show was given to NetGear Network
Storage Server from NetGear.
Entrepreneurial web-directory honoured at Australian Internet
LookSmart, a category-based Web directory, founded in 1995 by Australian
husband and wife team, Evan Thornley and Tracey Ellery was presented
the inaugural Most Entrepreneurial Internet Achievement award at
the 4th Australian Financial Review/Australian Internet Awards.
LookSmart proudly declares its mission to be "To create the
dominant collection of quality granular content on the planet".
The site's highlights include; nearly one million unique URLs created
and updated by 160 professional Web editors. It is a Top 25 Web
site and is utilised by top Web properties including MSN, Netscape,
@Home, and 220 ISPs.
Organised as part of Interact '99, the awards honoured Australia's
best web sites in 19 categories ranging from sports, to youth to
professional and community-based websites. A record of 2,500 nominations
was received and a total of 13,800 votes lodged for Most Popular
Australian website. The winner of that category was Sausage Software,
a world-renowned developer of Internet tools and Java applications,
including the HotDog Web authoring products and the eVend Web commerce
An independent panel chose this year's winners after three rounds
of intensive judging. Judges included more than one hundred professionals
from the media, banking, legal, academia, technology, and entertainment
and business sectors.
IT Trends '99 Seminar
Online or Out of Here
Rob Hartnett, Group Manager
Infosentials Limited, one of Australia's leading multimedia information
Rob Harnett likens Web surfing today to going to a shopping centre
where the customer is only allowed to drive a Ford at 100km/h to
enter. But first, he needs to pay for parking and a nominal entry
fee prior to entering the Centre to make any purchases.
His analogy is simple, even before a surfer accesses any information,
he is required to invest heavily in an appropriate system. The day
bandwidth is broadened and access to the Web is almost free of charge,
is when things will brighten up for e-commerce. It has to be convenient,
economical and efficient to appeal as an alternative form of purchase.
"At the moment, we tend to overestimate the take up rate of
the Web. Web developers need to fully understand the opportunities
new media holds. It's all about being interactive and satisying
customers needs," he concluded.
Regional IT and Communications Conference
Held at the University of Ballarat, this conference discussed the
projected development and re-positioning of Ballarat from a gold
mining town into an information technology hub.
"A regional portal presence on the Web has emerged as a potentially
important agent to raise the profile of the region and providing
cohesion and direction for the wide range of interests that are
jostling for position and visibility on the Web.
The challenge is to derive a regional portal that is economically
sustainable, has participation and 'buy-in' from all interests and
regional stakeholders, and serves every sector's needs," said
Ross Davey, Executive Officer, Centre for Electronic Commerce and
An exciting development was the launch of the Chamber of Electronic
Commerce which aims to develop a regional portal; Mainstreet.au
and provide genuine community efforts to advance electronic access
to business, services and information regionally and globally.
The University is also home to the Greenhill Enterprise Centre located
within the Ballarat Technology Park, which provides a nurturing
environment for small IT businesses involved primarily in information
technology research and development.
This R & D focused Centre provides an environment specifically
designed for; small and medium sized technology companies to start
up businesses. growth operations that are moving into hi- tech manufacturing
with strong IT research components and short term accommodation
for project teams.
Swedish manufacturer, C Technologies has developed a portable
hand-held scanner with added capabilities. The 100g C-Pen can read
and store information quickly and accurately. The mobile information
collector uses digital camera technology and is equipped with a
mini-format digital camera and an advanced computer with a powerful
It has the ability to scan upto 100 pages of text, and works very
much like the simple highlighter. All the user has to do is to move
the scanner over lines of text as the camera takes pictures of the
text. These images are then transformed to text via OCR (Optical
Character Recognition). The pen reads text at a speed of 100 characters
per/sec and takes 50 pictures/sec.
It carries 8Mb of flash memory, displays text at 7 - 18 points,
has a 4-row full graphical display. Scanned text can be stored in
the C-Pen or cordlessly transferred to a Windows 95/98, or Windows
NT based PC using infrared communication. It reads well in software
like Word and Excel. Added features include the C-Dictionary which
allows instant translation from one language to another and an address
Interactive Pictures - Immersive Photography
Interactive Pictures Corporation has developed IPIX technology
which can seamlessly remap two opposing photographs into a single
360-degree digital image. The two 180-degree photographs of a scene
or object are taken with conventional or digital cameras fitted
with a fish-eye lens. Using software to combine two 180 degree photographs
viewers can use the mouse to navigate within the photograph and
beyond its borders, left, right, up or down. This replicates the
vision one would achieve by Œpanning' with the use of only
two still digital images.
The possibilities that IPIX has in store are exciting. IPIX uses
the example of the vision created by using two still images of Princess
Diana's car crash site which was aired on CNN for a full ten-minutes
while anchors described the events live. The vision that was shown
was an IPIX tour created from two single photographs. IPIX Corporation
is currently developing software and hardware capabilities for immersive
videography and expect to launch a product by 2000.
In true borderless spirit of the Internet, etranslate offers
an end to end service to translate and globalise existing websites.
It utilises a network of 5,000 language professionals in 80 countries
to translate existing websites without losing its impact but yet
ensuring cultural and language sensitivities are adhered to. Upon
commissioning of a project, a translator is appointed based on language
skills and technical expertise, documents are sent for translation
electronically and thereafter examined by an editor and proofreader
for quality checks.
Besides web translation, e-translate also offers cultural consultancy,
multi-lingual multimedia development and multi-lingual voice response
services. Translation services can be conducted electronically and
thorugh its website 24-hour access to its services.
Other products at Interact '99
Developed by TradePlus International, ThumbsPlus is an effective
image management software ideal for storing and archiving images,
metafiles, fonts and movies. It allows flexibility in locating,
viewing, editing, printing and organising files to your specification.
Besides creating thumbnails, ThumbsPlus can create contact sheets,
edit, convert and organise files (single or in batches), print catalogues,
display slide shows, handle off-line media and create thumbnail
web pages. Search facilities include user definable fields, keyword
assignment and 'find similar images'. It works equally well for
viewing pre-developed image banks or creating personal databases.
The Smart Flexi-Keyboard is designed for industrial, laboratory
and office use. The portable, resilient keyboard can withstand temperatures
from -25 to 70 degrees Celsius and most hazards. The keyboard features
the 102 IBM-MFII-standard keys compatible with AT and PS/2 systems.
Ideal for use in factories, mining, construction, outdoors and laboratories,
the Smart Flex I is waterproof, rolls and fits into a small case
making it portable.
In quick response to the e-online shopping buzz, Jumbomall offers
an economical e-shop front in an online mall. Simple and easy to
navigate, an enterprise simply goes through a series of steps with
help to be listed part of the Jumbomall shopping centre.