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Daily Computer News and Rumors

January 09-16 2003

About News and Rumors. InfoHQ Computer News and Rumors is a daily column. It features news coverage of new PC and Mac computer hardware and software, Internet news, and other technical news items.
Every Sunday, News and Rumors features "Sunday Shopping Watch", which is a comparison and analysis of Sunday computer store advertisements.
The Daily Computer News and Rumors is an archived column, so feel free to review previous week's or month's computer news. Previous Daily Computer News articles can also be searched, by using our site search feature found in the top and bottom menu bar.

InfoHQ Daily Computer News and Rumors Article Index
Date
(Click on story to read, use your Browser's back button to return to the Index.)
Jan 16 Apple Introduces New Powerbook with 17 inch Screen
Jan 16 Apple Introduces Its Smallest Notebook Ever
Jan 16 New Belkin 54g Wireless Networking Products
Jan 16 Immersion Brings Touch Feedback to Cell Phones and PDAs
Jan 16 SanDisk Introduces Wireless-Memory Combo Cards
Jan 16 DVD Movie Sales Drive Video Industry to Record Breaking Year
Jan 16 SanDisk Introduces Memory Stick PRO
Jan 15 Intel to Help Bring `Portable Media Players' to Market
Jan 15 ViewSonic Announces Initiative To Enter Portable Video Player Category
Jan 15 Toshiba Notebooks to Support Microsoft's Windows XP Media Center
Jan 15 Verbatim 4x ``Producer'' DVD+R/RW Burner Shipping
Jan 15 eMachines Unveils Latest Array of High Value PCs
Jan 15 Hitachi DVD Camcorders Focus on Portability and Performance
Jan 15 Sonic Unveils PrimeTime DVD Recording Software for Windows Media Center Edition
Jan 15 Logitech Announces Face Tracking Software for Web Cameras
Jan 14 AMD and IBM to Jointly Develop Advanced Chip Technologies
Jan 14 ViewSonic Introduces New Line of Digital Media Center PCs
Jan 14 PENTAX Debuts Compact Digital Camera
Jan 14 Wire-Free Electricity to Deliver Full Power to Home & Office Appliances
Jan 14 Samsung's New SCD5000, MiniDV Camcorder and Digital Still Camera
Jan 14 Evolution Robotics Introduces Breakthrough Solution for Robot Navigation
Jan 14 Smartphones Will Dominate Wireless Handset Market By 2008
Jan 13 Intel Announces Centrino Mobile Technology
Jan 13 HP Delivers New High-performance Notebook Series
Jan 13 Viewsonic Introduces High Resolution LCD TV Monitors
Jan 13 1394 Trade Association Cites First FireWire 800 Products
Jan 13 HDTV UpConverter Maximizes Consumer Investment in HDTV Televisions
Jan 12 Sunday Shopping Watch
Jan 10 Intel XScale Technology Smart Displays Enable Home Wireless PC Access
Jan 10 Dolby Digital EX Technology Ups the Ante for Home Surround Sound
Jan 10 Sales of U.S. Consumer Electronics to Hit New Record in 2003
Jan 10 LG.Philips LCD Demonstrates Latest TFT-LCD Advancements at CES 2003
Jan 10 Maya 4.5 Personal Learning Edition Available for Free Download
Jan 09 New Toshiba Notebooks Combine Power and Performance at Low Cost
Jan 09 Palm Handheld Sales Surpass 20 Million Mark
Jan 09 HP Introduces Its Fastest DVD Writers Ever
Jan 09 ViewSonic Announces Availability of Airpanel Smart Displays
Jan 09 Epson Unveils Perfection 3200 Scanners

 

 

Jan 16 - Apple Introduces New Powerbook with 17 inch Screen. Apple® today unveiled the 17-inch PowerBook® G4, the world’s first notebook computer with a 17-inch display, the largest ever in a notebook. Encased in a durable aluminum alloy enclosure, the new PowerBook measures only 1-inch thin and weighs just 6.8 pounds.
The new 17-inch PowerBook G4 is also the first notebook to offer built-in AirPort® Extreme 54 Mbps 802.11g wireless networking, new high-speed FireWire® 800, a backlit keyboard with ambient light sensors, and built-in Bluetooth for wirelessly connecting to cell phones and other Bluetooth equipped peripherals.

“Apple’s taking another giant leap beyond PC notebooks with the world’s first 17-inch notebook, miraculously engineered into an ultra-light aluminum alloy enclosure that’s only 1-inch thin,” said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO. “Many users are going to wonder why they even need a desktop computer anymore.”

The 17-inch PowerBook delivers the screen space and performance previously found only in desktop computer systems. The new PowerBook’s stunning 17-inch screen displays 1440-by-900 super-crisp pixels in a widescreen 16:10 aspect ratio. The 17-inch PowerBook is the most powerful Apple portable ever with a 1 GHz PowerPC G4 processor, new high-speed architecture, fast NVIDIA graphics and a slot-loading SuperDrive™ for playing and burning CDs and DVDs. Housed in a lightweight and durable aluminum alloy enclosure just 1-inch thin and weighing only 6.8 pounds, the new 17-inch PowerBook G4 model is the thinnest Apple notebook ever, and lighter than most competitors’ 15-inch and 16-inch notebooks.

The 17-inch PowerBook G4 includes the world’s first fiber-optic backlit keyboard, as well as ambient light sensors that control the brightness of the display and automatically regulate the keyboard backlighting. In low light, the 17-inch PowerBook G4 automatically illuminates the backlit keyboard and lowers the display brightness, reducing eye strain and extending battery life. As light levels increase, the display brightness is re-adjusted automatically and the keyboard backlighting is turned off. This truly integrated display and lighting solution is an industry first, and will be warmly greeted by professionals who spend long hours in front of computer screens in low light conditions.

The 17-inch PowerBook G4 is the most wirelessly connected notebook ever, with both AirPort Extreme and Bluetooth wireless networking built in. AirPort Extreme is based on the new 802.11g standard and transmits data wirelessly at up to 54 Mbps—almost five times the data rate of previous wireless technologies—yet is fully compatible with the millions of 802.11b devices in use around the world. Built-in Bluetooth provides wireless connections to Bluetooth-enabled peripherals such as cell phones and PDAs. Apple’s new iSync software is included, so customers can automatically synchronize address books and calendars between Macs and Bluetooth capable cell phones.

The new 17-inch PowerBook G4 includes a full complement of I/O ports, including two powered FireWire ports, one FireWire 400 port and one FireWire 800 port so customers can quickly transfer uncompressed digital video to high-capacity storage devices. And, it continues to be the only notebook to offer built-in Gigabit Ethernet (10/100/1000BASE-T).

The new 17-inch PowerBook G4 is the leader in mobile performance, offering 1MB of level 3 cache and 512MB of fast Double Data Rate (DDR) memory running at 333 MHz. Combined with the power of Apple’s UNIX-based Mac® OS X version 10.2 “Jaguar,” the new 17-inch PowerBook G4 runs professional applications including Adobe Photoshop up to 51 percent faster than a 2.2 GHz Pentium 4-based notebook.
The new 17-inch PowerBook G4 comes with the NVIDIA GeForce4 440 Go graphics processor and 64MB of dedicated video memory capable of delivering 880 million textured pixels per second and advanced transform and lighting.

Pre-installed on every 17-inch PowerBook G4, “Jaguar” enhances the mobile experience with unique features including Instant On, which wakes the PowerBook from sleep in just one second; Automatic Networking, which automatically switches the network connections between Ethernet, 802.11 and modem; and advanced power management through Energy Saver Profiles for industry-leading battery life.
Every new PowerBook G4 includes Apple's iLife™ applications, an integrated suite of award-winning software including iTunes™ 3 for managing digital music, iPhoto™ 2 for organizing and sharing digital photos, iMovie™ 3 for digital movie-making, and iDVD™ 3 for creating and burning Hollywood-style DVDs.

Pricing & Availability

The new 17-inch PowerBook G4 is expected to be available in February through the Apple Store® (www.apple.com), at Apple’s retail stores and Apple Authorized Resellers for a suggested retail price of $3,299 (US).

Additional build-to-order options for the new PowerBook G4 include the ability to upgrade to up to 1GB of DDR RAM. AirPort Extreme Base Station and the AppleCare® Protection Plan are also available for the new 17-inch PowerBook G4 for an additional price.

Jan 16 - Apple Introduces Its Smallest Notebook Ever. Apple® today unveiled the new 12-inch PowerBook® G4 with a brilliant 12-inch, active-matrix display housed in a lightweight, durable aluminum alloy enclosure weighing just 4.6 pounds.
The sleek new 12-inch PowerBook G4 offers a speedy 867 MHz PowerPC G4 processor, fast NVIDIA graphics, a standard slot-loading Combo (DVD-ROM/CD-RW) optical drive, built-in Bluetooth, and industry-leading battery life of up to five hours on a single charge, all for just $1,799 (US).

“The new 12-inch PowerBook G4 is a jewel,” said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO. “It’s the smallest and most affordable PowerBook Apple has ever created and the most compact full-featured 12-inch notebook in the world.”

Offering a brilliant 12-inch, active-matrix display with a 1024-by-768 pixel resolution, the new PowerBook G4 measures just over 1-inch thin and weighs just 4.6 pounds. The new 12-inch PowerBook G4 has a 867 MHz PowerPC G4 processor with Velocity Engine™ and offers 256MB of fast Double Data Rate (DDR) memory (expandable to 640MB) and a fast NVIDIA GeForce4 420 Go graphics processor with 32MB of dedicated DDR RAM for incredible 3D graphics and display performance.
The standard slot-loading Combo optical drive lets customers watch DVDs and burn both data and music CDs. Customers can also build-to-order their 12-inch PowerBook G4 with a slot-loading SuperDrive™ for playing and burning both CDs and DVDs.

The new 12-inch PowerBook G4 includes built-in Bluetooth for wireless connections to Bluetooth-enabled peripherals such as cell phones and PDAs. Apple’s new iSync software is also included, so customers can automatically synchronize address books and calendars between Macs and Bluetooth devices.
The new 12-inch PowerBook G4 also includes built-in antennas and a card slot to support AirPort® Extreme, Apple’s next-generation wireless networking based on 802.11g. 802.11g can transmit data at up to 54 Mbps, almost five times the data rate of previous wireless technologies, yet is fully compatible with the millions of 802.11b Wi-Fi devices currently used around the world.

Pre-installed on every 12-inch PowerBook G4, Apple’s Mac® OS X version 10.2 “Jaguar” enhances the mobile experience with unique features including Instant On, which wakes the PowerBook from sleep in just one second; Automatic Networking, which automatically senses the active network port and switches the network connections between Ethernet, 802.11 and modem; and advanced power management through Energy Saver Profiles for industry-leading battery life of up to five hours on a single charge.

Every new PowerBook G4 includes Apple's iLife™ applications, an integrated suite of award-winning software including iTunes™ 3 for managing digital music, iPhoto™ 2 for organizing and sharing digital photos, iMovie™ 3 for digital movie-making, and iDVD™ 3 for creating and burning Hollywood-style DVDs.

Pricing & Availability

The new 12-inch PowerBook G4 is expected to be available later this month through the Apple Store® (www.apple.com), at Apple’s retail stores and Apple Authorized Resellers for a suggested retail price of $1,799 (US).

Additional build-to-order options for the new 12-inch PowerBook G4 include: up to 640MB of DDR RAM; the SuperDrive (DVD-R/CR-RW) optical drive; the AirPort Extreme Base Station and AirPort Extreme Card; and the AppleCare® Protection Plan.

Jan 16 - New Belkin 54g Wireless Networking Products. Belkin Corporation, the leading manufacturer of connectivity solutions, today introduced its complete lineup of 2.4GHz/54Mbps 54g Wireless Networking products.

Consisting of a 54g Wireless Cable/DSL Gateway Router (F5D7230-4 - ESP $149.99), 54g Wireless Network Access Point (F5D7130 - ESP $139.99), 54g Wireless Notebook Network Card (F5D7010 - ESP $79.99), and 54g Wireless Desktop Network Card (F5D7000 - ESP $79.99), these highly anticipated wireless networking products for the Small Office/Home Office (SOHO) market space are set to begin shipping in North America on January 15, 2003.

The Belkin 54g Wireless Networking products run at speeds of up to 54Mbps and operate on the same 2.4GHz frequency band as 802.11b Wi-Fi products. Backward-compatible with existing Wi-Fi-certified IEEE 802.11b products and with other products that display the 54g mark, the complete range of 54g Wireless Networking products from Belkin will be backward-compatible with current wireless 802.11b products already installed and will continue to be operational and interoperable with new wireless 54g products being added to a home or business network.

What sets the Belkin line of 54g Wireless Networking products apart from the competition is their included software programs. Designed to assist the end user in using these products, Belkin includes its Easy Install Wizard, which eliminates the need for users to deal with complicated information such as IP addresses and host names in order to connect the router to the Internet, and takes the guesswork out of setting up a router.

Once the user inserts the CD into the computer's CD-ROM drive, the Easy Install Wizard takes over the job of determining what type of connection is being used and setting up the router to connect to the Internet Service Provider. Once the router setup is finished, the user has an option to set up more computers, or just begin surfing the Internet. The Easy Install Wizard is compatible with Windows® 98, 98 SE, Me, 2000, and XP. Compatibility with Mac® OS 8.6 and above will be available February 2003.

In addition to the Easy Install Wizard, all Belkin routers can be set up manually through a web interface if the user requires more advanced configurations.

Another highly touted feature included with the Belkin 54g Router is the Belkin Parental Control: Web Content Filter Software Program. This software allows users to protect their children and family members from potentially harmful web content and to guard employees on the job from objectionable websites. The Belkin Parental Control Software is a powerful tool that allows users to simply select access rights from over 30 categories of possible questionable websites; it does not require the user to add each individual website to restricted access status.

New sites are automatically checked for content the very first time access is requested, giving users complete control as to when, where, and to whom access is barred or allowed. An optional activity report is available, providing users with complete web-content monitoring.

For more information, visit the company's website at www.belkin.com.

Jan 16 - Immersion Brings Touch Feedback to Cell Phones and PDAs. Immersion Corp. (Nasdaq:IMMR), a leading developer and licensor of haptic feedback technology, is bringing its force feedback technology to cell phones and other handheld devices.
After years of research, Immersion's haptic engineers have developed technology currently included in a new cell phone prototype, illustrating the value that touch adds to these devices.

"Immersion's haptic technology allows users to physically feel their interactions with games, messages, ring tones, menus, and other user interface elements," said Jeffrey Eid, VP of Consumer Markets at Immersion.
"As the standard in PC and console gaming and now emerging in the cell phone and PDA markets, our touch feedback technology delivers an intuitive and engaging human interface to create the highest level of realism, interaction, and fun for the user."

The current cell phone prototype replaces the typical "on/off" pager motor in a standard cell phone with Immersion's hardware and control software to deliver high-fidelity touch sensations. A key difference with the Immersion implementation is the ability for developers to independently control both vibration strength and frequency, creating a wide range of sensations.

Using haptic emoticons, such as a high-five, a smile or a growl complements talking and text messages. Games come alive as users feel the difference between the crisp, sharp strike of a well-hit golf ball in contrast to the twang felt when a drive is shanked. Users can personalize their handhelds by choosing specific vibe-tones associated with incoming callers, messages or other alerts. Haptic cues can also be used to confirm the user's selection of various menu items on the handheld, which makes navigation easier.

Market leaders in the gaming and PC industries, including Logitech, Microsoft, Saitek and Belkin were among the first to license Immersion's haptic technology. Currently there are more than 100 haptically-enabled peripherals and more than 500 game titles on the market.

Immersion can be found online at www.immersion.com.

Jan 16 - SanDisk Introduces Wireless-Memory Combo Cards. SanDisk Corporation (Nasdaq:SNDK) today introduced a line of wireless Wi-Fi (802.11b) cards with the world's first card products to include both memory and wireless communications technology.

The announcement marks SanDisk's entry into the wireless communications market and comes at a time when Wi-Fi, also known as WLAN for wireless local area networks, is emerging as the main worldwide wireless standard. Market watchers at Gartner Inc. report that some two million mobile surfers in North America already use Wi-Fi, and it expects that number to double by next year.

The Connect product line includes four products -- dual-function 128 megabyte (MB) CompactFlash(R)(CF) and 256MB SD cards that combine Wi-Fi and flash memory as well as single-function CF and SD cards with Wi-Fi connectivity. SanDisk plans to add 256MB cards to the CF Connect product line by the middle of 2003.

Nelson Chan, SanDisk senior vice president and general manager of SanDisk's retail business unit, said, "Access points that allow mobile computer users to wirelessly connect to their email and the Internet are rapidly being deployed around the world -- from hotels, airports and universities to cafes, coffee shops and corporate campuses. With these new SanDisk Connect cards, people on the go can quickly transmit and receive data, images and music from any of those thousands of locations."

He added, "The cards bring wireless connectivity to a host of new products including handheld and notebook computers, digital cameras and MP3 players. By combining both flash memory and wireless communications in one card, people going on a business or pleasure trip can load up the card with family pictures, data files, spread sheets and Power Point presentations and have everything they need, plus wireless connectivity, on one card.

"This is becoming quite important to consumers and business users because many handheld and notebook computers have only one card slot and users are forced to decide between using the slot for connectivity or for storage. These SanDisk Connect cards solve that problem."

The new Connect cards also allow users to download files to their mobile computers while connected to their email or the Internet. Today, computer owners sometimes cannot download files to their systems because the main memory in the computer is already full. With a Connect card plugged in, they can download their files to that cards if main memory is no longer available.

SanDisk's web site/home page address: www.sandisk.com.

Jan 16 - DVD Movie Sales Drive Video Industry to Record Breaking Year. The stellar success of DVD has propelled home video to become America's most popular entertainment medium, surpassing consumer spending on movie tickets, music, video games and mass-market books.

U.S. consumers spent more than twice as much buying and renting DVDs and VHS as they did going to the movies. In 2002, consumers spent $20.3 billion buying and renting DVDs and VHS versus $9.3 billion moviegoers spent at the theatrical box office.

DVD now represents 57 percent of 2002 home video consumer spending, driven by DVD retail sales which increased 61 percent to $8.7 billion (compared with $5.4 billion in 2001). Consumers spent an additional $2.9 billion renting DVDs (more than double the $1.4 billion in 2001), bringing total DVD spending to $11.6 billion versus $6.8 billion in 2001, an increase of 71 percent.

Numerous DVD titles broke sales records in 2002 with many selling at least four million copies. Some of these titles include (in alphabetical order): "American Pie II" (Universal Studios Home Video), "Austin Powers in Goldmember" (New Line Home Entertainment), "Beauty and the Beast" (Buena Vista Home Entertainment), "Black Hawk Down" (Columbia TriStar Home Entertainment), "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" (Warner Home Video), "Ice Age" (Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment), "Lilo and Stitch" (Buena Vista Home Entertainment), "The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring" (New Line Home Entertainment), "Men in Black II" (Columbia TriStar Home Entertainment), "Minority Report" (DreamWorks Home Entertainment), "Monsters, Inc." (Buena Vista Home Entertainment), "Ocean's Eleven" (Warner Home Video), "Spider-Man" (Columbia TriStar Home Entertainment), "Star Wars - Episode II: The Attack of the Clones" (Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment) and "Training Day" (Warner Home Video).

"Consumers have made it clear -- DVD is their favorite way to enjoy entertainment at home. On average, each DVD household bought more than 15 DVD titles last year," said Emiel N. Petrone, chairman emeritus, DVD Entertainment Group. "By the end of 2003, DVD will be in more than half of U.S. homes, allowing even more consumers to experience the extraordinary video and audio quality DVD offers."

According to figures compiled by Ernst & Young on behalf of the DVD Entertainment Group, approximately 260 million units of DVD software shipped in the fourth quarter of 2002, a 90 percent increase over those shipped in the same quarter last year. In excess of 685 million software units were shipped in 2002 -- more than the previous five years combined -- bringing the total number of units shipped to 1.36 billion since launch.

Interested consumers can reach the DVD Entertainment Group at www.dvdinformation.com.

Jan 16 - SanDisk Introduces Memory Stick PRO. SanDisk Corporation (NASDAQ: SNDK) today introduced the SanDisk Memory Stick® PROTM, a new Memory Stick form that incorporates a variety of advanced capabilities to enable Memory Stick PRO-optimized devices to capture and play back DVD-quality video in real time as well as store CD-quality music, high resolution digital images and other applications that require high performance and large capacities. The new format, which was jointly developed by Sony and SanDisk, includes additional features to secure personal content and data loss prevention in the event of accidental removal of the card during file recording.

Memory Stick PRO cards initially will feature capacities up to one gigabyte (GB). They will be identified by a unique metallic gold color but are otherwise identical in physical size and shape to the current generation of purple Memory Stick cards.

"SanDisk has invested its expertise and intellectual property in its partnership with Sony to make the Memory Stick PRO a reality," said Nelson Chan, senior vice president and general manager of SanDisk's Retail Business Unit. "We believe that the key features of the Memory Stick Pro card-high performance, large capacities and advanced security features-will significantly enhance the consumers' usage experience for storing their music, photos and videos on their optimized devices."

In addition, Memory Stick PRO cards feature advanced capabilities that will, when combined with devices that are optimized for the Memory Stick PRO format, ensure greater reliability by preventing data loss due to sudden power loss or accidental removal of media while recording or transferring files. Memory Stick PRO media can be safely removed during a file transfer process without the risk of damaging the file structure on the media.

For security, consumers can protect their personal data on the Memory Stick PRO cards with a file protection mechanism that prevents unauthorized access to the files in the event the card is lost or stolen. For commercial content providers, the new format includes the MagicGateTM copyright technology, which provides secure protection of commercial and copyrighted content, such as digital music and, in the future, video and games.

The SanDisk Memory Stick PRO cards will be available in 256 megabytes (MB), 512MB and 1 gigabyte (GB) capacities. They are expected to be available in April at many of the 50,000 retail stores world wide where SanDisk-branded products are sold at prices ranging from $189 to $879.

SanDisk's web site/home page address: www.sandisk.com.

Jan 15 - Intel to Help Bring `Portable Media Players' to Market. Intel Corporation today announced that it is working with Microsoft Corp. to develop a portable media player (PMP) hardware reference design for the new Microsoft Media2Go software platform. As a result of the Intel and Microsoft collaboration, Samsung Electronics and ViewSonic Corp. will develop Intel(R) XScale(TM) technology-based PMPs running the Media2Go* platform that will allow consumers to enjoy video and other types of media anywhere they want.

Called the portable video player in its early development, the PMP is a new type of mobile entertainment product pioneered by Intel. PMPs will be small enough to fit in a coat pocket and will allow people to take video, still pictures and music with them anywhere they go -- on the plane, train, or bus, to the gym, or hand it to the kids sitting in the back seat of the car during a long drive. Intel-based PMPs will feature high-quality video playback using an Intel(R) XScale(TM) technology-based processor. The different types of media can be transferred to a PMP from a PC or a Personal Video Recorder using a fast Hi-Speed USB 2.0 connection.

Intel and Microsoft are working together to develop an initial hardware reference design based on Intel XScale technology and Microsoft's Media2Go software platform. Media2Go is based on Microsoft's Windows CE .NET operating system and offers consumers the ability to enjoy their videos, music and photos on-the-go.

"Intel and Microsoft are paving the way for device manufacturers to deliver compelling PMP products to consumers quickly and cost-effectively," said Peter Green, general manager of Intel's Extended Computing Division. "Microsoft Media2Go helps make it easier for users to bring media content from the PC to the PMP and takes advantage of the high performance and low power consumption of Intel's XScale processors."

Samsung Electronics and ViewSonic Corp. will develop Intel XScale technology-based PMPs running the Microsoft Media2Go software platform. Both companies will develop PMPs and build on Intel's technology enabling work over the last two years in key areas such as video playback and device architecture. Intel has been working with numerous consumer electronics manufacturers and software providers for more than a year to help bring Intel XScale technology-based PMP products to market.

"Just as VCRs gave consumers the freedom to view content when they wanted to, PMPs will give consumers the freedom to consume content where they want to," Green said. "By working with companies like Samsung and ViewSonic to build these new devices on Intel XScale technology-based processors, we can ensure that wherever they go, consumers will have a high-quality media experience."

Additional information about Intel is available at www.intel.com.

Jan 15 - ViewSonic Announces Initiative To Enter Portable Video Player Category. ViewSonic® Corp., a worldwide Visual Technologies™ leader, today announced plans to participate in a Microsoft® and Intel® initiative to create a new category of mobile devices—the portable video player.

The Visual Technologies leader will extend its brand through the creation of a portable video player, tentatively called the ViewSonic PVP (Portable Video Player), designed to build upon its current offerings in the entertainment arena, including the M2000 and M1000 Digital Media Centers that are also being announced at CES. The ViewSonic PVP combines the functionality of a MP3 jukebox, a portable DVD player and a digital photo album—all in a single portable device—making it the most complete method for users to enjoy all their favorite digital content while on the go.

Among the first portable media players built upon Microsoft’s Media2Go platform, the ViewSonic PVP features a 3.5-inch 240X320 color display and a 10GB hard drive that is large enough to store up to seven hours of video content.

“Over the last few years, ViewSonic has taken great steps in making visual technology portable through products such as our Tablet PCs, Pocket PCs and Smart Displays,” said Marc McConnaughey, senior vice president, Advanced Technology Group, ViewSonic. “The ViewSonic PVP combines this mobile experience with our growing multimedia capabilities to bring consumers the freedom to play and view all of their digital content with one compact device.”

ViewSonic’s creation of the product stems from the desires of more than 50 percent of U.S. PC households that want to use their computer to listen to music, write CDs and view photos, according to Forrester Research’s Consumer Technographics May 2002 report. With the ViewSonic PVP, consumers can access these entertainment files when in or outside the home.

Expected to be available in the fall of 2003, the ViewSonic PVP will be sold through authorized ViewSonic resellers. For further information, please contact ViewSonic Corporation at www.ViewSonic.com.

Jan 15 - Toshiba Notebooks to Support Microsoft's Windows XP Media Center. Toshiba's Computer Systems Group (CSG) today announced that it will support Microsoft's Windows XP Media Center Edition operating system on future Satellite(R) Series notebook PCs.
Available later this year, Toshiba's Media Center notebook PC will bring personal entertainment, digital convergence and single remote capabilities into a solitary mobile computing device for consumers at home or on the go.

"Pairing a Toshiba Satellite notebook with Microsoft's Windows XP Media Center Edition completely demonstrates how new technology touches various parts of our lives in the home, and ultimately arms consumers with more functionality," said Oscar Koenders, vice president of product marketing and worldwide product planning, Toshiba CSG. "The design of Toshiba's next generation Satellite notebook is our vision of how customers will use computers in the future -- from recording TV programs and watching DVDs to managing video, music and photo collections."

"As a leading vendor for portable computers, Toshiba's support of Windows XP Media Center Edition on future notebook PCs will provide consumers with unprecedented opportunities to enjoy entertainment wherever and whenever they want," said Rick Thompson, vice president of the Windows eHome Division at Microsoft Corp. "Toshiba shares Microsoft's vision of unlocking the power of computing to help people realize their full potential."

The ultimate digital convergence notebooks, Toshiba's Satellite Series features the best performance and multimedia experience at the best price. With an all-in-one design, the Satellite Series delivers impressive graphic-display capabilities allowing users to experience sophisticated graphics and extreme multimedia performance. Features include a 15-inch diagonal display and the NVIDIA(R) GeForce4(TM) 460 Go(TM) graphics processing unit with 64MB of dedicated graphics memory, offering the fastest 3D mobile graphics performance in the industry.

Visit Toshiba at www.toshiba.com.

Jan 15 - Verbatim 4x ``Producer'' DVD+R/RW Burner Shipping. Verbatim(R) Corp. and Peripherals Group Inc., the exclusive licensor of Verbatim optical hardware products and a subsidiary of CenDyne Inc., jointly unveiled Verbatim 4x "Producer" DVD+R/RW drive at CES, Booth #18000 today.

Able to burn a full-capacity 4.7GB +R disc in about 15 minutes, the new 4x DVD+R/RW drive delivers a whole new world of high-speed recording and playback plus unmatched player compatibility for both video and data applications.

Verbatim 4x Producer is based on the DVD+RW format, which was established to ensure optimum data playback across all popular DVD playback devices. Broad compatibility makes the new Verbatim 4x drive ideal for sharing digital photos, video, multimedia presentations and data files.

In addition to enhancing playback compatibility, the drive's support for lossless linking allows different users to write (and read) additional data and video segments without finalizing the sessions.

Offering cost-effective DVD/CD storage flexibility, the new Verbatim 4x Producer supports 4x DVD+R write speed, 2.4x DVD+RW rewrite speed, and 12x DVD read speed. Smaller files, such as MP3 files, can be stored on low-cost 700MB CD-Rs at up to 16x speed or on CD-RW discs at up to 10x speed. CD playback is at 40x.

Backed by a one-year warranty and toll free technical support, the Verbatim 4x Producer DVD+R/RW internal drive is available now at leading computer and consumer electronics retailers for a suggested retail price of $299.

Visit the company's Web site at www.verbatim.com.

Jan 15 - eMachines Unveils Latest Array of High Value PCs. eMachines(R) Inc., the second-leading vendor of desktop PCs sold through U.S. retailers, announced its line-up of affordable, high performance PCs for the beginning of 2003 at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

Starting at $399, with no rebates required, eMachines' new quartet of PCs offers consumers an affordable way to do everything from everyday computing to multimedia entertainment, as well as add multiple systems for the home or office.

For the benefit of multimedia enthusiasts, eMachines includes separate CD-RW and DVD drives within all of its models starting at $499.

The company has also upgraded its $599 and $649 systems with an Office Multimedia Keyboard that provides short-cut buttons for commonly used computer functions, such as copy, cut and paste, speaker volume, CD and DVD controls, e-mail retrieval and Internet browser commands.

Its $399 and $499 systems now include a multimedia keyboard with short-cut buttons for speaker volume control, Internet browser launch and e-mail retrieval.

"With this line-up, eMachines continues to provide consumers the highest value PCs in the industry backed by a Customer Care program on par with any PC vendor," said Wayne Inouye, president and CEO of Irvine, Calif.-based eMachines. "We continue to see a tremendous response from our customers to the removal of our manufacturer's rebate program.

"They appreciate the fact they can walk out the door of a retail store with a fully configured PC at a remarkable price."

eMachines supports its line-up of PCs through a comprehensive Customer Care program comprised of one-year parts, labor and technical support in addition to several other service options, including an End-User Replaceable Parts Program, five-day Depot Repair, and nationwide authorized service centers.

All of eMachines' new PCs are currently available at major consumer electronics retail outlets nationwide as well as direct from eMachines' Web site at www.emachines.com.

Jan 15 - Hitachi DVD Camcorders Focus on Portability and Performance. The Home Electronics Division of Hitachi America, Ltd., a subsidiary of Hitachi, Ltd. (NYSE:HIT), www.hitachi.com/tv, introduced two new DVD camcorder models.
The new models, the UltraVision Digital(R) DZ-MV350A and DZ-MV380A, reduce the camcorders chassis by roughly half the size of previous models. Both models also include high-speed USB2.0 interface for fast uploading and downloading of information to and from a PC and a flash memory card slot for still images.

"Hitachi's new DVD camcorder models maintain the 2002 break-through design for recording DVD-R and DVD RAM while making it more convenient to carry and easier to record," said Leo Delaney, vice president of marketing for Hitachi America, Ltd., Home Electronics Division. "With DVD-R format discs compatible with most DVD players on the market, consumers can make a recording and simply drop the disc into a DVD player to watch their home movies instantaneously."

SLIM DESIGN, EASY NAVIGATION

Along with the camcorder's slim, sleek design, consumers will find easier operation with a new color viewfinder and high resolution 120k pixel 2.5" LCD screen. The new LCD has almost twice as many pixels as last year's model making it easier to view in even bright conditions.

Additionally, the camcorder's intuitive disc navigation system provides random access to clips without the danger of accidentally erasing information. Thumbnail images guide the user through each clip segment without the need to fast forward or rewind -- simply select the thumbnail representing the beginning of the desired scene and play.

When recording onto a DVD-RAM disc, users can edit their movies in the camera. This sophisticated system allows consumers to re-order scenes and add special transition effects including fades and wipes without the need for a computer. Additionally, with the USB2.0 connection, video can be uploaded to a PC and edited with the included PC software.

After editing, the video can be transferred back to the camcorder and burned onto a DVD-R for playback on most DVD players. Additionally, if the PC has a compatible 4.7G byte DVD-RAM or DVD-ROM drive, the user can simply place the DVD-RAM disc in the drive and download the information directly to the PC.

The DZ-MV350A measures 2.24 x 3.50 x 5.20 inches and weighs 1.29 lbs. It is slated for release in the second quarter, 2003, at a retail price of $999.95. The DZ-MV380A measures 2.36 x 3.66 x 5.79 inches and weighs 1.35 lbs. The unit is also slated for a second quarter, 2003, release and will retail for $1,099.95.

For more information, visit www.hitachi.com.

Jan 15 - Sonic Unveils PrimeTime DVD Recording Software for Windows Media Center Edition. Sonic Solutions introduced Sonic PrimeTime(TM), the first PC software application that works seamlessly with Microsoft Windows XP Media Center Edition (MCE) to burn TV shows and other video content to DVD.

Like Windows XP Media Center, Sonic PrimeTime employs a 'ten foot' user interface with large menus. The application takes advantage of the Media Center PC's remote control so that a user can browse and select their favorite shows and record them to DVDs that can be played back on standard set-top DVD players and PCs. DVDs recorded by Sonic PrimeTime also include Sonic's OpenDVD(TM) technology so that they can easily be re-edited at a later time.

"Sonic PrimeTime makes great use of the design innovations and user-friendliness of Windows XP Media Center Edition," said Kevin Eagan, General Manager for the Windows eHome Division, Microsoft. "Sonic's software solution will enable consumers with a Media Center PC equipped with a DVD burner to store personal content onto DVDs with just one click of the Media Center remote control."

Sonic PrimeTime can be launched using the Media Center-compatible remote control by simply clicking a button on the Media Center start menu. Incorporating the same user interface design as Windows XP Media Center Edition, Sonic PrimeTime's large on-screen menus make it easy to record TV shows, including program information from the Media Center electronic program guide, as well as browse through videos and slideshows.

Discs recorded with Sonic PrimeTime are compatible with set-top and PC-based DVD players whose installed base has grown to over 250 million units worldwide.
Sonic PrimeTime incorporates OpenDVD technology, so that DVDs created in PrimeTime can be opened, edited and re-burned using MyDVD(R) or other OpenDVD-compliant applications. With the ability to update and further customize their DVDs, Sonic PrimeTime users can continually add to their collections of recorded programs, for example, putting new episodes on their DVDs each week.
Sonic PrimeTime also includes a built-in Bit Budget(TM), which makes it easy to see how much space is available on each recorded DVD. Once PrimeTime starts burning a DVD, the user can return to watching TV or listening to music on the Media Center PC.

"Sonic PrimeTime is the first application designed for Media Center PC users, and revolutionizes the way people will create DVDs at home," said Mark Ely, Vice President and General Manager at Sonic. "Building on the enthusiastic support Media Center PCs have quickly received, Sonic PrimeTime makes it possible to move seamlessly from enjoying a TV show, a wedding video or a vacation slideshow, to burning this program content to DVD. Anyone that can record to VHS tape can now make a DVD at home."

Sonic PrimeTime will be available for purchase at a suggested U.S. list price of $59.99 from Sonic (http://www.sonic.com/) in March 2003.

Jan 15 - Logitech Announces Face Tracking Software for Web Cameras. Logitech(R)(Nasdaq:LOGI)(SWX:LOGN) is now making it possible for web camera users to remain the center of attention during video sessions.

Logitech's new Face Tracking software automatically tracks a person's face, keeping it centered within the camera's field of view. Soon, Face Tracking will begin shipping with all mid to high-end Logitech webcams that feature digital zoom -- QuickCam(R) Zoom ($79.95), QuickCam Pro 4000 ($99.95), and QuickCam for Notebooks Pro ($99.95).

For existing owners of these web cameras, a free download of Face Tracking is included in Logitech Image Studio(TM) 7.3 software, which can be found at www.logitech.com/imagestudio.

Logitech Face Tracking, powered by A4 Vision, tracks a combination of skin tones, shapes and movement to lock onto a person's face. This new feature takes digital zoom to the next level by automatically enabling the camera to pan, tilt and zoom-in on a person's face --keeping it centered during a video instant messaging session or when recording a video email. Face Tracking is controlled by the broadcaster's computer, and can be quickly and easily enabled or disabled at any time.

"When you're trying to make your Internet communication truly up close and personal, you want to be able to add natural movements and facial gestures without worrying about manually zooming in and zooming out. Face Tracking, another example of Logitech's easy to use, feature rich webcam software, ensures a great user experience," said Spencer Johnson, director of Product Marketing for Logitech's Video Division.
"In the case of video instant messaging the ability for our cameras to automatically track a person's face makes the video IM experience more satisfying for the millions of people that use it every day."

For more information on Logitech and its products, visit the company's web site at www.logitech.com.

Jan 14 - AMD and IBM to Jointly Develop Advanced Chip Technologies. AMD (NYSE: AMD) and IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced the two companies have entered into an agreement to jointly develop chip-making technologies for use in future high-performance products.

The new processes, developed by AMD and IBM, will be aimed at improving microprocessor performance and reducing power consumption, and will be based on advanced structures and materials such as high-speed silicon-on-insulator (SOI) transistors, copper interconnects and improved "low-k dielectric" insulation.

The agreement includes collaboration on 65 and 45nm (nanometer; a billionth of a meter) technologies to be implemented on 300mm (millimeter) silicon wafers.

"We are set to commence production of our 90nm solutions in the fourth quarter of 2003, so we are now expanding process-technology development efforts for our next generation of processors targeted at 65nm and below," said Bill Siegle, senior vice president, technology operations and chief scientist at AMD. "By collaborating with an industry leader like IBM, AMD can deliver industry-leading performance and functionality for our customers while reducing the rapidly escalating cost of technology development."

AMD and IBM will be able to use the jointly-developed technologies to manufacture products in their own chip fabrication facilities and in conjunction with selected manufacturing partners. The companies expect first products based on the new 65nm technologies to appear in 2005.

"Today's marketplace demands the most advanced chip designs and materials technologies," said Bijan Davari, IBM Fellow and vice president, technology and emerging products, IBM Microelectronics Division. "Our work with AMD is all about speeding our joint technologies into products, and helping reduce the time-to-market for customers."

The development will be supported by AMD and IBM engineers working together in IBM's Semiconductor Research and Development Center (SRDC) in IBM's East Fishkill, N.Y. facility. Work is expected to begin by January 30, 2003.

For more AMD news and product information, visit www.amd.com. More information about IBM Microelectronics can be found at: www.ibm.com/chips.

Jan 14 - ViewSonic Introduces New Line of Digital Media Center PCs. Combining computer, audio and video into one platform, ViewSonic(R) Corp., a worldwide Visual Technologies(TM) leader, today announced the launch of its NextVision M series of Digital Media Centers.
The first offerings in the M series line, the M2000 and M1000, both use the Microsoft Windows XP Media Center Edition operating system, which transforms these PCs into multimedia home entertainment systems.

"We created the M series line of Digital Media Centers to serve as the nerve center of a home entertainment network," said Donna Ogilvie, director, business development, Advanced Technology Group, ViewSonic. "This latest addition to our rich line of visual technologies presents users with an opportunity to centralize and share their favorite entertainment information from one convenient source."

The NextVision M2000 includes a 160GB hard drive and a high-powered 2.8 GHz Pentium 4 processor, multiple in and outputs, along with USB and Firewire ports for additional connectivity. With the M2000, consumers can consolidate the Digital Video Recorder, CD/DVD player/writer, MP3 Music library and digital or video photography albums into one centralized home entertainment system with the power of a fully functional high-end PC.
Users can burn movies and music to DVDs and CDs, record up to 140 hours of their favorite TV programs through a personal video recorder and show family photo slide shows with musical accompaniment. In addition, the M2000 comes equipped with SPDIF output that allows for surround sound capabilities to further enhance the home theater experience.

Continuing its mission to meet the needs of a wide variety of consumers, ViewSonic has also created the NextVision M1000. This value configuration includes the same core integrated audio and video capabilities as the M2000 at a lower price point, making the Digital Media Center more affordable for a budget conscious consumer. Featuring 80GB of hard drive storage, the M1000 will ship with an Intel 2.4 GHz Pentium 4 Processor and includes a DVD player/CD-RW drive.

The M2000 and M1000 offer users the utmost in home entertainment versatility. Both models can be placed in a horizontal position as a component in a home entertainment system or in a more traditional vertical orientation on a floor or desktop to fit the decor of any home setting. Front access inputs and outputs eliminate the hassle of moving your entertainment system in order to connect additional devices such as game systems.

ViewSonic's M2000 will feature an estimated street price (ESP) of $1895 after a $100 mail-in-rebate and will be available through select retail outlets, mail order and PC reseller channels beginning mid-February 2003. The M1000 will have an ESP of $1395 after a $100 rebate and will be available in March. Both are backed by a one-year limited warranty on parts and labor.

For further information, visit www.ViewSonic.com.

Jan 14 - PENTAX Debuts Compact Digital Camera. Remember the classic question, "Is it smaller than a breadbox?" on the `50s television quiz show "What's My Line?" In this 21st century, photographic consumers may ask, "Is it smaller than an Altoids(R) tin?" Because the newest digital camera from PENTAX, the OptioS, is so small that it fits into an empty Altoids(R) tin.

When PENTAX debuts the OptioS on January 9 at the annual International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, they'll be using Altoids(R) mint containers and decks of playing cards to show that this advanced-stage camera is smaller than both items. CES is the marketplace where the latest in consumer equipment, gadgets and household items are unveiled to the buying public.

The OptioS is the smallest PENTAX 3.2 megapixel camera, but don't let the dainty size fool you. OptioS has a 3X zoom lens, sharp image resolution and a tough aluminum alloy case.

"This is one well-built camera, which just happens to be the right size for a shirt pocket or purse," said PENTAX marketing V.P. Jim Leffel.

The OptioS will be shipped to major camera retailers around the end of March 2003. Leffel expects demand to be strong because of the PENTAX reputation for quality.

How does PENTAX load so much into such a small space? Carrying on the strong PENTAX optics tradition, the OptioS features a patented sliding lens zoom mechanism that allows the camera's powerful 3X optical lens to fully recede up and away into the camera housing, flush with the body frame. This novel system helps protect the lens and reduce the size of the OptioS by almost 60 percent compared to the PENTAX Optio330RS. A new Multi Chip Module in the circuit board and the redesigned chamber have further minimized free space in the OptioS.

Despite the size, OptioS is packed with features found only on larger, higher-priced digital cameras: a movie mode with sound playback, a voice recording mode for attaching 30-second memos to selected images, a well-placed 1.6-inch LCD monitor, approximately 11MB of built-in memory and a powerful rechargeable lithium-ion battery.

More information can be found at www.pentaxusa.com.

Jan 14 - Wire-Free Electricity to Deliver Full Power to Home & Office Appliances. From desktop to countertop, consumers can now enjoy the convenience and safety of Wire-Free Electric Power technology at their homes as MobileWise introduces true "full-power" wire-free electricity for home appliances.
This is the next step in the evolution of the MobileWise Wire-Free Electricity technology, recently named a "Product-of-the-Year" by Electronic Products Magazine, a trade publication providing product and technology information for today's decision making engineers.

MobileWise has further developed its technology to offer the general consumer market an easy, safe, universal power delivery interface. Various home countertop appliances and electronics can now receive full power from a Wire-Free Electricity Base(TM), powered with MobileWise chipsets.

Current Wire-Free Electricity Bases deliver 120 watts of power -ample power for some appliances. In fact, MobileWise technology itself can now deliver any amount of power needed into appliances and mobile devices. The only limitations on power delivery are regulatory, such as those placed by Underwriters Laboratories (UL). MobileWise will offer even more powerful Bases, delivering about 300 watts of power-to the consumer market in various size, shapes and configurations. The new Bases will be available in the first half of 2003.

MobileWise technology's ubiquitous power delivery capabilities have sparked a great interest from furniture, automobile and other manufacturing industries. Some are planning to embed Wire-Free Electricity Bases in their products to be offered to consumers worldwide during 2004.

"MobileWise technology is more than a simple charging solution for mobile devices - there's no 'trickle charge' here," said MobileWise CEO Andy Goren while displaying various appliances powered by MobileWise technology. "Our technology can already power certain home appliances and electronics such as flat panel TVs and other devices that have no internal battery - it is as if the device is connected directly to the wall. With the pending introduction of even more powerful Bases, further applications for our technology will be enabled."

In the fall of 2002, MobileWise, a fabless semiconductor company, introduced a solution to the Last Wire(TM) problem - the dependency on regularly plugging in mobile devices or appliances for electric power. With MobileWise chip technology and its derivative products, consumers no longer need multiple chargers, adapters and cords. Its technology is already embedded into chipsets that are sold to leading mobile, networking and power accessories OEMs. The technology has been well received, and MobileWise was invited to participate in "What's Hot at Comdex" as part of the 8th Annual Bear Stearns Comdex Trek.

MobileWise chipsets enable a sophisticated wire-free electric power management and delivery to multiple mobile devices with a variety of power needs, delivering safe, convenient, instant power. The first MobileWise application is the Wire-Free-Electricity Base. Once a MobileWise-enabled device is placed anywhere on the Base, it will be powered and charged as if it is plugged to an electric outlet. The Wire-Free-Electricity Base can simultaneously power multiple devices with varying power needs.

MobileWise recently announced that Acer, one of the world's top 10 branded PC vendors, is working towards incorporating MobileWise technology into the design of its newest mobile computing products, expected to reach the market by this spring.

About MobileWise

Headquartered in Palo Alto, California, MobileWise, Inc. (www.mobilewise.com) is a fabless semiconductor company that offers the first commercial safe wire-free electric power technology.

Jan 14 - Samsung's New SCD5000, MiniDV Camcorder and Digital Still Camera. Samsung Electronics today unveils the SCD5000, the latest in Samsung's line of digital convergence products that seamlessly combines the benefits of a MiniDV digital camcorder with a four mega-pixel digital camera.

Unlike other similar products that have either poor resolution for stills or extremely limited recording time and quality for motion pictures, the SCD5000 performs superbly at both functions.

The SCD5000's unique swivel lens mechanism permits easy switching between the two functions; one side of the assembly houses the camcorder lens and sensor and the other side holds the mechanism for the digital still camera.

The digital still camera function creates sharp images with 4.13 mega-pixel CCD resolution. Compared to most digital camcorders that store low-resolution still images at 640 x 480 pixels, the SCD5000 produces 2272 x 1704 images suitable for large size prints. Additionally, the SCD5000's embedded strobe allows still picture taking in low light conditions. Other features include a 3x optical zoom for camera and swivel lens assembly. The images can be stored in Memory Stick media and transferred through USB ports.

As a digital camcorder, the SCD5000 features 680K pixel CCD, MiniDV and MPEG-4 recording. The lens allows users the option of a 10X optical or 800x digital zoom. Samsung's proprietary Power Nite Pix function greatly improves picture quality under unfavorable light conditions. And the SCD5000's two-inch trans-reflective LCD viewfinder ensures optimal clarity even under direct sunlight. Captured footage is transferred through the IEEE1394 (FireWire) connector.

"Samsung Electronics' SCD5000 balances two digital devices without compromise. It is a high-performance device, both as a digital still camera and a digital camcorder," said Mr. Man-Yong Shin, Executive Vice President & General Manager, Digital Video System Division of Samsung Electronics. "With the introduction of the SCD5000, Samsung has made the vision of digital convergence become a reality for digital video and photo enthusiasts."

More information can be found at www.samsung.com/wow.

Jan 14 - Evolution Robotics Introduces Breakthrough Solution for Robot Navigation. Evolution Robotics(TM) Inc., a leading provider of state-of-the-art robotics software technologies and a 2003 CES Innovations Award Honoree, today announced a first-of-its-kind, breakthrough navigation technology for robot localization and mapping.

The Visual Simultaneous Localization and Mapping technology (vSLAM(TM)) enables a robot to determine its own position relative to its environment. This technology is a major achievement in robot navigation, enabling manufacturers to develop a new generation of useful robotic products with more intelligence than previously possible.

Using only a low-cost camera and wheel encoders as sensors, vSLAM is a very affordable solution for localization and mapping - it can mean the difference between using a $50 web cam and a $5000 laser range finder. The significance of this technology is that it now enables manufacturers to develop practical and useful robotic products for the mass consumer market.

"Our vSLAM technology for localization and mapping brings us a large step closer to realizing our vision of a robot in every home and workplace. For the first time, it is possible to integrate reliable navigation technologies into personal robots at an affordable cost, which we hope will result in a new generation of products that were previously inconceivable", commented Paolo Pirjanian, Chief Scientist at Evolution Robotics and former roboticist with Jet Propulsion Laboratories, who directed the R&D efforts for the development of vSLAM.

Because of its low cost and robust performance in realistic environments, the vSLAM technology is particularly well-suited for use in consumer and commercial applications including patrolling for security, package delivery, autonomous vacuuming or floor-care, and material handling.

With this novel approach to localization and mapping, the robot builds a visual map consisting of a set of unique "landmarks" created as the robot explores its environment. A landmark is an image of a scene that is uniquely identified using a sophisticated vision algorithm developed at Evolution Robotics. As the robot revisits mapped areas, it uses recognized landmarks to estimate its own position. Furthermore, it gradually updates and refines the map allowing it to adapt to changes in the environment such as rearranged furniture or objects.

"The key to our success in providing a reliable, yet cost-effective, solution to localization is the use of vision processing, in combination with sophisticated probabilistic methods for position estimation", commented Drs. Luis Goncalves and Niklas Karlsson, two of the lead scientists behind the invention.

Evolution Robotics offers vSLAM and other breakthrough robotics technologies to OEMs interested in building new personal robot products, or embedding robotics capabilities into existing products.

Evolution Robotics(TM) can be found online at www.evolution.com.

Jan 14 - Smartphones to Dominate Wireless Handset Market By 2008. A migration trend is emerging among wireless users toward feature rich devices that incorporate color screens and advanced data and messaging applications, including navigation, multimedia messaging (MMS), and instant messaging, among others.

The primary catalysts of this trend are a combination of factors. For one, wireless handset penetration continues to grow, moving the market from one characterized by initial penetration to that of replacement with next generation devices. Secondly, wireless operators are under increased pressure to drive higher average revenue per subscriber (ARPU) and are doing so by adding data services and "infotainment" content available to newer technology handsets.

"With handset makers and wireless operators developing new devices and compelling services, the replacement cycle will shorten, accelerating growth in the handset," states Kenil Vora, an analyst with ABI. "Key to maintaining this growth is the successful deployment - and timing - of feature-rich devices and related services."

Inside The Numbers

According to a new study by Allied Business Intelligence (ABI) the number of replacement handsets shipped will grow from 211 million in 2002 to 591 million units in 2008, representing nearly 85% of all shipments worldwide at that time.

The study, "Wireless Handsets, Smartphones and Communicators --The Convergence Of The Cell Phone & PDA And The Emerging 3G Network" also indicates that, of the estimated 406 million handsets shipped in 2002, only about 15% incorporated color displays. This number is expected to jump to 97% by 2008.

Details can be found on the web at www.alliedworld.com.

Jan 13 - Intel Announces Centrino Mobile Technology. Intel Corporation said today Centrino(TM) mobile technology is the new brand name for its upcoming wireless mobile computing technology.
The new brand signifies Intel's best technology for notebook computers, based on a new mobile processor microarchitecture and wireless capability as well as features designed to enable extended battery life, thinner and lighter form factors, and outstanding mobile performance.

The technologies represented by the Centrino brand will include a microprocessor (formerly code-named "Banias"), related chipsets and 802.11 (Wi-Fi) wireless networking capability. These components are designed, optimized and validated by Intel to maximize the wireless mobile computing experience. The Centrino brand marks the first time Intel has branded a combination of technologies under one name.

Centrino mobile technology is planned for introduction in the first half of this year.
"The Centrino brand signifies a new generation of mobile PCs that will change where and how people compute," said Pam Pollace, Intel vice president and director, Corporate Marketing Group. "Whether at work, at home, at an airport or a cafe, Centrino mobile technology will bring the freedom and flexibility of being unwired."

The new Centrino mobile technology brand name will be represented by a new logo carrying the famous Intel Inside(R) mark. The logo, featuring a striking magenta color and a completely new shape, suggests flight, mobility, and forward movement.

Intel, the world's largest chipmaker, is also a leading manufacturer of computer, networking and communications products. Additional information about Intel is available at www.intel.com.

Jan 13 - HP Delivers New High-performance Notebook Series. HP (NYSE:HPQ) today introduced two new powerful, wireless-ready notebook PCs -- the Compaq Presario 2100 and 2500 series. Both offer a striking design and high performance geared to the mobile user at a great value without compromising on features.

In keeping with HP's goal of making wireless Internet access easy, customers who purchase select models of the Compaq Presario Notebook 2500 series are eligible to receive 2,000 free minutes of T-Mobile(R) HotSpot(SM) high-speed wireless Internet service.

"Our new notebooks PCs are about giving customers a great wireless experience," said Kevin Frost, vice president of worldwide notebook marketing, HP Personal Systems Group. "We integrated WiFi technology into notebooks and partnered with T-Mobile to help mobile users --from small office professionals to students -- experience an extraordinary wireless experience."

Compaq Presario Notebook 2100 Series

The Compaq Presario Notebook 2100 series offers advantages customers need for work, school or home use with a high level of performance for productivity or digital entertainment use. Sporting a sleek design in two-tone graphite and silver, the Compaq Presario 2100 is an attractive and mobile notebook at 1.5-inch thin and weighing as light as 6.7 pounds.

Customers have a choice of wireless options for home and small office environment, up to a 15-inch display, outstanding ATI Mobility Radeon graphics -- all at an incredible value. The 2100 series comes with a full range of Intel(R) Celeron(R) and Mobile Pentium(R) 4-M processors as well as the fastest AMD Athlon XP processor with PowerNow! technology.

Estimated U.S. pricing for the Presario 2100 starts at $899 after $100 mail in rebate.

Compaq Presario Notebook 2500 Series

Designed for excellent desktop performance, the Compaq Presario Notebook 2500 offers fast desktop processors -- the Intel Pentium 4 processor up to 2.8 GHz. The notebook also includes up to 15-inch high-resolution TFT display, ATI Mobility Radeon integrated graphics, IEEE 1394 input and wireless connectivity making it the ideal portable system for the home and home office.

In addition, the notebook features an integrated 10/100 Ethernet LAN, 56 Kbps v.90/v.92 modem, port replicator connector, 802.11b networking (on select models) and easy-to-use one-touch buttons for instant access to Web sites and applications.

Estimated U.S. pricing for the Compaq Presario Notebook 2500 series starts at $1,399.

The Compaq Presario 2100 and 2500 series are available to customize with a full range of options. The products also can be purchased through HP's "Built for You" kiosks located in participating retailers, through the Web at www.hpshopping.com.

Jan 13 - Viewsonic Introduces High Resolution LCD TV Monitors. Continuing its commitment to bringing customers more versatile and affordable display solutions, ViewSonic® Corp., a worldwide Visual Technologies™ leader, today introduced two distinct lines of LCD TVs that provide consumers complete solutions for converging their computer and television into a multifunctional entertainment system.

ViewSonic's VT series provides a component-type approach to LCD TV for consumers seeking high performance when viewing PC data, video and TV content on an LCD. The NextVision™ N series of LCD TVs offers an integrated option that delivers the functionality of a computer display and a TV in one compact form factor.

VT SERIES

Launching with an estimated street price of $499, the VT550 is the initial model in a series of LCD TV systems that gives consumers flexibility in how they configure their personal theaterTM display system. With 1024x768 resolution and an UltraBrite™ panel providing up to 500 nits of brightness, the 15-inch VT550 is designed not only to be a great multimedia monitor, but also an excellent high resolution LCD TV, including features such as integrated stereo speakers, an external head phone jack and internal and external microphone connectors.

Over the next few months, ViewSonic will add 17- and 19-inch HDTV compatible versions to its VT series.

N SERIES

Consumers looking for an integrated LCD TV solution can realize their desires with the company's N series of displays. As the newest additions to the series, both the 15-inch N1500 and 18-inch N1800 feature built-in TV tuners.

With brightness levels of up to 500 nits, the N1500 will be available at a manufacturers suggested retail price (MSRP) of $699 and with 450 nits of brightness, the N1800 will have an MSRP of $999. Both displays support 1024x768 resolutions, feature integrated 3-watt speakers and can be utilized as a primary computer, TV or entertainment display.

These latest offerings join ViewSonic's first LCD TV display-the N1700w which also takes the integrated approach to LCD TV, but features a 16:9, wide screen format and features picture-in-picture (PIP) capabilities. The N1700w will ship with a manufacturers suggested retail price (MSRP) of $999 and offers a 17-inch wide screen and enhanced viewing with a 1280x768 resolution and more than 450 nits of brightness.

For further information, visit www.ViewSonic.com.

Jan 13 - 1394 Trade Association Cites First FireWire 800 Products. Leaders of the 1394 Trade Association today said the arrival of the first computer and storage products built with the new ultra high speed FireWire 800 multimedia bus offers consumers the industry's best-ever audio-video connectivity, and sets the stage for a new, exciting era of networking based on the enhanced IEEE 1394b standard.

Product announcements at the annual MacWorld Conference in San Francisco came from Apple Computer, with its new Powerbook G4, with its 17-inch display and FireWire 800; Maxtor Corp., with its new 200GB FireWire 800 concept hard drive; and LaCie, with its new line of desktop d2 FireWire 800 drives, ranging from 200GB to 500 GB.

All the new FireWire 800 products are based on the `b' version of the IEEE 1394 multimedia standard, developed by the 1394 Trade Association. 1394b delivers speeds starting at 800 megabits/second, scalable to 1.6 Gigabits/second, then to 3.2 Gigabits/second. It also extends the distance that FireWire-equipped devices can send video and audio to more than 100 meters over CAT-5, plastic fiber and other media.

"These first FireWire 800 products signal the emergence of a new era for 1394/FireWire," said James Snider, executive director of the Trade Association. "At 800 megabits per second, we are pushing data transfer rates in desktops and notebooks to levels never before possible. Based on my conversations with industry insiders, 2003 will be a strong year for FireWire 800 consumer and computer products, with significant growth expected in 2004."

The 1394 Trade Association is a worldwide organization of consumer electronics, computer and peripheral product leaders dedicated to the advancement and application of the IEEE 1394 standard.

For more information, please visit the TA web sites at www.1394ta.org.

Jan 13 - HDTV UpConverter Maximizes Consumer Investment in HDTV Televisions. ADS Tech (www.adstech.com), a leader in consumer video solutions, today announced the launch of HDTV UpConverter.

With the HDTV UpConverter, home-theater aficionados can take full advantage of their high definition, progressive scan televisions and enjoy brilliantly sharp, life-like video content from most video sources. HDTV UpConverter converts standard interlaced video (480i or 480p) and standard definition television signals into HDTV, progressive-scan resolutions of 480p, 720p or 1080i to provide users with cinema-quality video for an exhilarating home-theatre experience.

This product is ideal for those who have invested in the cost of an HDTV-capable television but who are limited to the standard broadcast quality content still used by most stations and cable companies. In addition, with this device users can experience high-definition video from legacy, interlaced video equipment -- VCRs, cable TV boxes, DVD players, satellite receivers and video game devices. HDTV UpConverter will ship in February with an estimated street price (ESP) of $499.

Millions of consumers have already purchased television sets that are HDTV "ready." The problem is that most of these sets do not include an HDTV tuner, so the television does not receive any HDTV resolution content and looks little better than standard televisions that are a fraction of the price.
In addition, most households have multiple video sources -- VCRs, cable TV boxes, DVD players, satellite receivers and video game devices -- that deliver only standard definition interlaced video (480i) signal (even if the signal is sent to an expensive HDTV capable TV). The result is that the consumer never gets to enjoy the full potential of their HDTV investment because there is no High-Definition video content to watch.

The HDTV UpConverter solves these issues with CinemaView Technology developed by ADS Tech. CinemaView Technology turns a standard definition interlaced video signal into pure 1280 x 720 progressive scan or 1920 x 1080 interlaced HDTV resolution video with superior image scaling by utilizing pixel-by-pixel motion adaptive de-interlacing without introducing motion artifacts.
CinemaView Technology also utilizes inverse 2:2/3:2 film processing to provide "cinema-like" progressive scan images from film originated content like DVD movies and many TV shows.

HDTV UpConverter will be available through ADS Tech's network of online and retail channels worldwide in February 2003. The unit will sell for an ESP of $499.

For more information, visit www.ADStech.com.

Jan 12 - Sunday Shopping Watch.

Best Sunday Deals - See our Best Sunday Ad Deals Table below for specific system prices.

Weekly Comparison. Prices made minor changes from last week.

Laptops - Prices slightly higher than last week's.

Desktops - Prices were slightly lower than last week's.

This Sunday's Special Discounts and Financing. In addition to sales on specific items, the following store-wide sales are advertised this week. (Note that these ads are for the Dayton, Ohio area. Prices or offerings may be different where you live.)

Best Buy is offering 6 months of free MSN with any computer purchase. They also have 12 month no-interest financing on all laptops. In addition they are giving mail-in rebates of $100 on all desktop packages and laptops.
Circuit City is offering $100 instant savings on all desktop packages and laptop purchases. They also have 12 month no-interest financing on all desktop packages and laptops.
Office Depot has 6 months no payment, no interest financing for new computer purchases over $298.
CompUSA has 6 months no payment, no interest financing for any purchases over $198. They are also offering 3 free months of AOL with any computer purchase. In addition they have $100 instant savings on all AMD Athlon XP notebooks.
Staples has no store-wide promotions this Sunday.
Compare to Online Prices - Compare the Sunday ad prices to those being offered at DealTime, it searches over 160 online computer stores.

InfoHQ Related Shopping Pages

Shopping Alerts - Our latest shopping advisories on buying digital cameras and camcorders, desktop computers, and laptops.

Windows XP Upgrade Guide - All about upgrading to Windows XP.

What You Need to Know About Dial-up Internet Service Rebates - The pros and cons of 'free' Internet service deals.

Definitions. A complete desktop system/package/complete package is defined as a computer with monitor and printer or scanner.
A build-to-order system is customized at the retailer and then ordered from a computer manufacturer. In addition to the computer's stated price, you still pay sales tax and shipping charges (if you order direct from the vendor without going through the chain store, you may not have to pay sales tax and you could get a better warranty).

Caution about advertised prices. When reading advertisements, read the fine print of the ad to make sure you know what is being advertised and what it cost. For example, many advertisers will show a complete system with computer, monitor, and printer but advertise a price for the computer only.

* Prices discussed in this article. We report prices after rebates and discounts are subtracted.
Items highlighted in Black are good deals.
Items highlighted in Red means prices have gone up and the system is not a good buy this week.
Items in normal text means prices are about the same as the previous weeks.

Best Sunday Ad Deals
Category
Product Description
Price* (see above)
Prices up or Down this Week
Store
Best Celeron Deal
Compaq 1.7 GHz complete system
$579
-
CompUSA
1. Best High-end Pentium 4 System
HP 2 GHz system with 17 inch monitor
$799
-
Staples
2. Best High-end Pentium 4 System
Compaq 2 GHz complete system
$899
-
Circuit City
3. Best High-end Pentium 4 System
Sony 2.40 GHz complete system
$1249
-
Circuit City
1. Best Low-cost Athlon XP System
Compaq 1800+ with 17 inch monitor
$499
-
Best Buy
2. Best Low-cost Athlon XP System
Compaq 2000+ with 17 inch monitor
$590
-
Best Buy
1. Best Low-cost Notebook
HP 1.6 GHz Celeron with DVD
$899
+$150
CompUSA
2. Best Low-cost Notebook
HP 1.7 GHz Celeron with DVD/CD-RW
$1149
-
CompUSA
3. Best Low-cost Notebook
Compaq Athlon XP 1800+ with DVD/CD-RW
$1149
-
Best Buy, CompUSA
1. Best High-end Notebook
Compaq Pentium 4-M 1.8 GHz with DVD/CD-RW
$1399
-
Circuit City
2. Best High-end Notebook
Sony Pentium 4-M 2.4 GHz with DVD/CD-RW and 16" screen
$1699
-$50
Circuit City
Peripherals
Best Sunday Deal
Western Digital 7200 RPM 100 GB Hard Drive
$79
(after rebates)
-
CompUSA
Best Sunday Deal
Western Digital 7200 RPM 180 GB Hard Drive
$200
(after rebates)
-
CompUSA
Best Sunday Deal
ATI Radeon 9700 Pro
$349
(after rebates)
-
Best Buy
Best Sunday Deal
ATI All-in-Wonder Radeon 9700 Pro
$399
(after rebates)
-
CompUSA
Best Sunday Deal
TDK 48X CD-RW
$39
(after rebates
)
-
CompUSA
Best Sunday Deal
Sony 48X CD-RW
$39
(after rebates)
-
Office Depot

 

InfoHQ Quick Jumps to Upgrades from DealTime - Click to check on latest prices
Video Cards ATI Radeon
  GeForce4 FX
Hard Drives Maxtor
  Western Digital
  Seagate
CD-RW Drives 40x/48x Write Speed
DVD-RW Drives DVD+RW/CD-RW
CPUs All AMD Athlon XP CPUs
  All Intel Pentium 4 CPUs
Antivirus Software All Manufacturers
Firewall Software All Manufacturers
All Other Products DealTime

 

Additional Information. For additional technical information, advice on how to buy a laptop or desktop, and vendor and manufacturer links, please see our Computer Buying Advice page.

About Sunday Shopping Watch. Sunday Shopping Watch appears every Sunday (except some holidays like Easter and Christmas) in our News and Rumors column. It is a review of local (Dayton, Ohio) computer chain store advertisements. While we can not guarantee your local chain store has the same items, this article can help you make informed buying decisions.

Jan 10 - Intel XScale Technology Smart Displays Enable Home Wireless PC Access. Intel Corporation announced today that top makers of wireless Smart Displays -- Abocom, Fujitsu, Lite-On, MSI, Philips, Tatung, TriGem and ViewSonic -- have selected Intel(R) XScale(TM) technology based processors to power new products that help enable wireless PC access throughout the home.
Retail availability for these Smart Displays running on Intel XScale technology is expected this month from ViewSonic and Philips, with products currently targeted to be released later this year from Fujitsu and TriGem.

Smart Displays are wireless flat-panel displays that are used as monitors when docked to a base desktop PC, but when detached, become a mobile monitor using 802.11b wireless LAN technology to access information and applications from the desktop PC from anywhere in the home. The devices are based on Microsoft Windows technology and work with your home PC operating on Windows XP Professional with service pack 1.

"Intel XScale technology based processors provide the high-performance needed for Smart Display devices to access applications and data from the base PC," said Michael Iannitti, director, Intel Extended Computing Division. "The XScale application processor is specifically designed for low-power consumption to help enable long battery life for these devices."

"The design and mobility of the ViewSonic airpanel V110 and V150 Smart Displays, coupled with Intel XScale technology based processors, deliver a unique experience for anywhere, anytime wireless access to the home PC," said Marc McConnaughey, senior vice president, Advanced Technology Group, ViewSonic Corp. "We selected the Intel PXA250 processor operating at 400MHz for high performance and low-power consumption that results in a long battery life of up to four hours."

Additional information about Smart Displays, XScale technology-based application processors and the Intel Smart Display Reference design can be found at http://developer.intel.com.

Jan 10 - Dolby Digital EX Technology Ups the Ante for Home Surround Sound. With approximately 50 DVD-Video titles presently encoded with Dolby(R) Digital EX technology, and an additional 20 first-run movies scheduled to be released on DVD in 2003, Dolby Digital EX technology, referred to in cinemas as Dolby Digital Surround EX(TM), is transforming the home theater experience.

Dolby Digital EX technology employs highly advanced Dolby matrix decoding to add a third surround channel to Dolby Digital 5.1-channel soundtracks. Located at the center back position, this additional rear surround channel complements the left and right surround channels of Dolby Digital 5.1-channel audio to produce an intensified degree of realism, further immersing movie viewers in the on-screen action.

Thousands of cinemas worldwide are now equipped with Dolby Digital Surround EX technology--the most rapidly adopted new sound format in cinema history.

Recent Dolby Digital EX releases on DVD-Video include Monsters Inc., The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (Extended Version), Austin Powers in Goldmember, and Star Wars: Episode II--Attack of the Clones. Dolby Digital EX releases currently showing in theatres include Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, James Bond: Die Another Day, and The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers.

"Watching a movie or DVD-Video encoded with Dolby Digital EX technology is an experience in enhanced spatial audio, almost indistinguishable from reality. It's about powerful flyovers; sensing, for example, alien creatures or jungle animals circling to your rear; or clearly distinguishing conversations and street noise as they seem to occur directly behind you," said Craig Eggers, director of consumer channel marketing, Dolby Laboratories.
"The ability of Dolby Digital EX technology to add spatial and directional cues to the home theater experience is resulting in the release of more DVD titles encoded with Dolby Digital EX, and more hardware manufacturers adopting Dolby Digital EX decoding technology in their audio receiver and home-theater-in a-box products."

Dolby Digital EX Technology Enhances Movie Atmosphere and Action

Speakers positioned to the rear of the viewer reproduce the third surround channel enabled by Dolby Digital EX technology. In a cinema, these speakers are located directly behind the audience. For the third surround channel to be reproduced in a home theater, Dolby Digital EX encoding must be included in a receiver or preamp/processor, and the audio reproduced via a rear surround speaker and appropriate signal amplification.

Feature films released in Dolby Digital Surround EX include the encoded third surround channel in subsequent DVD-Video offerings, as well as during 5.1-channel Dolby Digital satellite and terrestrial television broadcasts. When a home theater system has a receiver or preamp/processor equipped with Dolby Digital EX decoding, viewers can experience the movie soundtracks as they were intended to be heard, with the increased spatial realism created by the additional surround channel.

Dolby Digital EX software programming is fully backwards compatible with all existing Dolby Digital 5.1 decoder products.

For more information about Dolby Laboratories or Dolby technologies, please visit www.dolby.com.

Jan 10 - Sales of U.S. Consumer Electronics to Hit New Record in 2003. Sales of consumer electronics products will total a record $99.5 billion in 2003, marking a 3.5 percent increase over 2002, according to figures released today by the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA).

The figures were issued as part of CEA Market Research's annual U.S. Consumer Electronics Sales & Forecasts report.

The association also announced that 2002 sales are estimated to total $96.2 billion rising a healthy 3.7 percent over 2001. The 2002 figure is slightly higher than CEA's initial projections forecast in January 2002.

"Consumer electronics continue to capture the imagination and meet the needs of the American consumer," said CEA President and CEO Gary Shapiro.
"From digital video to gaming, from wireless to in-car electronics, from home networking to digital imaging, our industry's products provide consumers with instant access to information and entertainment and enable them to stay connected - making the world a better place. As an industry, we are raising the world's standard of living and increasing people's knowledge and their ability to communicate. More, we continue to stand as an essential cog in the national economy even in these uncertain times."

Digital products continue as the primary driver behind industry growth. In the video category, stand-alone DVD players maintain their march as the fastest growing technology of all time, now in 35 percent of U.S. homes. Unit sales totaled 17.6 million in 2002, up 39 percent on the back of new combination DVD/VCR players.

Sales will climb an additional 14 percent in 2003, reaching 20.1 million units on dollar sales of $2.6 billion.

Sales of digital TV (DTV) sets and displays exceeded CEA forecasts in 2002, as shipments totaled 2.683 million units. By the end of 2003 consumers will have invested more than $15 billion in DTV products with sales for the year reaching 3.8 million units on dollar sales of $5.5 billion.

Consumer interest in flat panel televisions will result in strong gains in related categories in 2003. Sales of plasma sets will rise by 40 percent in 2003 with dollar sales totaling $616 million, up from $453 million in 2002. Sales of LCD televisions will jump from 965 thousand units in 2002 to 1.1 million units in 2003 on dollar sales of $111 million.

Rapid Adoption of Digital Audio

While the audio category faces declines across several products, the category also is benefiting from rapid consumer adoption of digital products. Despite continuing debates over home recording rights, MP3 players shot past all estimates for a breakaway year in 2002.

Unit volume sales leapt to 1.7 million, a 56 percent increase over 2001, and are expected to rise another 26% to 2.1 million units for 2003.

Fueled by the massive adoption of DVD, Home Theater in a Box also is bringing growth to the audio industry. Unit volumes will increase by a further 10% in 2003, bringing total sales to 3.4 million units, even as lower wholesale prices bring revenues to just over $1 billion.

In digital imaging, digital camera sales will total more than 11 million units in 2003, up 26 percent from 2002, on dollar sales of $2.9 billion.

PC Sales Back on the Upswing

Two categories once thought to have reached a plateau will see growth in 2003. Growth in PC sales is expected to finally come back into positive territory in 2003 as unit sales rise roughly 4 percent and dollar sales total $11 billion as digital media and increasing PC specs are helping drive a new upgrade cycle.

Sales of wireless telephones will increase by 6 percent to 60 million units on dollar sales of $8.8 billion.

CEA also forecasts that the electronic gaming market will total over $12 billion in 2003 with sales of gaming software increasing by 17 percent to $9.2.

Finally, as Americans continue to be concerned about their security, sales of home security systems are expected to see a seven percent increase in 2003, rising from $1.9 billion to $2.1 billion.

"The future of our industry is bright, even as some individual companies face challenges" said Shapiro. "Twenty years ago our industry sales were $14.1 billion. In 2003, we will be close to $100 billion in sales. The consumer technology market has a solid record of growth, and we have every reason to be optimistic going forward. Despite economic uncertainties, consumers are finding compelling reasons to upgrade from analog to new digital products."

Visit www.eBrain.org to obtain a full copy of the report.

Jan 10 - LG.Philips LCD Demonstrates Latest TFT-LCD Advancements at CES 2003. LG.Philips LCD Co., Ltd., a leading innovator in thin-film-transistor liquid crystal display (TFT-LCD) technology, will showcase its broad portfolio of TFT-LCD products for LCD TVs, desktop monitors and other applications during CES 2003 in Las Vegas.

All of LG.Philips LCD's TFT-LCDs for TVs (including 17W and larger) to be demonstrated at the show feature LG.Philips LCD's proprietary Super-In-Plane-Switching (S-IPS) technology, enabling a rich actual-picture performance including the world's widest viewing angle, high and stable contrast ratio, as well as a faster response time in conjunction with over driver circuit (ODC)* technology, as compared to other TFT-LCDs currently on the market.

The company will be featuring the following display modules at the show:

52-inch Wide HDTV-4 for HDTVs

The largest TFT-LCD to ever be demonstrated, the 52W has a superior resolution of 1920 x 1080, and features 2.07 million pixels -- more than seven times that of a standard definition (SD) television and twice as many as that found in many HDTVs -- delivering the best image available for TFT-LCDs. Utilizing S-IPS, the 52W also features the world's widest viewing angle (176 degrees), with a minimum of color shift, and incorporates a modern, "wide" aspect ratio of 16:9.

42-inch Wide XGA LCD for HDTVs

LG.Philips LCD's 42W delivers superior resolution with a modern "wide" aspect ratio shape. The 42W boasts a wide-viewing angle of 176 degrees with S-IPS, an unparalleled brightness of 500 cd/m2, and a gray-to-gray (GTG) fast response time of 12 ms, which is needed to deliver the bright, crisp images and fine detail essential for supporting digital broadcasting. In addition to its slim form factor (56 mm in thickness), this new display offers a high maximum contrast ratio (600:1).

30W Wide XGA LCD for HDTVs and Large Information Displays

Developed for today's HDTV market, the 30W boasts a wide viewing angle of 176 degrees with S-IPS, brightness of 450 cd/m2 and resolution of 1280 x 768. In addition to its large screen size and slim form factor (50.9 mm), this display also offers a high contrast ratio (500:1) and aspect ratio of 16:9.6.

23-inch Wide XGA LCD for Monitors and HDTVs

The 23W has a WXGA resolution of 1280 x 768 and a wide viewing angle of 176 degrees in all directions with S-IPS -- reducing gray scale inversions and ensuring color integrity, regardless of the viewer's position. The 23W's slim design (only 34.5 mm thick) requires less workspace, while the display itself consumes less power, emits lower electromagnetic radiation and lessens end-user eyestrain, compared to a CRT-based solution of similar resolution and size.

20.1-inch VGA LCD for LCD TVs

The LC201V02 boasts LG.Philips LCD's side-mounting technology (shifting screws from the front to the side), making possible the competitively slimmer and compact design that is less than 25 mm thick. The LCD also features a brightness of 450 cd/m2, a contrast ratio of 500:1, a GTG response time of 16 ms and a viewing angle of 176 degrees in all directions with S-IPS.

17-inch Wide XGA LCD for Desktop Monitors and TVs

LG.Philips LCD's new 17W display is designed for new wide-format PCs, as well as PC TV applications. The wide-format display offers 1280 x 768 resolution, a color saturation of 72 percent, a brightness of 450 cd/m2, and a GTG response time of 16ms. Furthermore, it is extremely thin, at only 25 mm. It also boasts a wide-viewing angle of 176 degrees thanks to S-IPS.

13-inch VGA LCD for TVs

Utilizing LG.Philips LCD's patented side mounting technology, the LC130V01 is only 17.5 mm thick -- enabling for slimmer and more compact TVs. This display also features a high brightness of 450 cd/m2, an impressive response time of 16 ms and a contrast ratio of 400:1.

Information on the company is available at www.lgphilips-lcd.com.

Jan 10 - Maya 4.5 Personal Learning Edition Available for Free Download. Alias|Wavefront™, an SGI (NYSE: SGI) company, announced today that the highly anticipated Maya 4.5 Personal Learning Edition™ software is now available for free download.
Building on the success of the first release of Maya Personal Learning Edition™ software, Alias|Wavefront is continuing its commitment to make Maya® software accessible to everyone interested in learning digital content creation.

"Maya Personal Learning Edition lets anyone experience and learn the same 3D software used to create such major computer graphic rich film productions as Spiderman and The Lord of the Rings series," said Bob Bennett, General Manager of Product Development at Alias|Wavefront.

Maya Personal Learning Edition Highlights

A significant highlight of Maya 4.5 Personal Learning Edition is the enhancement to the watermark which is no longer visible when working in wire frame mode, allowing users to concentrate on developing their modeling skills. Also with this new release, it is possible to import different data types -- including files from the commercial version of Maya. This gives users access to the many Learning Tools from Alias|Wavefront as well as after-market books and the huge virtual Maya community on the web.

The Maya 4.5 Personal Learning Edition includes all new features found in Maya Complete™ 4.5 software, so users can experience the full power of the software. New modeling tools, Subdivision surfaces, integrated 3D Paint and numerous User Interface (UI) and workflow enhancements are a few of the features that Maya 4.5 Personal Learning Edition users can take advantage of, for free.

The Maya Personal Learning Edition Experience

Support for those using Maya Personal Learning Edition takes the form of a web-based resource center, that provides full access to enhanced video tutorials, discussion forums, system requirements and content exchanges, where users can share work and download free sample files. There is also a Maya Personal Learning Edition gallery where artists can exhibit their projects. The Maya Personal Learning Edition resource center can be accessed at www.aliaswavefront.com/maya/ple/resource.

Jan 09 - New Toshiba Notebooks Combine Power and Performance at Low Cost. Toshiba's Computer Systems Group (CSG) today announced the Satellite(R) 2430/2435 and 2410/2415 Series of portable computers providing customers an affordable platform to play CDs, watch DVDs and perform multimedia applications with pricing starting below $1,500.

"Toshiba clearly understands the need to remain mobile without sacrificing the performance and features of a desktop PC," said Oscar Koenders, vice president of product marketing and worldwide product planning, Toshiba CSG. "Our mobile expertise has allowed us to develop notebook PCs that integrate high-end multimedia features, large displays and powerful performance all at a low cost to the customer."

Satellite 2430/2435 Series

Toshiba's Satellite 2430/2435 Series integrates desktop-caliber features, perfect for putting together a multimedia presentation, surfing the Web or backing up large amounts of data.

Features include the Intel(R) Pentium(R) 4 Processor, 2.40GHz, 512MB of DDR memory, Harman/Kardon(R) stereo speakers, a built-in DVD-ROM/CD-RW multi-function drive and the NVIDIA(R) GeForce4(TM) 420 graphics processing unit, 32MB, to handle work and play applications.

For quickly downloading holiday photos or transferring data, the notebooks include a built-in i.Link(R) (IEEE 1394) port and a Secure Digital(R) slot. Three USB 2.0 ports are also integrated delivering faster data transfer rates with a variety of peripheral devices.

Satellite 2410/2415 Series

The Satellite 2410/2415 Series combines performance and affordability for students, families or small to medium-sized businesses. With built-in DVD-ROM and CD recording capabilities --plus instant access to the Internet via 10/100 Ethernet, v.92 modem and optional wireless connectivity -- the Satellite 2410/2415 Series meets the computing demands of today's mobile user.

Priced at less than $1,500, the Satellite 2410/2415 Series is powered by the Intel Mobile Pentium 4 Processor-M, 2.0GHz, 256MB DDR SDRAM, a 15-inch diagonal TFT display, NVIDIA(R) GeForce4(TM) 420 Go graphics, 16MB and built-in DVD-ROM/CD-RW multi-function drive for multimedia and data backup needs.

Availability

The Toshiba Satellite 2415 and 2435 Series are available direct via www.shoptoshiba.com and Toshiba's retail distribution channels including computer superstores and consumer electronic stores. The Satellite 2410 and 2430 Series are available through Toshiba's traditional channels and at www.shoptoshiba.com.

Jan 09 - Palm Handheld Sales Surpass 20 Million Mark. Palm Solutions Group today said it has sold more than 20 million handhelds to consumers, mobile professionals and businesses around the world. Spurred by the sales of its two new products, the Palm™ Zire™ and Tungsten™ T handhelds, Palm branded devices continue to be the world's most popular handhelds.

The introduction of the original Pilot handheld from Palm in 1996 ignited a revolution in handheld computing around the world. The simplicity, tiny size, low price tag and long battery life of Palm products - along with the unprecedented one-button backup to a personal computer - led to rapid adoption of the device and its Palm successors.

Because Palm products let people stay connected to their most important information, they have become valuable tools to corporate executives and mobile professionals worldwide, expanding quickly into the consumer markets and winning the hearts of customers from college students to soccer moms. Palm remains the world's favorite handheld by being easy to use, expandable, wearable and highly mobile.
The enduring advantage of a Palm handheld is that information is only a tap or two away versus the PC-style experience of complex dialog boxes and multiple, confusing steps to accomplish a basic task.

Last year, Palm branded handhelds commanded 39.4 percent of the worldwide personal companion handheld device market, according to IDC. This year, the company's market share has stayed constant, even though the competitive landscape has attracted more than 10 Palm Powered(TM) licensees and more than 20 Microsoft Pocket PC-based devices. Still a nascent market, Palm research shows that in the U.S. alone there are more than 63 million individuals interested in purchasing handheld devices.

Information about Palm, Inc. is available at www.palm.com/aboutpalm.

Jan 09 - HP Introduces Its Fastest DVD Writers Ever. HP (NYSE:HPQ) today introduced two new DVD writers that allow users to easily preserve, edit and share video and data faster than ever before. Twice as fast as the company's previous writers, the devices are capable of writing an entire DVD in as little as 15 minutes.

Using a DVD write-speed of up to 4X, the HP DVD 300i internal DVD writer and the HP DVD 300e external DVD writer enable users to quickly preserve and edit video, store data, record music and back up and transport information on DVDs and CDs.

The HP DVD 300i and HP DVD 300e are built on the +R/+RW format, allowing greater compatibility with DVD players and DVD-ROMs tested. The +R/+RW format also provides consumers video-editing flexibility with simplified writing and editing methods such as saving direct to disc and editing on disc.

Both the internal and external drives enable users to back up and archive data, store digital photos on DVD and create a personal video archive on high-capacity DVD+R discs featuring up to 4.7 gigabytes of storage capacity. Both drives support direct-to-DVD recording from a digital camcorder with a few clicks of a mouse. The HP DVD 300e drive also offers the flexibility of working through either an IEEE1394 (fire-wire) or USB 2.0 connection, both of which are included.

"HP is committed to providing users with compatible, easy-to-use technology without sacrificing performance," said Kim Burch, DVD product manager, HP Personal Systems Group. "The HP DVD 300i and HP DVD 300e simplify writing and editing of video and make saving data faster and more flexible."

The HP DVD 300i internal DVD writer is expected to be available at major retail outlets in the United States later this month at an estimated U.S. street price of $299, while the HP DVD 300e external DVD writer is expected to be available at major retail outlets in the United States in February at an estimated U.S. street price of $399.

More information about HP is available at www.hp.com.

Jan 09 - ViewSonic Announces Availability of Airpanel Smart Displays. ViewSonic(R) Corp., a worldwide Visual Technologies(TM) leader, today announced immediate availability of its airpanel(TM) V110 and V150 Smart Displays that enable anywhere, anytime mobile connectivity to a PC in the home.

The airpanel V110 and V150 Smart Displays, 10-inches and 15-inches respectively, are wireless touch screen monitors intended for remote mobile use throughout the home, while the 15-inch V150 has the additional capability of serving as the primary desktop monitor. Both airpanel Smart Displays will be offered with everything the consumer needs to get the devices up and running right out of the box, including integrated wireless 802.11 Wi-Fi(TM), a USB wireless adapter solution and an upgrade to the Microsoft(R) Windows XP Professional operating system.

ViewSonic is also extending mobile connectivity to consumer electronics in the home. Customers who purchase an airpanel V110 or V150 prior to March 31, 2003, are eligible to receive a free solution to integrate Universal Electronics' Nevo(TM) home control software (a $299 value).
Nevo enables consumers to connect, control and interact with their vast array of home electronics and systems through one powerful yet easy-to-use, visual interface--in this case, on their airpanel Smart Displays.

"It was just a year ago that Microsoft and ViewSonic introduced the first Smart Display prototype, a new device that would allow consumers to access their familiar Windows XP experience from anywhere in the home," said Todd Warren, general manager of the Embedded and Appliance Platforms Group at Microsoft Corp.
"ViewSonic has taken that concept and in just 12 months brought the ViewSonic Smart Display to market, which includes an innovative home control solution that will further enhance the consumer experience."

Both Smart Displays feature a high luminance, full-color, touch screen display based on Windows CE for Smart Displays technology and interoperability with Windows XP Professional on a home PC. In addition, both include a 400MHz Intel(R) XScale(TM) technology-based processor for added speed, power savings and efficiency, 32MB of ROM Flash memory, 64MB SDRAM and built in 802.11b wireless technology for easy wireless access to a home PC. The long-life battery lasts up to 4 hours.

The airpanel V110 and V150 are currently available at leading online and storefront retailers, including CompUSA, Amazon.com, Buy.com, Fry's Electronics and RCS, for estimated street prices of $999 and $1,299 respectively.

For consumers who are already using XP Professional and who have their own wireless access point, ViewSonic will offer a 10-inch airpanel Smart Display without those items included in the box later in the first quarter. The free solution to integrate Nevo will begin shipping to eligible owners early second quarter.

Additional information about ViewSonic Smart Displays can be found at www.viewsonic.com/smartdisplays.

Jan 09 - Epson Unveils Perfection 3200 Scanners. Epson is once again raising the bar for consumer scanners with the introduction of the EPSON Perfection 3200 PHOTO/3200 PRO.

These new scanner models replace the popular EPSON Perfection 2450 PHOTO scanner and offer the resolution one finds in most 35mm slide scanners, making it one of the most versatile scanners in the industry. This new scanner is available in two configurations -- the EPSON Perfection 3200 PHOTO and 3200 PRO -- and will be available for $399 and $599, respectively.

Both the EPSON Perfection 3200 PHOTO and 3200 PRO offer maximum hardware resolutions of 3200 x 6400 dpi and 48-bit color depth for remarkable color accuracy and powerful, high-speed scanning. In addition, they boast faster scanning speeds than the predecessor model on all tasks: from negatives, photos and slides to transparencies, graphics and text.

"The EPSON Perfection 3200 scanners provide customers with the most advanced consumer scanner technology available today at an incredibly reasonable price," said Ali Atash, product manager, consumer scanners, Epson. "Not only does the scanner offer outstanding features, but the software bundles that are included with both the PHOTO and the PRO models offer a tremendous value and endless creativity for a variety of customers."

Both scanners can be purchased through Epson authorized dealers, consumer electronic stores, mail order, distribution and on the Epson Store Web site (www.epsonstore.com).

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