Wednesday, September 6, 2000 Here in the Information Age, we live by such hectic
schedules that multi-tasking is the name of the game. So you'll have to forgive the wired generation if they greet
the release of Web-enabled cell phones and other wireless appliances with
some hesitation. These gadgets are limping along on 14.4 and 28.8 kbps
data transmission speeds-not the velocity you'd choose to tap into today's
info-packed Internet or collaborate on a complex CAD file. Your solution might be Ricochet(TM), a 128 kbps wireless
access service now available with encryption and compression technology.
The package was announced Tuesday by GoAmerica Inc. (Hackensack, NJ, http://www.goamerica.net), which
provides wireless data and Internet services, and Metric Inc. (San Jose,
CA, http://www.metricom.com), a
high-speed mobile access company. Users attach a wireless modem to their laptop to hook up to
Metricom's MicroCellular Data Network (MCDN), which pumps raw data at
rates up to 1 Mbps. This network is now available in 21 U.S. Markets, with
Ricochet currently available only in Atlanta and San Diego. The two
companies plan to market the combined service to business customers in
major U.S. markets, both through GoAmerica's sales channels and through
retail sites such as Staples stores.
Are they robots or androids? We're not exactly sure. Each talking, gesturing Geminoid looks exactly like a real individual, starting with their creator, professor Hiroshi Ishiguro of Osaka University in Japan.
For industrial control applications, or even a simple assembly line, that machine can go almost 24/7 without a break. But what happens when the task is a little more complex? That’s where the “smart” machine would come in. The smart machine is one that has some simple (or complex in some cases) processing capability to be able to adapt to changing conditions. Such machines are suited for a host of applications, including automotive, aerospace, defense, medical, computers and electronics, telecommunications, consumer goods, and so on. This discussion will examine what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.