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Getting data acquisition well in hand

The Palm Pilot has taken the business world by storm as a convenient way to store dates and addresses. And now engineers are finding new applications for the hand-size platform. The DTU-3xe data transfer unit is designed to be the most convenient way to gather data from the field, using the Palm IIIxe as a platform. Users can achieve up to 8MB of on-site data acquisition from Telog recorders, getting real-time readings, recorder battery, or power input voltage measurements. And an RS-232 connector collects information for synchronizing data to a PC at the end of the day. Telog's software application, S-3xe, is factory-installed and appears as an additional icon on the screen, alongside all standard Palm Pilot applications.

Your own, personal slice of cellular beams

With the surge in cell phones, pagers, beepers, and the wireless web, mobile communication providers face an increasing challenge to connect customers with the correct signals. At the same time they can't expand into wider broadcast ranges, since the radio spectrum has rapidly rising cost and scarcity. One solution to this wireless traffic jam may be the flexComm(TM)Smart Antenna Development Platform, a technology that could allow government and commercial wireless providers to boost capacity, range, and signal quality. The Smart Antenna technology uses multiple antennas and intensive signal processing to locate each mobile user and steer a personal antenna beam toward him, thus boosting the signal and range of the system, reducing interference from other users, and providing higher protection from intercepted signals. The software/hardware system supports two to eight receive-channels with a 10MHz bandwidth, and can scan the frequency range from 20MHz to 3GHz. This technology could be used as soon as 2002 in 3G (Third Generation) wireless systems, the future standard that will transmit high-speed audio and video signals, and allow global reception by "handing off" roaming users between adjacent transmitters.

Analog or digital, they all look the same

Ever wonder how sports stadiums or department stores coordinate those walls of TV screens, all playing the same picture at the same time? Well for starters, they need a peripheral interface standard that can handle remote control operations. The new PME-42V3 Plasma Multimedia Monitor from Sampo America is designed for such applications, with a Digital Video Interface (DVI) and both USB and RS-232 connections. The 42-inch, flat-screen monitor includes DVI in order to eliminate the need for analog conversion, and to provide both video and PC capabilities. It can also support HDTV signals in the 480i, 480p, 1080i, and 720p formats, and has a 160 degrees viewing angle, to minimize distortion no matter where the viewer stands.

Now your computer can talk back

The new Intervox(R)panel mount sounder/speaker can deliver voice alert messages or multiple tone signals, in applications such as security systems, medical equipment, and products with integral alarms. Encased in ABS plastic, it weighs 28.6g, and is 43.5x36.7 mm. Engineers can set the sounder/speaker to deliver messages such as: "There is a fire. Please leave the premises at once," "Intruder alert," or merely "Low batteries." And its variety of tones permits use in medical applications where doctors don't have the time to read screens, so it can use different sounds to signal malfunctions in the pulse rate or EKG.

Ram your data onto discs

Producing today's multimedia-packed web pages calls for a convergence of audio, video, and data storage. But until recently, that storage has been too expensive for all but the largest companies. The solution may be DVD-optical discs that are like two-sided, high-capacity CDs. And DVD drives are backward-compatible, so they can also read CDs, as well as all other types of optical discs. In fact, the industry's promise is to become the primary storage medium for digital movies, replacing CD-ROM, video CDs, analog laser discs, and VHS tape. Now Panasonic has released its second generation of DVD-RAM drives and media. That's Digital Video Disc (or Digital Versatile Disc)-Random Access Memory (with physically addressed data). Current capacity is up to 4.7GB (one sided) and 9.4GB (two sided) with transfer rates up to 22Mb/sec. That's enough room for seven hours of CD-quality audio, 4,700 color photos, or 120 minutes of theater-quality MPEG-2 video. The disc is 120mm in diameter, and is used inside a square plastic case, like a floppy disc.

Measure me this

The HE350-2 measuring projector features a 14-inch viewing screen, using tungsten halogen profile illumination and twin fiber optic surface illumination. The channels have their own light sources, so they can be used simultaneously or independently. The workstage has a 19x5 inch top surface, with 8x4 inch measuring range, and uses .010mm-resolution LCD scales fitted to each axis. The machine is 200 lbs with a footprint of 21.3x46 inches.

More ambidextrous monitors

Another monitor that supports either analog or digital input is the NEC MultiSync(R)FP1350X. NEC's dual-connection monitors were previously only available in an LCD (liquid crystal display) version, but this CRT (cathode ray tube) box is designed for high-end graphics applications including designers, architects, publishers, and programmers. The 22-inch flat-screen monitor uses Ambix(TM)technology to accept either digital or analog input through a DVI-I connection, as well as providing a second analog input through a traditional 15-pin VGA connector. It boasts maximum resolution of 1920x1440 at 76Hz.

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