Better Living Through Technology
Welcome to the year 2007! This may prove to be the year that consumers realize that soon anything will be possible to see and do on their mobile phones. That is, now that Apple has unveiled the iPhone, an innovative mobile device that builds upon the popularity of its iPod portable music player. Just as the iPod revolutionized consumer access to digital music, the iPhone promises to change the future of mobile phones. Its unique Visual Voicemail will make accessing voicemail as fast and convenient as email by allowing users to go to any one of their voice messages without listening to any of the prior messages. The iPhone will likely also significantly impact the mobile content trade because it will tear down existing barriers between content providers and dealers. The convergence of phone and computer functions on one mobile device will enable users to access computer-based content not previously available on a mobile phone and, more importantly, they will be able to deal directly with content originators to get what they want instead of having to go through only one supplier.
Interoperability of low power/low bandwidth networks using Z-Wave technology continues to be in high demand in the wireless home control and automation market. Z-Wave is the interoperable wireless communication standard for the intelligent mesh networks with a range of 100 feet. Since there is no master node in a Z-Wave network, signals can be delivered between two out of range nodes by using a third available node, increasing the range of a single unit. Due to the low bandwidth, Z-Wave is not suitable for streaming audio/video applications, but it is very well suited for sensors and control units that transmit only a few bytes at a time. Z-Wave technology is the standard adhered to by over one hundred independent manufacturers in a consortium known as the Z-Wave Alliance. The alliance reports 2006 was a ground-breaking year for lighting vendors, and they anticipate significant growth in 2007 as consumers begin to realize the benefits of one-touch, wireless control of lighting, heating, and entertainment systems. IPTV is also expected to boost demand for wireless home control as consumers seek ways to distribute content around their homes.
IPTV (Internet protocol television) is the delivery system used for the bundling of services such as Video on Demand, Web access, and VoIP (voice over IP) over a single broadband connection. This type of television content, which is received through a closed computer network, is in competition with the delivery of TV content over the public Internet. While some technical issues are still being resolved (sensitivity to packet loss delays, support for HDTV), you can expect to hear much more about IPTV in the year ahead.
You can expect to see great advances in the telemedicine industry this year. A secure, closed network system enabling doctors, healthcare providers, and patients in disparate locations to interact, exchange and display complex diagnostic audio/video in real-time and in complete privacy will soon be in widespread use. We will all be pleased that the long-term impact will be to help reduce medical costs and make extraordinary advancements in diagnostic and treatment technologies available to the masses.
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From the Front Page of TMIS News
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Z-Wave Enters 2007 Leading the Wireless Home Control and Automation Industry
Las Vegas, Nevada
As we enter 2007, Z-Wave continues to lead the wireless home control and automation market. "We're entering 2007 with more than 100 products shipping with the Z-Wave logo," said Mark Walters, vice president of the Z-Wave Alliance. "We continue to meet our goals and anticipate significant growth in 2007 as products offering the best of the Z-Wave technology such as meta-data transfer and reliable two-way communication, continue to find their way to market and consumers start realizing that wireless home control is not just for the wealthy new home buyer."
In November 2006, Zensys launched the third generation Z-Wave chip, creating the lowest cost and lowest power consumption chip on the market. The third generation Z-Wave chip also is the first to support battery-to-battery networks, which extend the range of home control applications and makes it possible to have entire networks of battery-operated devices. All Z-Wave certified products will be fully interoperable with the new chip, enabling homeowners to easily and affordably expand their wireless home control networks.
Veridigm Demonstrates Remote Health Care Delivery in Real-Time and Complete Privacy
Los Angeles, California
Network communication and technology company serving the healthcare and telemedicine industries, Veridigm, Inc., announced today the successful completion of a week long demonstration of the Company's proprietary two-way, real-time audio, video and data transmission technology, its private ATM network, and telemedicine platform.
The demonstration featured a broadcast between Veridigm's New York office and the Los Angeles office of Veridigm's joint venture partner Jump Communications, Inc. With Veridigm representatives in New York and Los Angeles, Veridigm showcased the use of diagnostic devices that can provide vivid visuals in real-time to remote physicians. With Dr. Paul Castillo, Veridigm's Chief Medical Officer, in Los Angeles conducting the mock examination of a patient, Dr. Michael Gallagher, Veridigm's Medical Director, was able to consult in the examination from New York.
Rather than using conventional multiplexed phone lines or the Internet for two-way video, audio and data exchange, Veridigm offers its own high-speed "switched" telephone network. Because of this critical difference, point to point communications occur in real-time, connections are secure as there is no intermediary public routing system, and the data flows bi-directionally unrestricted by the constraints of conventional telephone company bandwidth requirements. Together with the proprietary technology for compression and switching, Veridigm is able to provide a comprehensive communication experience.
Acoustic Research Introduces the First High-Performance Wireless Home Theater System
Hauppauge, New York
In what could be an industry breakthrough, Acoustic Research is introducing what they are calling the industry's first high-performance wireless 5.1 speaker package that includes a state-of-the-art, ultra-robust wireless rear channel system. The speaker package includes five voice-matched satellite speakers that utilize dual 3-inch drivers and a 1/2-inch tweeter in a high rigidity aluminum extruded cabinet.
"This is your classic AR-Quality system that finally answers the problems that have plagued wireless speaker systems from the very beginning of their origin," says Tom Malone, Senior VP Sales. Malone explained that after years of researching the wireless speakers market, the Company set out to design and sell what would be a no-compromise, high-performance wireless speaker system. "Our marketing philosophy was to deliver to the consumer a wireless speaker system that was virtually free of the problems and defects of past systems; a system that would reinforce the reputation of the Acoustic Research legacy."
For years consumers have searched for ways to enjoy the experience of a home theater surround sound system without the hassle of running wires to the back of their room. Up until now, the only choices were low-quality systems consisting of sub-par speakers, weak amplifiers, and noisy, interference- prone, wireless transmissions. Now, says Malone, that is all about to change.
eHealth Initiative Applauds Federal Move to Link National Standards to State and Local Health Information Exchange Efforts
The Department of Health and Human Services' plan to support trial implementations for the Nationwide Health Information Network (NHIN) in 2007 is a laudable next step towards fulfilling the vision of secure electronic health information exchange through an interconnected "network of networks" that reaches across the country.
"We applaud the Department of Health and Human Services' Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology for guiding efforts through to this important next step," said Janet Marchibroda, chief executive officer of the eHealth Initiative (eHI). "HHS's linkage of its work related to the harmonization and adoption of standards and the development of prototype architectures to state and local initiatives will help to facilitate electronic information mobility among national, regional and local actors, as well as public and private sector efforts -- all of which need to connect to improve our nation's healthcare system."
HHS announced that details of the procurement process for the trial implementations would be released in spring 2007. The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONCHIT) will solicit proposals to create the trial implementations and work toward integrating them with its broader Nationwide Health Information Network initiative.
Job Opportunities for Injured Veterans and Military Spouses Will Be Greatly Increased by Alliance Between Telework Coalition and CORA, Inc.
The Telework Coalition (TelCoa), the only non-profit membership organization dedicated to promoting virtual, mobile, and distributed work through education, technology, and legislation has formed a Strategic Alliance with CORA, Inc. (CORA). CORA, which stands for "Creating Opportunities - Recognizing Abilities," is dedicated to providing Work@Home opportunities for disabled veterans, military spouses and special needs workers.
The New Freedom Initiative Award annually recognizes non-profits, small businesses, corporations, and individuals that have demonstrated exemplary and innovative efforts in furthering the employment and workplace environment for people with disabilities, a goal of President Bush's New Freedom Initiative. Ilene Morris-Sambur, Founder and CEO of CORA, received the Award today in the Individual Category from Secretary of Labor Elaine L. Chao. TelCoa and many of the members of its Advisory Board have substantial experience and expertise in making the business case for Telework and helping organizations set up and manage Work@Homeprograms. Together the alliance will provide employers with the knowledge and resources needed to be able to incorporate CORA trained personnel into either new Work@Home strategies or existing Work@Home programs.
"The CORA program makes possible an accessible, barrier-free workplace, flexible scheduling and the elimination of disability related bias or discrimination," said Chuck Wilsker, TelCoa's President, CEO, and Co-Founder. "Incorporating the Work@Home model into a call center and customer service strategy also enhances organizational resiliency against unexpected disruptions such as a pandemic, terrorist attack, or weather related disasters," he concluded.
IT Employment Resumes Climb in November; Tight Supply Hampers Even Greater Growth
After the first pullback in IT Employment in more than a year in October, IT employment resumed its climb in November. According to the National Association of Computer Consultant Businesses (NACCB), there were 3,674,300 IT workers, an increase of 0.14%, or 5,300, from the previous month. IT employment is up more than 132,000, or almost 4%, since November 2005.
"While near 4% year-over-year growth in IT employment is impressive performance, this statistic alone does not fully convey the strength in demand for IT professionals. Unemployment rates in many IT occupations are among the lowest unemployment rates in the labor force---effectively achieving in many cases 'Full Employment.' I have no doubt that if there were more IT professionals available in high-demand skillsets, overall IT employment would post even stronger gains," said Mark Roberts, CEO of NACCB.
The tight supply of IT professionals in many skillsets is also being reflected in the strong demand for the services of IT staffing and solutions companies. When demand for IT talent is high, it often outstrips the ability of companies to recruit the necessary IT skillsets or staff projects through their internal resources. Companies will turn to IT services firms to either supplement their own staff or outsource entire projects. For complete IT Employment Index please visit: http://www.naccb.org/employment-index/index.cfm.
Utility Company to Reward Customers for Helping Curtail Exponential Energy Growth in Data Centers by Deploying ISR's SprayCool-Enabled Servers
ISR, the maker of SprayCool technology and products, announced that it has qualified for an Avista Utilities rebate program that will reward corporate users who deploy energy-efficient, SprayCool-enabled servers to reduce energy usage.
The "prescriptive rebate program" was added to Avista's menu of energy efficiency offerings after the Spokane-based electric and natural gas utility evaluated the benefits of ISR's SprayCool technology. Avista determined that for data centers, co-location facilities or other large facilities concerned with thermal performance of rack-mounted electronic equipment, SprayCool technology can help reduce electricity and natural gas consumption, thereby conserving energy and reducing operational costs. Avista will make the rebate program available to qualifying commercial and government customers.
Socialtext Unplugged -- An Offline Wiki Solution
Socialtext, the first wiki company and a leading provider of Enterprise 2.0 solutions, has announced Socialtext Unplugged, a new offline wiki product for the "sometimes connected user." Developed in collaboration with UK-based Osmosoft, Socialtext Unplugged continues Socialtext's commitment to making Enterprise 2.0 tools practical by making them accessible and adaptive to the way people actually work.
"Last year, we helped to make enterprise wikis more practical by making them more accessible to the mobile user," said Ross Mayfield. "With Socialtext Unplugged, we crafted a practical solution for the majority of professionals who often are not connected to the Internet. There is no such thing as 'always on', and we have designed this new offering with this reality in mind."
Socialtext Unplugged was created using Socialtext's Wiki Web Services and Osmosoft's open source TiddlyWiki Ajax application. TiddlyWiki is a resuable personal Web notebook that thousands of users rely on to record, organize and share their information. The combined Socialtext/TiddlyWiki product enables users to make changes to their wiki pages when not connected to a network. Later, when connected to the Internet, those pages can be synched back to the origination server.
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