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Handheld computers such as Sony's new Personal Entertainment Organizer, above, were the main attractions of a previously PC-dominated show. (www.sony.com)
More Than Just PCs
A Glimpse at Some of the Non-PC Products at PC Expo
ABCNEWS.com

June 27 — The 19th annual PC Expo in New York was different this time around. Sure, there were a few innovative PC products from well-known industry names, but the more intriguing products were decidedly non-PC.

Without question, handheld computer makers such as Palm and Handspring dominated the show with massive display areas at the entrance to the exhibits. But not to be outdone, Sony, also in a massive booth showed off its new $400 PEG-N610C Personal Entertainment Organizer. “This handheld is the new gold standard in the market,” says Mark Viken, senior vice president of the Information Technology Products Division at Sony. With over twice the screen resolution offering better clarity than competitive handhelds, “The CLIÉ was intentionally designed to inspire Handspring envy,” says Viken.

 DMR-E20 DVD video recorder "The DMR-E20 provides a whole new way to enjoy the world of entertainment," said Rudy Vitti, National Marketing Manager for Panasonic's Entertainment Group. (Feature Photo Service)
Although the show was primarily geared toward computer shoppers, Panasonic announced a new consumer product that may find its ways into living rooms. Its DMR-E20 allows users to digitally record video onto blank DVD platters, which can be played on most consumer DVD players. A list price of $1,499 for the new DVD recorder may be pricey for many consumers, but Panasonic believes some stores may sell the unit for under $1000 when it becomes available in October.

Hardware and Fashion, Too

Perhaps looking out of place at a computer trade show was Sanyo Fashion House, one of the largest international apparel manufacturers in Japan. But, the clothes maker was there to show off its “Designed for Palm Handhelds” fashion line of overcoats. The coats, have a special pocket that is shielded from static and waterproof and close with a special Palm logo button. Made for both men and women, you will find these coats this fall at fine specialty stores nationwide for about $185. to $695.

The show wasn’t just about looks but sometimes watches - as in digital wristwatches. Casio was showing off one of its latest products, the $249 WQV3 series of watches which not only tell time, but can snap digital pictures. The Dick Tracy-like wrist camera, available in stores in September, can transfer the images to any PC running Microsoft Windows.

Not Entirely Forgotton, Or Lost

Since the show does cater to corporate computer buyers, there were also some unique PC products and related announcements.

 Sony VAIO Sony's Hybrid Pen Computer (Handout)
There were several “hybrid” computers at the show. Sony, for example, introduced its $2,500 VAIO LX910; a Slimtop PC that has a touch-sensitive LCD screen. The screen can be positioned practically horizontally over the keyboard and cane be directly drawn on using an included stylus.

Perhaps the most intriguing PC-related product came from a tiny company called zTrace Technologies. It has developed a security software that acts as a personal recovery system for your laptop. Your portable computer is assigned an identification number which is stored in an undetectable program that reside on the hard drive.

If your laptop is ever stolen, you call an 800 number and the company starts to monitor the Internet for your laptop. As soon as your laptop is connected to the Internet, zTrace tries to locate where on the Internet using the software on the stolen laptop. Once its location on the Net is determined, zTrace then contacts the local law enforcement agencies to recover the stolen laptop.

The basic version is downloadable for free from the company’s web site. Company representatives say they’re working on versions that won’t require the Internet. But that probably won’t be ready until the next TechXNY.

ABCNEWS' David Pellot contributed to this report.

 
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