|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.
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.
| "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)
Hardware and Fashion,
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
Since the show does cater to corporate computer buyers, there
were also some unique PC products and related announcements.
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.
| Sony's Hybrid Pen
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