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(These articles were published in U.S. 1 Newspaper on December 2,
1998. All rights reserved.)
Life in the Fast Lane
The Sarnoff Corporation looms large in any account
of New Jersey’s Video Valley, and its influence extends even to
that it does not sponsor. A former vice president at Sarnoff, Brown
Williamson, had a hot video idea — to electronically insert
banners or other images into live television broadcasts so that the
image is viewable only to the public watching the game on TV, not
the spectators or the players.
Williamson left Sarnoff to start his own company for video processing
hardware and software. Princeton Video Image (PVI) opened its doors
as Princeton Electronic Billboard in 1990. It uses a patented
called pattern recognition, in which a computer seeks out a particular
area on a playing field or stadium, and then pops a paid advertisement
in that area every time it appears on camera.
PVI has been developing and marketing a product called L-VIS since
1993, when Williams received patents for the hardware and software
he invented. L-VIS hit the market in 1995 and the company went public
in 1996 (Nasdaq: PVII). It moved from Hulfish Street to Princess Road.
Just this week it named a new CEO, Dennis Wilkinson. Now PVI has
with three major league baseball teams (Phillies, Padres, and Giants)
to use virtual ads on the backstop behind home plate. It has also
tested racing ads with Indianapolis Speedway’s Brickyard 400 race.
Some competitors have fallen by the wayside, but there always seems
to be a new one popping up. The latest is SportVision, based in
and composed of former Fox television employees who had figured out
how to make a hockey puck "glow." Now they are using a similar
technology to Williamson’s to draw virtual first down lines on
SportVision’s contract is with ESPN for Sunday night games, whereas
PVI has an agreement with CBS to provide first-down lines for seven
national Football League regular season and playoff games: the
Bills game on December 19, the Kansas City Chiefs-Oakland Raiders
game on December 26, and four AFC playoff games in January, including
the AFC championship game on January 17. The first game on this
was Pittsburgh at Detroit on Thanksgiving Day. PVI is also doing
signs for the SuperBowl.
"Some of the stuff is so new, we don’t know if there is a patent
issue or not," says Sam McCleery, vice president of marketing.
"In baseball we are the only vendors."
Lawrenceville 08648. Brown Williams, chairman. 609-912-9400; fax,
609-912-0044. Home page: http://www.pvimage.com.
Remember those old photo booths at the shore? You put
a quarter in the slot, made all kinds of faces, and out came your
mug shots. Those booths are still around in new and modern versions.
Susan Florentine is now regional coordinator of firm that started
making them nearly 50 years ago, and she has opened the regional
and warehouse on Route 130. Five employees work there, and 63
serve the area from New Hampshire to West Virginia; they change the
chemicals and the paper and collect the quarters.
Florentine went to Jersey State, Class of ’74, and worked as project
manager for the computer firm, Bannex Corp., on the site of First
Union Bank in Summit. When Wang bought Bannex, she left to join this
half-century old firm, based in Grand Prairie, Texas. She has two
sons, ages 15 and 20.
Malls or roller skating rinks earn $200 to $800 monthly from hosting
the booths. But you could rent one for a company party for $2,000.
That includes transportation, having a technician on hand, and all
the photos your guests want to shoot.
Rosie O’Donnell had one on her show, says Florentine. "Every time
a new guest came on the show they got to sit in the booth with her.
David Letterman wanted to rent a booth for a skit." A celebrity
host will have a collage made from pictures of all of the guests.
"And we do have one school inquiring about next year’s prom."
Point Pleasant’s boardwalk still has some of the old black and white
booths. Black and white lasts forever, Florentine points out. "I
have a picture taken when I was 17 years old and it still looks
2, Cranbury 08512. Susan Florentine, regional coordinator.
Relationships, they say, fail because of one of two
issues — money or sex. WHWH has chosen to focus on money. The
Nassau Broadcasting-owned station (1350 AM) has changed from offering
music to focusing on business, financial, and lifestyle information.
It is now a "Financial News Talk Radio" station.
"We are offering programming that is about one of the most
life issues — the management of money within an entertaining and
informative perspective," says Tim Anderson, program director.
"If you listen an hour or more, you will learn something useful,
whether you’re managing a business, trying to increase your
or keeping a budget, and all in a spontaneous and interesting."
Using the new slogan "We Mean Business" WHWH will tap the
resources of Bloomberg, ABC RAdio, Business News Network, and CNN.
Bruce Williams and Jim Bohannon lead the nighttime roster, and late
night time will be taken by CNN Radio Headline News. On Saturdays,
the Kim Kommando Komputer Show is at 10 a.m., the Motley Fools Radio
Show airs from noon to 3 p.m., and Bob Brinker’s Money Talk from 4
to 7 p.m. Weekday shows include the Bloomberg Morning Show, Business
for Breakfast, Market Track, the Don McDonald Show, Business Day,
Market Wrap, and the Finance Hour.
Suite 305, Princeton 08540. Alan Todd, manager accelerator design.
Advanced Energy Systems Group is completing its spin-off from Northrup
Grumman and has moved from 103 Carnegie Center to a space off of Route
206 near the Princeton Airport. The group specializes in accelerator
and energy technology, such as electron accelerator systems, free
electron lasers, and plasma physics projects.
State Street, Box 990, Trenton 08625-0990. Caren S. Franzini,
director. 609-292-1800; fax, 609-292-5722. E-mail: email@example.com.
Home page: http://www.njeda.com.
The NJEDA has moved from 31,000 feet of leased space at 200 South
Warren Street to a four-story building it bought for $1.3 million
at 36 West State Street. Only the street address changed. The post
office box, the phone, and the fax remain the same. "We bought
and renovated an old four-story building to accommodate the latest
technology," says Rose Smith, spokesperson. "We’re also in
a more central location, near the State House."
Junction 08852. Denise Zimmer, executive director. 732-438-8300.
The six-person social service agency moved from one temporary space
in Forsgate Corporate Center to another one, but it will make yet
another move next month to 329 Culver Road, Monmouth Junction, 08852,
and will have a new phone and fax. Currently it is at 1095 Cranbury
South River Road, Suite 2, Jamesburg 08831, 609-860-2800; fax,
It is the state-wide fundraising arm for the Drug Abuse Resistance
1, Suite C, Bordentown 08505. Alex Bothwell. 609-298-7373; fax,
The payroll service firm moved from Farnsworth Avenue in Bordentown
to an office park on Route 130, also in Bordentown. Phone and fax
are the same.
29 Emmons Drive, Suite F-60, , Princeton 08540-1413. William M.
executive director. 609-452-8000; fax, 609-452-0474. E-mail:
Home page: http://www.cfma.org.
The non-profit professional association has moved from 707 State Road
to Emmons Drive and has a new phone and fax. It serves 5,500 financial
managers in the construction industry.
Road, Pennington 08534. Frank Dutko, director. 609-897-9595. Home
Just as computer sellers are finding that retail is
a tough way to go, so have computer trainers. FutureKids Computer
Learning Center has changed its name to FutureKids School Technology
Solutions. The parent company provides a wholesale service that it
can contract out to schools to train teachers and provide curriculum.
Frank Dutko has chosen this path. He has given up the retail
at Clarksville Road, and now has several contracts with area schools.
Dutko was raised in Pennington and went to Rensselaer Polytechnic
Institute in Troy, New York, Class of 1977, and has his PhD in biology
from RPI. He worked in the pharmaceutical industry before opening
his "We supply instructors or we work with school systems and
lease teachers," he says. He provides lesson plans and templates
for a strong technical curriculum.
Mount Holly 08060. Paul Van Cleve, owner. 609-734-0303.
This real estate development firm has moved from 29 Emmons Drive to
Mount Holly and has a new phone number.
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