Corrections or additions?
This article by Barbara Fox was prepared for the May 22, 2002 edition of U.S. 1 Newspaper. All rights reserved.
Technology On the Move
By next year, every household will want one — a
wireless home entertainment center that connects the television set’s
DVD player to a PC’s archive of digital photos and music, so that
one click of the remote control can trigger a photo/music montage
on your television screen.
At least that’s what Ron Stevens, CEO of Digital 5 at Quakerbridge
Executive Center, predicts will happen with his latest product, Netplay.
The DVD player business is supposed to grow 100 percent in two years,
and his buyers of mid to high range DVD players account for about
half of the sales.
Stevens thinks that Netplay will be the next PC peripheral to sell
in mass volume — tens of millions of units a year. He compares
it to the launch of another high volume peripheral, the MP3 player.
"Not only will it work with a DVD player but it will extract all
your digital entertainment content from your PC — JPGs saved from
your digital camera, videos, and music you have saved. Now you access
all of that content on your TV set by buying the Netplay DVD player,"
Digital 5 is licensing its chip to DVD manufacturers. By the January
consumer electronics show in Las Vegas, Netplay will be available
on DVD players from three or four major brands. When you go to buy
one, the salesman will offer you an upgrade to a player with Netplay.
Competition is limited, says Stevens. An expensive alternative is
to put together a complete home network — a home server, a satellite
dish, boxes that connect everything, and a subscription service.
"What makes this extremely attractive is that it is completely
wireless. It can work inside a home network or without a network by
adding two wireless access cards, one in the DVD player and one on
your PC," he says. The hitch: you have to get Netplay when you
buy your DVD. It cannot be added to an existing product.
This is the fifth start-up for Nova Scotia native Stevens. He had
been one of the founders of S3, now a $1 billion company, the largest
graphics chip company in the world. Most recently he helped found
California-based iCompression, a pioneer in the digital VCR market
that was sold to GlobeSpan.
One of the investors (the investor group now includes Philips, Texas
Instruments, SpaceVest, and 3I) hired Stevens two years ago to shore
up the fortunes of Sycom Technologies in Ewing (U.S. 1, October 9,
1996). "My analysis is that we should change the business model;
Digital 5 is a new company," says Stevens.
"I looked at where the market was going and what it was missing,"
he says. In addition to the network division, Digital 5 has also has
a portable product business unit for MP3 player technology, such consumer
products as RCA’s Kazoo.
"We are gaining a tremendous amount of traction. Our OEM customers
are eager to get our technology into production," he says of his
16-hour-a-day schedule. He has 69 employees worldwide, including 40
at this location. "I expect to return tremendous revenues to the
Executive Center, Suite 200, Lawrenceville 08648. Ron Stevens, president
and CEO. 609-243-0015; fax, 609-243-9231. Home page: www.digital5.com
Princeton Internet Group (PInG) has redesigned the website
for New Jersey Transit (www.njtransit.com) so that users can get
schedules and other travel information or register to receive travel
alerts and notifications. Now NJT information is available 24 hours
a day, and you don’t have to call different numbers for train and
NJT had asked PInG to create a web-based image that promoted a "personal"
transit system, not merely a "mass" transit company. After
doing market research and analyzing the requirements, PiNG did the
creative design, content development, and all back-office application
development for the site. This included E-commerce purchase transaction
programs, content management systems, interactive itinerary planning
and schedules, a wireless advisory notification feature for travelers,
and a personalized center called "My Transit.’
The complete bus schedules, with departure times for each stop, are
available as Adobe documents, but the train schedules can be called
up by filling out forms. The best thing about the way this site is
planned is the way it combines train and bus schedules and costs.
You can figure out, for example, how to get to Penn Station in New
York by train, and then look at what buses leave New York to get to
an outlying area.
Road, Suite C-222, Princeton 08540. Mark Meara and Rob Freda, partners.
609-452-1667; fax, 609-452-0063. Home page: www.PInGsite.com
DotPhoto’s on-line photo reprint solution enables event
participants and readers of participating papers to view and purchase
top quality photo reprints over the Internet. Newspapers and professional
photographers post the digital images to their co-branded custom priced
DotPhoto accounts. Among the free services are watermarking for copyright
protection, inclusion in a public online photo gallery, secure online
ordering, and photo printing on top quality photo paper.
"Photographers save time and money by farming out photo reprint
work for a small handling fee instead of paying full-time employees
to fulfill photo requests," says Glenn Paul, founder. Participating
photographers receive a check with their monthly sales report.
at Ewing, Ewing 08628. Glenn Paul, founder. 609-434-0340; fax, 609-434-0344.
Home page: www.dotphoto.com
The perennial shortage of good math and science teachers
may be momentarily helped by the current job market, but long-term
prospects for getting well-trained scientists into public school classrooms
Rider University’s new Science and Education Literacy Center (SELECT)
is designed to revolutionize technology education. This 5,500 square-foot
facility on the third floor of an existing building, the Bristol-Myers
Squibb Center for Teaching and Learning, was designed by Princeton
Pike-based Silverberg Associates and with $750,000 from Bristol-Myers
"Collaboration is one of the scientist’s most important tools,
and the B-MS Center’s design and philosophy enable educators to collaborate
as they would in the lab," says Michael Benner, director of SELECT.
"Because teachers will teach the way they are taught, our students
will go into the world with the tools to use these methods."
In an inquiry-based learning environment, scientists will work with
non-scientist educators in an effort to inspire their students to
consider teaching careers. The design was intended to invite students
and faculty to enter, become curious, ask questions, investigate,
and work collaboratively with resources — materials, humans, and
technology — at hand to support their work.
Everything is set up for digital and wireless technology. Classrooms
have round tables and rolling chairs to encourage collaborative learning,
and they have lots of glass walls, so observers can get drawn in to
a particular activity. The science laboratories are equipped with
materials similar to those in most school settings.
Sarnoff Corporation has an accelerated development program,
Inventiate, for creating new market-targeted products — medical
or otherwise — or overcoming technical barriers to commercialization
or production in only six weeks. The process: 1-1/2 day investigation
of the problem by six-person teams from Sarnoff and the client; five
weeks research by an interdisciplinary team at Sarnoff; and a full
written and oral report, often including intellectual property, in
a final meeting.
Success stories to date include creating the concept and design for
a disposable hearing aid (now being manufactured and marketed by Songbird
Hearing of Cranbury); developing a remote dermatology analysis system
and electronically-controlled eyewear, and solving a drug manufacturing
problem to increase yield.
Overall, Sarnoff creates and commercializes electronic, information,
and biomedical technologies. It works on client-funded R&D, licensing
of technology, and development and incubation of venture companies.
Princeton 08543-5300. 609-734-2000; fax, 609-734-2040. Home page:
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