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Strutting Their Stuff

Large companies like Boeing, EDS and TRW weren't the only companies using the World Congress on Information Technology as a showcase to strut their stuff.

Virginia's Center for Innovative Technology, a nonprofit organization that helps create and grow technology companies, used its exhibit space at the World Congress to show off five small but intriguing home-grown companies.

CIT hand-picked the group from several dozen proposals. According to Wolfgang Tolle, CIT's managing director of technology industry development, the companies were chosen on the basis of innovation and relevance of their products to the theme of the conference, which was the convergence of information technology and consumer demand.

A few of the companies were particularly eye-catching. One of them, CrossMedia Networks Corp. of McLean, Va., is becoming a household name in local technology circles even though it doesn't have a commercial product on the street.

The company's technology is based on a fairly simple idea: providing voice access to e-mail. The product, MyInBox, allows users to access, listen to and respond to their e-mail messages by using voice commands over the telephone. The product is going through testing and is expected out later this month.

Another company, Vision III Imaging Inc. of Herndon, Va., has created a motion picture camera lens that gives movies and other film an enhanced, almost three-dimensional quality. The lens uses a technology, called Parallex scanning, which basically moves the aperture in small circles to get an image from more than one angle. Vision III already has gone Hollywood. Its technology has been used in two Warner Bros. movies - "Selena" and "Why Do Fools Fall in Love?"

Eagle Eye Technologies Inc., also of Herndon, has designed a dashboard-mounted communicator it is pushing as a new car feature to be sold through automobile manufacturers. Through satellite communication, you can use the device to alert the police, an ambulance or a tow truck to your exact location if you are in trouble. Aside from the cost of the unit, which executives estimate will be $100, customers will pay a monthly service charge, as they do with a pager or wireless phone.

- Bob Starzynski


Copyright 1998 Post-Newsweek Business Information, Inc. All rights reserved

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