CeBIT: ZDNet Germany's Top Ten hottest Hannover picks

As Europe's largest computer show gets under way in Hannover, ZDNet Germany rounds up the Top Ten hottest things to see at CeBIT.

1. Palm parade

Three manufacturers simultaneously introduce new handheld devices at CeBIT

  • 3Com brings us the Palm V and Palm IIIx

  • Hewlett Packard demonstrates the Jornada 420

  • Compaq presents the Aero 2100

2. Linux wave

The big names are benefiting from the open source Linux operating system at CeBIT. Compaq will be demonstrating an 8-Port-Proliant-Server running Linux, the software manufacturer SAP will be showing its Linux-based R/3 business management programme. And IBM, Hewlett-Packard, Siemens, Silicon Graphics, Compaq and Dell are all introducing Linux-versions of their products.

3. Windows 2000

Microsoft will be presenting for the first time at CeBIT a test-version (Beta 3) of the new operating system, which has been delayed longer than it has been awaited. Furthermore, Softwaresuite Office 2000 visitors may test it on a demo system.

4. Web-phones

Nokia will be showing the first cell phone to display web pages. Thanks to a specially large screen it can also call up other text news from the Internet such as weather forecasts, stockmarket prices, E-mails, flight plannings, online banking and e-commerce. Motorola, Ericsson, Siemens and Alcatel will also show their versions of the device.

5. Megapixel cameras

Higher resolution at lower prices: digital photography is becoming more and more attractive for the consumer market. Fuji presents a digital camera, which offers maximum resolution at 2.3 megapixels. The price on the Japanese market, where the "MX-2700" is already being sold since March is around 1,600 DM.

Nikon has also come up with two models offering over 2 megapixels, both for under 2,000 DM. Kodak however, is waiting to introduce a new Topmodel to the consumer class, the DC256 zoom with 1.6 million pixels.

6. Data via powerlines/network

The transfer of data through the power-network "Powerline" enables Internet access up to 1 megabite per second. The new technology is expected to be demonstrated by Siemens as well as energy-provider RWE and the Swiss company Ascom. The process could also serve to link up the disputed "last miles" as well as provide an alternative network for telephone communications.

7. 3-D diplay without special glasses

A prototype of the 3-D screens are on display at CeBIT at the TU Dresden booth. With the help of liquid crystals, the display projects two slightly different images onto the eyes of the observer. Every second column is projected onto the right eye while the other meets with the left eye. This is how the brain of the user is given the impression of space. Two tiny cameras placed on the display permanently track the position of the eyes in order to direct the crystals accordingly. The future promises 3-D films and games, or even three dimensional TV.

8. Biometry - "Fingertip"

Safety systems of the future will recognise the user from his fingerprint - the "Fingertip"-system from Siemens is so small and the software so compact that the same sort of sensors are to be build into cell phones in the coming year. PIN-numbers need no longer be an issue.

The next generation of ATMs will scan the human eye in order to identify the customer. The machine is even capable of differentiating certain twins. Siemens will continue to test such machines as pilot versions and has them on display at CeBIT.

9. Web Pad: cordless surfing

Cyrix introduces a new type of device to access the Internet: the Web Pad is cordless, around the size of a book and is able to display Internet data up to 150 meters away from the base-station which is also mobile.

10. Internet Microwave

NCR presents the first and only microwave-oven to dispose of Internet and computer functionalities. On the one hand a gadget but also a sign of the important role that the Internet plays in everyday life.

Thanks to ZDNet Germany for this report. Translated by Sophie Handrick

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