Supernet plots CD/Net hybrid catalogues

Business information delivery through a hybrid CD-ROM and Internet format has been given a new twist by Jersey-based media and technology group, Supernet.

Billing itself as a new media service provider, Supernet plans to offer encrypted CDs along with access to Web sites so that manufacturers can use both media to reach their audience. The CD-ROM includes all graphics and multimedia applications including Macromedia Shockwave files, so that the Web site needs only to carry the text. The text and graphics are integrated seamlessly by the host PC (or, in future, network device) for seamless delivery, according to the firm.

This will enable manufacturers to distribute catalogues electronically, and change product details and prices and release products commercially at a set date across a variety of media. Supernet also plans to introduce DVD disks that will work with both CD audio players and PC drives.

Supernet will also offer secure multi-currency transactions on its disks and sites. Companies interested in the project include Argos. Businesses signing up with the Supernet CD delivery will be given Internet access by Netcom.

PCDN Comment: After developing the Braclays Bank online shopping precinct Barclaysquare and then nearly becoming an ISP, Supernet is trying to re-invent itself. The delivery of content allied to transactions is vital to the commercial development of the Internet, but there will be obstacles, especially trying to persuade NC and set-top box manufacturers to include costly CD-ROM drives in their pared down products.