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Why Should You Care About CeBIT 2001? Two Words: Competitive Edge

Press release from the issuing company

3/01 - CeBIT 2001 - As you have been reading our pre-coverage of CeBIT 2001 you may have been wondering why we think this show is so important. After all, it’s in Germany! Aren’t their shows in the US that are just as important? Sure! GraphExpo, Gutenberg, the Seybold Conferences, OnDemand, TAGA, and others form the backbone of the US show circuit and we pay attention to everything that happens when they open their doors. We live in the midst of a global economy, however, and many of the largest hardware and software vendors in our industry are European. They often use the European shows that attract a global audience, like the Center for Office and Information Technology (CeBIT), to make their big announcements. It’s also a world where innovations come daily, and being the first to know about the newest tools and latest advances can help you run your business more effectively while you are winning more business. So, why wait for it to come to you? We’re going to CeBIT to seek out the innovations. CeBIT is primarily an Office and Information Technology Fair, which puts the emphasis squarely on the infrastructure that forms the spine of your business. While we will seek out the Heidelberg’s, Xeikon’s, and other graphic arts vendors to learn about their latest offerings, we want to spend some words on the technology offered here as well. Not just eBooks, but the infrastructure technologies that will make eBooks and wireless computing more viable options for both content delivery and business management. One stop on our tour will be the Ricoh booth in Hall 11, where we find Bluetooth-enabled wireless printing. Bluetooth is the technology named for the Danish king, Harald Bluetooth, unifier of Denmark and Norway in the 10th century. It is the result of the work of a consortium of nine telecom and computer companies (3COM, Microsoft, Lucent, Nokia, Motorola, Toshiba, IBM, Intel, and Ericsson), adopted by more than 1300 companies around the world. Using radio frequencies, Bluetooth devices allow for always on communication between devices without cables and wires of any type. For the demonstration, the Ricoh printer gets input through an Ericsson R520m Bluetooth cell phone using a Wireless Solutions Compact Flash Bluetooth Card, and passes the input through an Axis Communications Bluetooth Axis Point. Imagine moving your digital camera within range of a local color proofing printer and having the picture print! Think about the freedom of checking the status of print jobs as you walk through your print plant with real-time updates to your cell phone or PDA. Imagine never having to re-cable your plant or offices! This is what wireless technology can do for you and why we watch it carefully. Our Take: We believe that wireless technology can be an important investment in infrastructure, but we’re cautious about the promises of the current crop of Bluetooth devices. Manufacturers have been late coming to market with innovative uses of the technology, and we wonder if it will really be the Bluetooth follow-on, what ever that might be, that will be the usable technology.