The editors favorite innovations to help you do your job better--or at least have fun trying. Get the Message he pitfall with most pagers is that when the user is out of range, their messages may be lost. For event planners, that can be often: in flight, driving between coverage areas or through a tunnel, or when the pager is turned off. Motorola has come out with a product called Page Finder that gets around the problem. The paging system "finds" the mobile user, stores the message while the pager is out of range, and immediately forwards it when the pager is back in range. OtherPageFinder features include anti-glare display, a choice of alert tones, the ability to store messages, a pro grammable alarm clock, along with a date and time display. PageFinder was introduced in late 1997 through SkyTel, but is now widely available. For more information, visit the Web site for Motorola's message systems products at www.motorola.com/pager.
Be the First on Your Block So just how dedicated are you to having the very latest in geek gear? If you have eight thousand bucks fluttering around in the petty cash drawer, consider this scenario: You've tried room diagramming software like Optimum Settings or Meeting Matrix, but you just don't get the feel of the meeting space.
So you go on the site inspection, and then you wish you had your software on hand to plot out where you want the risers on the stage. Haul along a laptop? Gee, anybody could do that. On the other hand you could don your Xybernaut Mobile Assistant II wearable computer and literally keep one eye on the room and the other on your computer screen's room schematic. And, you will look waaaaay cool. In addition to coming loaded with Windows 95, the Mobile Assistant also has Verbex Listen for Windows 95, because Xybernautics believes that a hands-free computer ought to respond to voice commands. Of course there's also a mini-keyboard that straps to your wrist--useful if you have a sudden urge to write a new program in Visual Basic while walking from the meeting site to the parking lot.
Other goodies include a wireless connection to the Internet as well as a headset-mounted, color video camera whose images can either be transmitted immediately or stored on the hard drive. List price, loaded: $8,455. Call (888) 992-3777 or see the Web site at www.xyber naut.com.
No, you can't get a life-size replica of your company's old mainframe, but Ann Hemyng Candy Inc. can produce other wonders in chocolate. The Trumbauersville, Penn.-based confectioner makes disks, chips, and tiny computers to satisfy every attendee's sweet tooth. Custom shapes can be created. For more information, call (800) 779-7004 or (215) 536-7004, or visit the online chocolate catalog at www.chocolateshop.com.
Verified space? I don't need no verified space . . ." and with that you scan the far wall of the ballroom with your trusty Seiko ProMeasure+, a tapeless device that ultrasonically measures room dimensions, including heights, at the push of a button. The large digital read-out displays the measurement in both feet and inches and in meters and centimeters.
It also features a high-accuracy conversion calculator, so when you're in a convention center and a decorator tells you an average cost per foot for carpet, you can calculate it on the spot, accurately.
Call (800) 873-4508 to locate the nearest dealer.
Some folks are busy. Some folks (like you) are really busy. And 3Com's Palm III connected organizer is for you. Enjoy being organized? Indulge your anal-retentive side with the Palm III's to-do list function, which will keep track of up to 1,500 chores. Always find the right contact by consulting its 6,000-capacity address book. Keep track of up to 3,000 appointments, and let people know you're coming by using the Palm III's e-mail messaging capability. It will store as many as 200 e-mail messages. Best of all, the Palm III organizer offers infrared transfer capabilities. Simply aim and "beam" data, notes, schedules, applications, or your business card to your PC or to other Palm III users. It also does mundane stuff like create expense reports that can be transferred directly to an Excel spreadsheet.
At just under five inches tall and six ounces (with batteries), the Palm III fits in your shirt pocket or purse. At $400, no self-respecting control freak should be without it. Visit 3Com's site at palmpilot.3com.com.
It's a camera. It's a tape recorder. It's a video recorder.It downloads still, video, or audio files into your computer. It's the Swiss Army Knife of the camera world: The Ricoh RDC-2. It takes pictures at a good 768x576-pixel resolution at 35mm and 55mm settings. It can take still pictures with approximately 10 seconds of 8-bit 11KHz audio (sorry, mono only) using its built-in microphone. It will record sound like a digital tape recorder, although only into RAM. It can create video files made up of still pictures shot at 0.9-to 1.5 second intervals.These images can be directed to a video monitor with an included video-out jack. The device measures an inch deep, three inches high, and just under six inches wide. It uses AA alkaline batteries and weighs just over half a pound (without batteries). It retails for about $800. Call (800) 225-1899 for more information,or visit www.ricohcpg.com
For guaranteed oohs and aahs, light up Glitzzzz sparklers when attendees least expect it. Set off with a wireless transmitter, the light show lasts for 45 seconds and showers sparks two-and-a-half feet in the air. Used as a centerpiece, on stage, or to decorate the dessert table, the sparklers are controlled remotely with JTECH Inc.'s Party Pager System. Call JTECH in Boca Raton, Fla. at (800) 321-6221,or visit www.jtechinc.com.
Tecnotes, a Westhampton Beach, N.Y. promotional products company, started cutting up printed circuit boards in 1989. At the time, the company used the obsolete hardware to create a flip-top note pad but since then has expanded its product line to include clocks, clipboards, binders, address books, business card cases, and more. The latest addition to the line is the Cyber Bag Tag. All products can be imprinted with company logos and custom shapes are available. For more information, contact Tecnotes at (516) 288-1010, (800) 321-6221, or firstname.lastname@example.org; or visit the company Web site at www.tecnotes.com.
In 19 cities, ranging from Tampa to Seattle, you can now order a PC--complete with Internet connection, color printer, fax, copier, and scanner--and have it rolled into your room along with your morning coffee. In fact, the Nomad workstation, provided to hotels and resorts by Carabiner International, is available whenever you want it--along with 24-hour technical support provided by Hewlett-Packard. By the end of this year, Carabiner plans to have Nomad service available at more than 100 hotels. To learn more, call Carabiner at (404) 836-1866.