Technology showcase company Pepcom brought gadgets of the future to its annual "Wine Dine and Demo," held Wednesday, Nov. 15 at the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City for analysts and media. The event featured more than 40 exhibitors, and mainly focused on consumer devices, from Acer and Hulu to iRobot, 3M and Brookstone. With the consumerization of IT, the enterprise needs to take notice of what's coming out in order to be agile enough to support its workforce.
Sachin Pathak, worldwide product marketing for Lenovo, said he comes from a generation where work was work, and everything else was separate. "The reality," he said, "these worlds are now blurred." Constant communication is quite literally a 24/7 endeavor, where employees keep track of scheduling, progress reports, presentation changes, at the touch of a pad. Consumer products on the market have to reflect this reality, he explained.
Lap to tab
At its exhibitor booth, Lenovo displayed a series of ThinkPads specifically geared for enterprise. The 12.5 inch ThinkPad Twist, for example, is both a full-performance Ultrabook and a convertible tablet, at the twist of its top. Running on Windows 8 Pro, it features storage up to 500 GB (128 GB SSD) and Lenovo Cloud Storage by SugarSync.
The Ideapad Yoga 13 however, is the company's latest innovation and might be the biggest surprise. Also running on Windows 8, the Ultrabook is geared towards users looking for convenience, as its key feature is flexibility, literally. The screen can flip 360 degrees, converting a laptop into a tablet. Launched in October, the Yoga 13, and its sister, the smaller Yoga 11, each feature a quad-core processor. Both may find its way into the hands of business travelers before season end.
Containerizing with a USB Connection
Borgar Ljosland, founder of FXI, was also on site, to demonstrate his company's container-based solution: a microcomputer development platform which allows users access to the same platform on multiple screens.
The Cstick Cotton Candy, now available, turns any Intel processor-based laptop or PC into a thin client to the Android or Linux operating systems. The device connects through a USB connection.
"The response has been enormous," Ljosland said, referring to the year since his company made its product debut at Pepcom's last annual event. FXI's client base is almost entirely mobile enterprise, including software, hardware and system developers from health, public sector and security industries. He expects the beta version to be available before first quarter 2013.
Smart photos for smart businesses
The Tel-Aviv based Flayvr, winner of the 2012 "Microsoft Thinknext Startup Competition," demonstrated its intuitive mobile gallery app. Ron Levy, CEO and co-founder, showed how users can create interactive collections: simply snap and click a series of cell photos or videos and the program automatically groups pictures by theme for a presentation that can be instantly shared through social media.
Although marketed directly to consumers, Levy noted that the app is handy for small businesses that rely on Facebook and related mediums as primary marketing tools.