FOSE 2011: These products could steal the show

FOSE is always a showcase for new products, and the 2011 show this year is no exception. As in previous years, Government Computer News is hosting the Best New Technology Awards at FOSE contest, in which we review cool new products aimed at the federal government. Based on the nominations this year, there are some pretty interesting items that anyone who visits the show will want to check out.

A perfect example of this is Research in Motion's BlackBerry PlayBook tablet being shown at Booth 650. This could be the first time that feds get a chance for a hands-on experience with this incredible new device. The interesting thing about the PlayBook is that BlackBerry devices are already widely adopted by government agencies because of their advanced performance, functionality and secure wireless features, and the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet builds on that reliable platform. With out-of-the-box compatibility with BlackBerry Enterprise Server, the BlackBerry PlayBook leverages the BlackBerry security model so that when a PlayBook is connected to a BlackBerry smart phone via Bluetooth, smart-phone content is viewable on the tablet yet only temporarily cached. When that connection is broken, no data resides on the tablet. That is a pretty cool vanishing act that is not to be missed.

Over at Booth 323, TC Communications will be letting people test-drive the new JumboSwitch. Not to be confused with jumbo shrimp, the JumboSwitch instead pulls data and voice communications together in one place. Besides Ethernet, the Gigabit Ethernet Smart Modular Switch supports telephone FXS/FXO, Analog 600 ohm, Async RS232/422, Dry Contact Relay, T1/E1 and T3/E3. Other innovations include offering a distributed IP-PBX that does not require a central PBX, and every voice-over-IP interface card has switching capability.

If you want to stay really cool, then you will want to check out Booth 1017 and the Tripp Lite SRCOOL12K portable air conditioning unit. Perfect for server rooms or for emergency deployment in hot zones, the SRCOOL12K is 12,000 BTUs of portable cooling. And it expels moisture directly through the exhaust tube, so there is no need for a separate drain for water. Given that FOSE takes place in July this year, we can imagine that Booth 1017 will be very popular.

Freezing of a different kind will be taking place at Booth 1623, where the Faronics Deep Freeze software will be on display. Go ahead and mess with the computers in that booth, because you won’t be able to make any changes. Systems frozen by the program will not allow users to make any changes, a perfect way to protect vulnerable terminals from tampering. But fear not, if you need to make some changes, a ThawSpace area can be designated in which changes are allowed.

Longtime FOSE favorite Splunk makes a return this year to showcase Version 4.2 of the company's award-winning software at Booth 1029. Splunk is software used to monitor, report and analyze the machine data generated by all systems — whether physical, virtual or in the cloud. Machine data is produced by all the mission-critical systems government organizations rely on to support their day-to-day operations. A single installation of Splunk supports critical functions in security and compliance, application management and operations management — painting a complete picture of the unstructured data and providing end-to-end visibility for continuous monitoring and cybersecurity.

If you like your FOSE rough and tumble, check out the Algiz XRW at Booth 722. The Handheld Algiz XRW is a fully rugged laptop with a 10.1-inch wide-screen display featuring sunlight-readable MaxView technology and a powerful 2 GHz Intel Atom processor. It includes a 64G solid-state disk and 2G of DDR2 RAM. The Algiz XRW runs the Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate operating system, just like the PCs in the office. The full-featured and lightweight Algiz XRW presents an array of mobile capabilities and comes standard with Bluetooth, wide-area network and Global Positioning System as well as a built-in 2-megapixel autofocus camera. An optional 3G modem can provide high-speed data transmission.

And if you need more drive space but still want to maintain that rugged exterior, look no further than Booth 124 and the Rockstor Commander 3F series of rugged external hard drives. All the Commanders work on both Mac and Windows PCs, and the largest ones can have as much as 4 terabytes of storage capacity. That’s a lot of reliable storage for any war zone, even if you are just protecting the corner office.

From small to big, you won’t want to miss — and probably can’t miss — the 87-inch interactive whiteboard known as the Smart Board 885ix, which will be on display at Booth 1501. Visible from just about anywhere nearby, the 885ix from Smart Technologies delivers an exceptional touch experience that supports multitouch, multiuser writing and object awareness. Object awareness is particularly cool, as it will let you work with digital content directly, touching the virtual world with your bare hands. Give it a try!

If the only thing big in your office is the paperwork, be sure to check out the Kodak i5000 Series Scanners at Booth 1401. Built on a digital architecture, the Kodak i5000 Series Scanners provide government users with optimized memory allocation, faster processing paths and customization capabilities to maximize job streams. Go on, you know you want to dump some paper into this big boy to see what happens. Watch as it crunches all comers.

Finally, don’t be afraid of the Phantom of FOSE at Booth 1215. It’s just the Phantom Virtual Tap being displayed by the Net Optics team. The Virtual Tap is a piece of networking equipment that provides monitoring of both physical and virtual tools. The Phantom primarily concentrates on the area of next-generation networking, as there is a lack of network monitoring solutions providing holistic monitoring of networks across both physical and virtual deployments. If your network touches both, the Phantom might just work for you.

Any of these products might be a winner as we judge the GCN Best New Technology at FOSE awards again this year, but anyone can be a winner by simply visiting these and hundreds of other booths, and touching the future of government technology today.

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