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High-Tech E-Digital Corp. music player listens to you

Cubic Transportation Modifying ‘Smart Cards’ Into Smart ID Cards

San Diego-based E-Digital Corp. has put out a portable digital music player that responds to voice commands.

The MXP 100 player can store up to 32 hours of music on its matchbook-sized IBM hard drive, in the MP3 or Windows Media formats. Lucent Technologies provided the speech-recognition software that reportedly can recognize 100,000 words and names. With a voice command, a user will be able to choose among 100 folders, each containing up to 100 tracks of music, voice or other sounds.

Software from Rancho Bernardo-based Music Match, Inc. comes loaded on the product.

Suggested retail price is $339 to $449.

E-Digital is touting the player’s convenience, mobility and safety. Users can avoid looking at a screen or manipulating a dial as they jog, drive or skate, they note.

I can see it now: Summer 2002, with friends and total strangers shouting at other people’s MP3 players as they go up and down the Mission Beach boardwalk.

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The Security Angle:

Executives at Cubic Transportation Systems Inc. hope to take the “smart” cards the company has developed for transit riders and make them into high-power identification cards.

The cards, which come embedded with a chip and antenna, could potentially hold biometric data, such as fingerprint and facial measurements. People could use them for access to public safety and airport facilities, not to mention public and private buildings, the company noted.

Mark Gaertner heads a new unit called Cubic Security, which is working to push the technology further.

In unrelated security news, software from Vista-based Cardiff Software is part of a “Remote Mail” package being touted by systems integrator Document Technologies of Alexandria, Va.

The company’s response to bacteria-tainted mail doesn’t let post office deliveries leave the mailroom. Rather, mailroom operators scan whatever the post office delivers into a computer system equipped with Cardiff’s product. Cardiff software then automatically routes the mail to its destination.

Once scanned in, the recipients can pull up correspondence on their computer screens.

System prices start at $19,395.

Patent File:

Jmar Technologies Inc.’s operation in Burlington, Vt., has been awarded U.S. patent No. 6,295,332. Its title is “Method for Improving X-Ray Lithography in the Sub-100 Nanometer Range to Create High Quality Semiconductor Devices.” Jmar is based in Carlsbad.

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Neat Consumer Gadgetry:

Motorola, Inc. plans to introduce an accessory that will let one of its phones serve as a modem for a Palm handheld computer. The phone hooks to the Palm Pilot with a cable and with software from San Diego’s own Novatel Wireless, Inc.

Not only will the product let you tap the Internet or grab e-mail through the phone; it will let you use the Palm Pilot as your phone directory.

People who don’t like to stare at tiny phone screens might like this.

Columnar Components:

San Diego-based Websense Inc. says the state of Arizona has ordered more than $1 million worth of Web filtering software. San Diego-based Aeronex, Inc. has a five-year deal to supply gas purifiers to electronics-maker Emcore Corp. of Somerset N.J. Information technology consulting firm Computer Economics of Carlsbad has merged with Daley Marketing Corp. of Newport Beach.

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Red In The Face:

That’s me, after I realized my Oct. 22 column referred to Vicki Marion as president and CEO of Jabra Corp.

Marion actually left Jabra at the end of July. Overall management of the company is now the job of Raleigh Wilson, who was promoted to the post of senior vice president and general manager. Jabra is a subsidiary of Denmark-based GN Netcom.

Send high-tech news to Graves via e-mail at bgraves@sdbj.com.


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