Steve Austin Goes B2B

It's not really bionic, but it's close

February 15, 2001 -- We're still a bit away from individual jet packs (even though I'm not getting any younger waiting for them. Microsoft, can you do something about this?), and the technology doesn't quite make purchasers the equivalent of Jaime Sommers or Steve Austin (The Bionic Woman and Six Million Dollar Man, respectively, facts most of us already knew but would probably deny knowledge of in a roomful of our peers), but things are getting a little Westworld, content-wise. The next big thing? If one company has its way, wearable computers.

Web content management firm IntraNet Solutions has partnered with ViA Inc., a wearable computer technology company whose slogan is Computers that Fit People.  IntraNet Solutions will provide Web content management for ViA's wearable computers. The somewhat Borgian amalgamation will be demonstrated by IntraNet Solutions' at Internet World Wireless, February 21-23 in New York City.

Unlike the wearable drum kit I once saw on a cutting-edge computer show, this arrangement really does seem to be geared toward producing more than Internet buzz. (Let's be real. There's precious little cool factor in pounding on your forearm for that big snare drum flam.) Under the agreement, ViA will integrate IntraNet Solutions' Xpedio Content Management system into its wearable computers, allowing mobile users to wirelessly access, manage and update business content. There might be a sticking point as far as aesthetics, because it's going to be hard to pull off wearing Armani with an inlaid PC, but let's give the company the benefit of the doubt.

ViA's spokeperson makes a pretty good argument for his company's efforts. The ViA wearable computer, combined with IntraNet Solutions' Xpedio software, allows mobile users to access business content whenever and wherever it is needed, said Ed McConaghay, president and chief executive officer of ViA. Our wearable PC gives users the freedom to access and enter content on a corporate system from any location while Xpedio converts the content to appropriate Web formats. We are truly providing an end-to-end content management solution for the mobile workplace.

The advantages of wearable computers might seem obvious for a telecom tech, who might be well-threaded into an installation when he realizes the need for blueprints that are back in the Walla Walla satellite office, but the two companies are banking on there being enough utility for purchasers, too, such as forms capabilities. We are excited about the potential opportunities this agreement opens up for our customers, said Dan Ryan, vice president of marketing and business development for IntraNet Solutions. Our integrated solution offers mobile workers a powerful alternative for managing and accessing business content, allowing organizations to decrease maintenance and repair times. No word yet on whether or not the computers will have that cool ringing sound effect when used.