August 21, 2006 The Computerworld Horizon Awards were established last year to alert readers to especially cutting-edge technologies from research labs and companies that are "on the horizon." The 2006 winners and honorable mentions are presented here in alphabetical order.
Altiris Software Virtualization Solution (SVS)
More information: www.altiris.com/Products/Software
Video demo: juice.altiris.com/node/470
Developers: Randy Cook and Jared Blaser
Team photo: First row, from left to right: Dale Bethers, Mark Killgore and Randy Cook. Second row, from left to right: Jeremy Hurren and Mike Gilson
With file-system filtering and local caching of code and data, SVS intercepts application calls made to the Windows file system and redirects them to a cache file isolated from the runtime environment.
(Click image to see larger view)
Over time, adding and removing applications degrades performance and makes computers unstable. When multiplied by the number of computers and applications in use, these problems increase IT support costs and reduce employee productivity. Altiris SVS eliminates application conflicts and protects the operating system from being corrupted, provides an on/off capability so applications can be made instantly available or unavailable, and allows IT staff to reset an application back to "just installed" state without redeploying the application. See Full Story, On/Off Switch For Software
BioPassword Internet Edition
More information: www.biopassword.com/internet-
Video demo: www.biopassword.com/
Developers: Artur Babayan, Brian O'Neill, Bobby Bhasin, Chaz Spahn, Danny DeSousa, Jagadeesan Baskar, Jared Pfost, John Stacy, Jonathan (Hong) Wang, Kulwinder Deol, Lensey Hau, Mark Gamache, Mechthild Kellas-Dicks, Mike Stewart, Seshadri Mani and Steve Comninos
BioPassword provides a sample application (shown above) that gives organizations a console to see the biometric score of user log-on attempts.
BioPassword is two-factor authentication software based on the behavioral biometric of keystroke dynamics. While the mathematical foundation of keystroke dynamics is complicated, the science itself is rooted in behavioral characteristics and patterns first identified by telegraph operators in the 1930s. Keystroke dynamics is based on the distinctive characteristics found in typed sequences of characters. This includes how long a person holds a key and the elapsed time between successive keystrokes. BioPassword combines the user's standard log-in credentials and his unique typing rhythm. See Full Story, Keystroke Analyzer
Team photo: Back row, from left to right: Bin He, W. Scott Spangler and Jeffrey Kreulen. Front row, from left to right: Amit Behal, James Rhodes, Ying Chen and Ana Lelescu. Not pictured: Stephen Boyer and Larry Proctor
Business Insights Workbench combines data warehousing and text mining technologies in one system, using IBM's Unstructured Information Management Architecture as the underlying framework. Its capabilities include search on unstructured text and metadata; information extraction and clustering; and categorization, which automatically creates, edits, visualizes and applies taxonomies. It also features statistical analysis, visualization in an extensible variety of plots and graphs, and fact extraction/links, which can link documents together through relationships with terms, phrases and metadata. See Full Story, Smarter Search
SAP AG, Microsoft Corp.
More information: www.sap.com/duet
Developers: Dennis Moore, Udo Waibel, Nir Kol and Parichay Saxena
Duet development team: From left to right, top row: Eric Wood, Nir Kol, Armando Chavez and Udo Waibel. Middle row: Irene Ivashenko, Deepak Saldanha and Christian Bjoernsen. Bottom row: Narayan Nayar, Himanshu Pande and Anisha Dadhia. Not pictured: Geff Gilligan
From within Microsoft Outlook, a user is given business alerts. This example shows an alert triggered by a budget posting that exceeded a user-set threshold. The user can then take corrective action as needed.
Duet software, jointly developed, marketed and supported by SAP and Microsoft, enables a company's employees to interact with SAP business processes and data via the familiar Microsoft Office environment. Built as a composite application, Duet works with the SAP NetWeaver platform and Microsoft's .Net framework to extend select mySAP processes and information into Office, simplifying the way information workers access SAP applications. See Full Story, Glue for SAP And Office
HyperOffice synchronizes contacts, calendars and tasks in a secure extranet where users can collaborate with suppliers and contractors.
HyperOffice provides Web-based software tools that make it easier for small-business owners, employees, clients, business partners and suppliers to work together as a team, plan projects, share and edit documents, schedule meetings, and stay connected via e-mail and any Web browser, from any computer. HyperOffice provides users with a hosted office environment including e-mail, document management, calendar, project management and collaboration at a cost of around $7 per user per month. While the end users would still have their own desktop applications, it relieves the office of having to purchase and support a server and collaboration software. It can be customized to incorporate links to other software the customer uses. See Full Story, Collaboration in a Box
Oasys, Opinion Analysis System
University of Maryland, Institute of Advanced Computer Studies
Developer: V.S. Subrahmanian, professor of computer science at the University of Maryland, Institute of Advanced Computer Studies
V.S. Subrahmanian, professor of computer science at the University of Maryland, Institute of Advanced Computer Studies
Oasys produces a graph that shows a timeline and the intensity of opinion about a particular topic (in this case, Pakistani leader Pervez "Musharraf").
The Opinion Analysis System, or Oasys, allows users to type in a topic or keyword, and the system accesses real-time news data from 18 newspapers from four countries (the U.S., Italy, Spain and Pakistan) in three languages (English, Spanish and Italian). The system produces a graph that shows a timeline and the changes in intensity of opinion. That intensity level is based on a hybrid statistical, linguistic and learning algorithms from human subjects and has been experimentally validated. The system produces four-colored graphs -- each color depicts the intensity of opinion in a different country. By clicking on the points on the graph, users can see which sources had articles on the topic on that day, and what their opinions were. See Full Story, Opinion Thermometer
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General Mills, Genentech, San Diego Gas & Electric, University of Pennsylvania and Monsanto top the list.