With the support of US Robotics, ETE, Metricom, and the RAM Mobile Data Network, Minneapolis-based developer Business Brothers Software Products made a persuasive point about the future of platform independent wireless technology to the business executives assembled at the 5th Annual Apple Invitational Golf Tournament. The tournament was held in June at Bent Creek Golf Course in Eden Prairie, MN.
Instead of using tiny pencils and paper scorecards, the collection of Chief Information Officers, Vice Presidents, Information Systems Directors, and other technology leaders from around the midwest tapped their scores into an Apple MessagePad setup with WiNGS (Wireless Newton Golf System). Pressing Xmit transmitted their scores wirelessly back to the club house where a Macintosh Powerbook (equipped with Fourth Dimension, ETEs QuickFlight software, and a Megahertz All Points wireless pc card) functioned as the data receiving station. The receiving station then compiled the scores and automatically updated the wireless remote leaderboard - all in seconds.
David Ringsmuth, president of Business Brothers, commented that the golf course provided the perfect analogy to how people currently run their businesses. Like golfers who use a paper scorecard and then tally the results at the end of play, there are thousands of business people relying on paper-loaded strategies that delay the input and processing of critical data. The forms they use include invoices, work orders, bid sheets, check lists, contracts, hand-written notes, etc. - all of which can be easily setup for on-the-spot electronic entry and immediate wireless transmission using the tools we used today on the golf course. While scrutinizing the possibilities of Newton and wireless technologies, they cant help but come to realize the waste of time and money spent on double data entry. And when they see the advantages of true up-to-the-minute information that hasnt been delayed by their normal 24, 48 and even 72 hour turn around time, this sort of solution gets them excited.
Wintel users and businesses with mixed computing environments can also benefit since every element of the wireless solution demonstrated at the tournament is fully functional on both Macintosh and Windows machines. Current and future wireless solutions connect Newton users to the mainframes of large corporations as well as to the home office of one-person businesses. By adding internet email software, integrated scheduling, contact management, time billing, and other tools to a companys customized Newton application, the $700 hand-held MessagePad can become a productivity boosting PDA. Ringsmuth later added, Since integrating Newton and wireless technologies into our work, the realm of solutions we offer our clients has more than doubled.
Breakdown of the WiNGS Solution: Solution Element Hardware Software Handheld Scoring Pad Apple MessagePad 120 and 130 (or other 3rd party Newton device) with Newton OS 2.0 Megahertz All Points PC Card by US Robotics Newton OS 2.0 WiNGS Remote Scorekeepers System by Business Brothers ETEs QuickFlight wireless communications software Data Receiving Station Macintosh Powerbook with a PC Card slot (or Wintel equivalent) Megahertz All Points PC Card by US Robotics Metricom wireless modem Metricom Pole-top Stations Mac OS 7.5.3 WiNGS Leaderboard Data Collection System by Business Brothers ETEs QuickFlight wireless communications software 4th Dimension Server/Client Leaderboard Distribution System
Macintosh Computer (or Wintel equivalent) Metricom Wireless modem Apple Remote Access for wireless transmission to remote locations, or AppleShare Server for setting up a Lan. (For Wintel, substitute Windows networking software)
WiNGS is marketed as a turn-key solution to golf organizations for use in tournaments. The WiNGS system is easily tied into the internet for live distribution and into video production systems for tournaments being televised.
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