Thursday, Nov. 20, 1997 | 11:31 a.m.
A computer terminal with a security system that recognizes the faces of its users was named the best new product of the Comdex Fall '97 show.
Visionics Corp.'s FaceIt personal computer was recognized as Best of the Show in an awards ceremony Wednesday afternoon at the giant Comdex computer exposition, which runs through Friday at the Las Vegas Hilton, the Sands Expo Center and the Las Vegas Convention Center. Show officials are now estimating 220,000 people have come to the convention.
PC Week, a computer trade magazine, sponsored and judged the contest, which recognized innovations in 12 categories. Editor-in-chief Eric Lundquist explained that the magazine staff teamed with laboratory analysts to review more than 600 new products that were submitted for consideration of awards.
"To impress a PC Week labs analyst, a person who sees new products and programs every day, you've really got to present something that is truly innovative, something which propels computing forward," Lundquist told a packed gathering at the awards presentation. "The corporate partner, a person who must work with these products every day, was asked to separate those products which meet market requirements from those that truly exceed customer expectations."
The Visionics machine, which also won in the Best New Technology category, uses state-of-the-art face recognition technology to achieve PC access control, data encryption, remote surveillance and secure visual messaging. Access to the machine is granted only to an authorized face.
Representatives from the Jersey City, N.J.-based company say the machine also is capable of capturing and posting to a website the faces of people who try to use the computer or just curious passersby. Visitors to the work station are automatically photographed, logged and invited to leave an e-mail message that accompanies their facial photograph.
Other award winners by category:
* Best Desktop System -- IBM IntelliStation M Pro by IBM Corp., Armonk, N.Y.
* Best Portable or Handheld System -- Pedion Notebook by Mitsubishi Electric America, Cypress, Calif.
* Best Server -- WorldMark 4380 by NCR Corp., Dayton, Ohio.
* Best Peripheral -- U. are U. by Digital Persona Inc., Redwood City, Calif.
* Best All-Around Application -- Trellix 1.0 by Trellix Corp.
* Best Development Tool -- WinHelp Office 5.0 by Blue Sky Software, La Jolla, Calif.
* Best Toy of the Show -- Cyberstik by CyberStuff Corp., Richmond, Va.
* Best Connectivity Solution -- Medley97 by MangoSoft Corp.
* Best Utility Software -- Dragon NaturallySpeaking Deluxe by Dragon Systems Inc., Newton, Mass.
* Best Internet Software -- Kiva Enterprise Server 2.0 by Kiva Software.
* Best Digital Media -- Trinity 1.0 by Play Inc., Rancho Cordova, Calif.