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  • Global Satellite Communication Networks
    Wednesday, August 18, 1999
    3:30 - 5:00 p.m.

    Moderator: Satchandi Verma (Technical Staff, Satellite Systems Division, Motorola Inc.)
    Panelists:

    Description:
    Several mobile and fixed satellite communication networks are being developed for use in the year 2000 and beyond. The satellites use a wide variety of system architectures and range of operational orbits (LEO, MEO, GEO and HEO satellite orbits) to provide cost effective regional and global communication services. These networks employ advanced modulation and channel access techniques (TDMA, CDMA) in conjunction with the Optical, Ku and Ka band satellite links for transmission of wide and narrow band network signals. Currently, bent-pipe satellite communication systems are playing a major role in providing fixed and mobile Internet services in the different regions of the globe. During the next decade, several narrow and broad-band global satellite networks will be deployed to provide Internet at various speeds to any part of the globe.

    So what's the deal? How will these networks effect the end users? Which interesting mobile services will emerge from such networks? Why are companies creating both: fixed and mobile satellite in communication networks? Might we be able to use both type of satellites in providing network connectivity for all kind of services? Why can't a single solution perform well for both low and high bandwidth services in office, car, train or in a plane? Would ordinary consumers be able to afford the kinds of solutions that business users are expected to demand? Why should users choose a satellite network over a cellular network? What type of business and service models makes sense? Is providing QoS in satellite networks important? What are the key challenges in the technology, inter operability. protocol and standards areas and how will they be met in the near future?

    Our panelists are experts in the field of satellite communication networks. They represent the perspective of each of the various aspects of satellite communication technologies, systems and operational networks. They will focus on the concepts, user interface, system architectures, designs, operation, performance and management of the present and future satellite communication networks while answering the questions we raise above and the ones brought up by the audience.


    Wearable Computing
    Wednesday, August 18, 1999
    3:30 - 5:00 p.m.

    Moderator: Chris Schmandt (Principal Research Scientist, Media Lab, Massachusetts Institute of Technology)
    Panelists:

    Description
    What is a wearable computer? Something inside your clothing, worn on your body, clipped onto your belt, or part of your hat? Why would you wear a computer? What are the benefits of a computer that is always with you and always on? What services might it provide, and what user interfaces are appropriate? Is it self-contained, or merely an interface to data and services embedded in a ubiquitous network? How does it feel to live with a wearable computer, and what do others think of you when you do?

    The wearable computers to be discussed in this panel use a variety of user interface technologies and different degrees of connectivity. User interfaces consist of buttons and simple displays, speech and auditory channels, video display, and immersive audio/visual environments. Some are location-aware, using either IR beacons or GPS coordinates. They communicate over wireless LAN, wireless telephone services, IR, and paging frequencies.

    This panel consists of early adopters and researchers into wearable computing of a wide variety. They will talk about their wearables, research activity using these devices, and their personal experiences using them in day-to-day life.



    The Future of Local Area Wireless Networking
    Tuesday, August 17, 1999
    3:30 - 5:00 p.m.

    Moderator: Marvin Theimer (Microsoft Research)
    Panelists:

    Description:
    Why do I have to have more than one wireless communications solution?

    Today's wireless warrior can equip himself with a pager, a cell phone, a PDA and/or laptop with built-in IrDA port, and PCMCIA cards that provide access to wireless RF LANs. The truly extreme can even plug into one of several burgeoning satellite networks.

    Does it have to be this way? Do we have to have both RF and IR connections, or will one end up killing the other in the market place? What about the cell phone networks? Might we be able to get away with just having cell phone connectivity for all our portable devices?

    Then again, "one size fits all" might end up displeasing everyone. Will a single solution do well both indoors and outdoors, providing high bandwidth in your office as well as good connectivity on a train or in a plane? And what about the home environment? Will ordinary consumers be willing to pay for the kinds of solutions that business users might demand? If not, will all the various devices we carry ever communicate with each other in a smooth and seamless fashion?

    Our panelists represent the perspective of each of the main local area wireless technologies, with one additional member from academia thrown in to provide an "outside" perspective. They will each try to paint a picture of what local area wireless networking will look like in the near-to-middle distant future.



    Electronic Books
    Tuesday, August 17, 1999
    3:30 - 5:00 p.m.

    Moderator: Dan Russell (Xerox, Palo Alto Research Center)
    Panelists:

    Description:
    E-books are coming! But will they make it?

    Those slim, sub-3 pound, display-centric computers for reading are on either the verge of making it big, or vanishing into the dreamworld of hope-filled ideas. Question is, which will it be? Is there really a market for these things? And if so, what set of features will be compelling?

    As currently devised, e-books are only momentarily connected to networks for adding to the online book collection. But connectivity for downloading might be just the beginning. What is an e-book with a fully operable wireless network connection? And how does it change how we think of books?

    Our panelists represent an array of perspectives on e-books. From implementers and system designers at leading e-book companies, to cultural critics and professional cynics, this panel will shed light onto the newest wave of small computers, and consider where these devices are heading in the years ahead.