Local News

InfoTech Promotes Technology Developed in North Carolina

Posted October 26, 1999 7:00 a.m. EDT

— The growing Information Technology business is worth more than $5 billion to North Carolina's economy. Most of those businesses started small, and some of those entrepreneurs are showing off their creations.

It is called InfoTech 99 and is sponsored by the Council for Entrepreneurial Development.

Information technology changes very rapidly. Driven by software, computers and the Internet, these new products are changing our lives.

Hundreds of people and dozens of companies gather at InfoTech to learn about what is new and find money to take new products to market.

"It's a focal point for the industry. We've got a lot of investors here, and we have folks that they might partner with," said Monica Doss of the Council for Entrepreneurial Development.

Financial institutions look for the nextRed HatorMicrosofthere.

One product,AuctionRover.com, searches 800 auction sites.

"Just type it in on AuctionRover.com, and Rover will actually got out and fetch, the real world metaphor there, fetch what you're looking for on an auction site," said Scott Wingo of AuctionRover.

Future thinkers like these hope to make money by making the Internet easier to use.

Rocketshop makes online shopping easier and could save users money.

"There is a price comparison feature. If you look for one product, you can find out all the different vendors that supply it, and you can choose the cheapest one if that's what you want to do," said Eric Olson, Rocketshop Developer.

Eyes look closely for the next big technology leap. It could come from aUniversity of North Carolina at Greensboroprofessor. He defines cyberspace graphically, grouping communities of interest on a landscape. It is called ViOS.

"We create a world, and we say 'Here's the Internet. Welcome to cyberspace,'" said Julian Lombardi, ViOS developer.

The ViOS 3-D world hosts visual representations of content providers' Web sites.

"When we see something we want, we simply click on it, and the time it takes to download the page is the time it takes us to get there. So when we get to the site, the site is there," said Lombardi.

InfoTech is but one of several events in the state promoting technology developed here. Such events are important because they put the spotlight on these new businesses.

That could bring big bucks to the area.