Technology's many faces

First day: More than 3,000 people attend opening day of state's high-tech fair.

December 06, 2001|By Stacey Hirsh | Stacey Hirsh,SUN STAFF

Ted Ludicke sat in a chair at the Baltimore Convention Center yesterday and a computer snapped 45 photos of his face, so it could remember him the next time he stopped by.

"Could you look slowly toward your right?" the computer commanded, as Ludicke turned his head. "Could you look back toward the screen again?"

The facial-recognition technology was one of 253 exhibits on display at the seventh annual state-sponsored Maryland Technology Showcase.

About 3,465 people attended the showcase, which began yesterday and continues today from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The technology that memorizes faces was being demonstrated at the booth of Ark Systems Inc. The more the computer sees people, the better it recognizes them, said John Meginnis, who works in sales for Ark Systems and was demonstrating the facial-recognition technology to Ludicke.

The Columbia security company also displayed digital video recorders and closed-circuit TV cameras.

At a booth shared by Northrop Grumman Corp. and Lockheed Martin Corp. were models of the Joint Strike Fighter and avionics. Northrop Grumman will be a subcontractor on the jet fighter contract won by Lockheed, a Bethesda company.

Xybernaut Solutions Inc. of Vienna, Va., showed off its compact computers, including ones that can be strapped to a belt, tucked in a backpack, or worn on a headband.

And Environmental Systems Research Institute Inc., of Redlands, Calif., displayed mapping software sophisticated enough to determine how many gas stations line a given stretch of road.

"The technology exhibited at the booths by the exhibitors is way ahead of what I remember last year," said Brian Ocheltree of e.magination Network LLC of Baltimore. "There's some real cutting-edge stuff here."

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