Corporations and institutions now able to effectively share data and ideas in real-time, regardless of physical location
Ahmedabad, October 18, 2005 - eInfochips, a leading electronics systems design services firm with "spec-to-silicon-to-system" capabilities, has teamed up as development partners with PolyVision Inc., a leader in the global visual communication market, to design and develop the enterprise software behind Thunder™, the world's most innovative product in enterprise collaboration and distance learning.
Solving a critical need at the heart of all organizational collaboration, learning and progress, PolyVision's groundbreaking Thunder system redefines the collaborative process, providing teams with the essential environment and tools to work or learn together, regardless of physical location. Corporations can now gain the efficiencies of scale created by combining groups or participants in disparate locations, working on the same project, in real time, and sharing the same information.
Thunder is a series of large-format displays whose content can be simultaneously shared over any network with other similarly equipped rooms, as well as participants on personal computers. The unique user interface on Thunder is simple and intuitive, providing easily recognizable icons that represent familiar tools and actions. In the simplest Thunder mode, participants can create, edit, move, resize and delete written content in a variety of formats with the stroke of a stylus or finger.
With the touch of an icon, Thunder immediately integrates all forms of media and content into meetings, creates a stream of projected images that flow freely among groups, and allows complete creative flexibility. Following a meeting, content is seamlessly archived, emailed to all participants, and ready at the touch of an icon for immediate retrieval, whenever desired and from any location.
eInfochips completed the first phase of development on Thunder in a record time of two months to meet the product launch in June at InfoComm 2005 and NeoCon 2005. eInfochips' team suggested an architecture with Flash-based graphic user interface and C++ as backend, which made the product user-friendly and feature-rich. Showcased in Las Vegas, USA at InfoComm, the world-class audio visual and information communications show, Thunder was reviewed by Gary Kayye, a leading industry expert, as "Best New Product InfoComm 2005."
"After extensive collaborative research, market development and customer testing, we have combined the most innovative and effective technologies to create Thunder," said Mike Dunn, President and CEO, PolyVision. "The customer response has been tremendous - from large enterprises who want to reduce global travel costs and organizational inefficiencies to universities who see Thunder as a unique solution that truly supports distance learning concepts and execution."
"I would like to congratulate the entire team of eInfochips on a job well done on Thunder. It was a close finish, but the software and hardware came together beautifully. In the end, we put on a fantastic show at InfoComm," added Mr. Dunn.
Like all of PolyVision's products, Thunder is designed to be simple to use, while providing the flexibility and collaborative capabilities that current collaboration tools simply cannot deliver.
Thunder is used in a way similar to the flip chart, with a participant jotting notes and drawings onto a "page" with an electronic pen or finger
Multiple pages are "posted" - projected - onto the wall in high resolution, allowing all of the information to remain visible to all participants throughout the meeting, much like flip chart pages in a non-digital world
With the touch of an icon, participants can join another Thunder meeting, see all of their posted information, exchange data, and share ideas - regardless of physical location
Each page created in the meeting is saved on the system, with auto-numbering, and can be displayed, edited, retrieved, printed, or emailed; thus allowing participants to leave the meeting knowing their information has been captured
Using the web to post information from a computer to the meeting, Thunder enables real-time display of content from any participant's personal laptop, allowing team members to join from any location
The system also features instant scanning, real-time video, and One-Click Publishing™ for simple, immediate distribution of materials
"Imagine working with people anywhere, any time, developing ideas, communicating concepts and information, and never having to take another note or wish the group was all together in one place," said Mr. Dunn. "Thunder is another example of PolyVision thinking about how people work and how their experience could be made better. It will change the way the world looks at group work, collaboration, distance, and the power of truly harnessing the collective intellect of their enterprise."
"It's a proud moment for Chipmates at eInfochips. We take immense pride in the fact that we were able to work with the PolyVision team to architect, develop, test, and deliver this revolutionary new visual communication tool. Together with PolyVision, we have translated a vision into a reality," said Pratul Shroff, President and CEO, eInfochips.
Currently, eInfochips is working on the second phase of the product development. After this phase, PolyVision will release the product commercially.
eInfochips Inc., based in Santa Clara, is a leading provider of cutting edge Silicon Design, Embedded Systems and Software services. Their capabilities extend from specification to system, with knowledge on silicon design and verification, high-speed board design, embedded firmware and applications software development. The company's India and US design centers have delivered system level solutions to a variety of customers thus increasing their cost-effectiveness, reducing their time-to-market and growing their market strength. A partial list of customers includes TI, Gatelinx, Vignette, Agere, Cypress, and Cisco. For additional information, please visit www.einfochips.com.
About PolyVision Corporation, a Steelcase Company
PolyVision Corporation enhances the way people learn, work, and communicate visually through a broad portfolio of products. Since 1954, PolyVision has focused on creating products and services that inspire users to be more productive, effective, and creative when collaborating and communicating visually. Whether it is developing the world's number one selling P 3ceramicsteel® surface, or creating the industry's first walk-up-and-use interactive whiteboard, PolyVision has an unparalleled track record of new breakthroughs in the visual communication market. For more information, visit www.polyvision.com.
About Steelcase Inc.
Steelcase Inc., a Fortune 500 company, helps individuals and organizations around the world to work more effectively by providing knowledge, products and services that enable customers and their consultants to create work environments that integrate architecture, furniture and technology. Its product portfolio includes furniture systems, seating, lighting, storage, architectural and technology products, and related products and services. Steelcase Inc. and its subsidiaries have dealers in more than 900 locations, 50 manufacturing facilities in over 40 locations, and approximately 16,000 employees around the world. The company's Class A Common Stock trades on the NYSE under the symbol SCS. For more information, visit www.steelcase.com.