I am attending FTF this week in Orlando. That’s the Freescale annual Technology Forum. 3000 people, all embedded Engineering types, taking hundreds of classes and getting exposed to all sorts of new ideas and insights.
Lots of cool things at this show. Everyone gets a little communicator. This is a device the size of an overly large checkbook that can send and receive email and do all sorts of neat things. It has this little radar deal to find people. If you want to make contact with a customer or supplier, you can have it continuously scan for them. If them are within 50 feet of you it goes off and tells you they’re near. In seminars, I used mine to scan the room to see who is taking the class from what companies. And it’s your survey tool. After every class you get the class survey to fill out.
Another innovation I hadn’t seen before is a programmable name badge. This is a Freescale board that is your show identification and of course can be read by communicators. To transfer your ID, just hold it up to someone else’s communicator. It has a bunch of buttons, a display and an accelerometer. And it can be programmed. They are giving away about $2,000 to someone who develops the best application for it.
RTA has a booth here where we are showing a bunch of stuff we built with Freescale products. We showed our Schneider Altivar 31 Option cards for DeviceNet; our Altivar 31 Option cards for EtherNet/IP and Modbus TCP, and our ASCII to PLC gateways.