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Deals to be had at Computer Applications Show
Two hundred vendors prepared to present latest electronic products at popular event
By Marie Feliciano
Taiwan News, Staff Reporter
Page 9
2006-08-02 12:00 AM
Thousands of consumer electronics enthusiasts will be swooping down the Taipei World Trade Center starting tomorrow to shop for software products, printers, computers, displays and digital cameras sold at discounted rates.

The five-day Taipei Computer Applications Show will be featuring 200 companies occupying 1,400 booths including top-tier brands Acer, BenQ, ViewSonic, Canon, MIO, Pentax, MSI, Intel and HP, event organizers said yesterday.

One of the most popular shows in Taipei, the Taipei Computer Applications Show - now in its 16th year - has been attracting large crowds for four reasons: Substantial discounts, an extensive product menu, freebies and non-stop entertainment.

Organized by the Taiwan External Trade Development Council and the Taipei Computer Association, the fair will be presenting the single-largest retail platform in the IT and electronics sector. The show is expected to lure in consumers, dealers, resellers, PC retailers, value-added resellers, manufacturers, system builders, system integrators, service providers, software developers, and consumer electronics stores to name a few.

'Big and wide'

One of the exhibitors at this year's show is display vendor ViewSonic. The company will be launching two budget widescreen LCD models at the fair - the 20-inch VX2235WM which costs NT$8,990 and its wider sibling, the 22-inch VX2235WM, which sells for NT$13,900.

"'Big and wide' are ViewSonic's theme this season," said a public relations executive. "The 20-inch widescreen is a steal at NT$8,990. We also believe the 22-inch model will appeal to consumers who want widescreens that won't break their budgets."

The 22-inch widescreen is also targeting consumers who think the 20-inch model is too small for them but don't have the moolah for 24-inch models, the public relations executive added.

"To sweeten the deal, ViewSonic will also be giving away freebies to fairgoers who will purchase their displays," she said.

New coding system

Another exhibitor, SimpleAct Inc., will be presenting its QuickMark technology at the show. QuickMark is an application that uses the Quick Response Code. Measuring about a couple of centimeters square, the QR Code is, in several ways, more superior than the conventional barcode. Unlike the barcode which can only store a minimum amount of data, the two-dimensional QR Code can store up to 800 digits, is equipped with an encryption and security code, is capable of 360-degree scanning, and facilitates one-click access to wireless Internet, said SimpleAct's Victoria Cheng.

At yesterday's pre-show news conference, SimpleAct showed how a camera phone equipped with QR Code reading software could be used for various consumer-oriented applications from e-commerce to retail sales.

Instead of entering tons of data into their handsets, camera phone owners only need to scan the QR Code on, say, a grapefruit, and the citrus' resume - from the time the tree was planted to the time that particular fruit was picked - would be stored in the handset.

Marketing tie-ins

"You can also use it like an e-ticket. Just put coins and bills into this value-storing machine, scan the resulting QR Code with your camera phone, and you're all set," Cheng said. "You may use your 'wallet phone' to purchase goods from retailers with QR Code readers. Every time you flash your code to a reader, a number of points corresponding to the price of your purchase will be deducted from it."

SimpleAct's QuickMark system is not only a payment gateway, Cheng said.

"The QR Code could be used for marketing and promotional activities, and loyalty campaigns," she added.

Recently, mobile operator Far EasTone Telecommunications released its QR Code-enabled handset, the Sharp WX-T91. Users could use their Sharp phones to scan the QR Code provided in the FET wireless Internet service guide and quickly load the Web pages that they wanted.

For the QR Code to become widespread, merchants - from convenience stores and supermarkets to restaurants and shopping malls - have to adapt it. In this sense, the technology can serve as an effective advertising tool for vendors and manufacturers.

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