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June 23, 1997updated 05 Sep 2016 12:29pm


By CBR Staff Writer

Perspecta Inc has finally introduced its much-hyped first product, the SmartContent system, which it is touting as a revolutionary way to organize and visually navigate information on corporate intranets and the web (CI No 3,097). The product was designed as a means of creating, organizing and visually navigating meta-content; data about data, and consists of three major components: a collection of tools for creating SmartContent, the Perspecta SmartContent Navigation Server; a Java-based server and PerspectaView; a Java-based client for visualizing and navigating information spaces made up of SmartContent. Perspecta claims such SmartContent can be created from tagged documents and databases as well as unstructured information such as office documents and web pages. The Navigation Server analyzes the SmartContent, identifying connections and constructing multi-dimensional information spaces that highlight the relationships between documents or other information sources. The server then performs session management with multiple PerspectaView clients as they navigate through SmartContent spaces stored in the embedded Universal Server. The technology uses 3-D visualization technologies developed at the MIT Massachusetts Institute of Technology Media Lab to enable users to create visual information spaces enabling people to fly through information and view all of the data relating to a specified topic. Director of product marketing, David Clarke claims there is really nothing like it on the market and that it is the first in a new category of products. He adds: It’s similar to On-line Analytical Processing. Whereas that covers numerical data; slicing and dicing bar charts, here you can do similar types of transfers on textual information and organize it in many different ways. The company says it has identified several wide-ranging applications for the product in markets including travel, publishing and research, claiming it is currently talking to half a dozen potential customers. Interested companies include a Wall Street firm doing internal research and Encyclopedia Brittanica. The SmartContent System costs $30,000 including a workgroup server, 2 CPUs and 10 concurrent user licenses.

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