If, in the course of the meeting, Prime Minister Jean Chretien needs detailed trade figures, for example, he would turn to Canada's Sherpa, Gordon Smith, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade. Pen-based computing allows Mr. Smith to communicate with researchers by writing directly on a computer screen; he will get a response back in the same way.
"I'm very proud that a Canadian company has developed this to the point where we can use it at the Halifax Summit," said Mr. Smith, "and I look forward to sharing this technology with my international colleagues." All Sherpas for the delegations will have the opportunity to use the system.
Previously, the Sherpa would communicate by phone and facsimile with researchers in the delegation's offices. Pen-based computing offers advantages over those methods in terms of speed and efficiency. Further, the pen-based computing system is simple to use and eliminates any possible errors that might occur when information is transferred from a traditional note-pad to computer.
According to Filbitron's Vice-President, Jim Clark, the Summit's use of this technology is only one of many possible applications. Other applications include: taking inventory, placing orders, and site inspections --- all of which are more efficient when data entry is done simultaneously with data collection.
Filbitron's pen-based computing system uses light-weight tablet computers, provided by Fujitsu Personal Systems, Inc., of Santa Clara, California, and conferencing and communications software, provided by SMART technologies Inc. of Calgary, Alberta.