You are here

What's New

Looking for higher-education and technology products and services? Start here.
University Business, Mar 2006

EMT Retain is a new content management and communications system from Hobsons. It's designed to help institutions use the internet to build relationships with current students and parents, efforts that can ultimately lead to increased rates of student success and matriculation. The software automatically identifies at-risk students based on factors considered crucial to academic, social, financial, and physical success. IHEs can then use the product's e-communication capabilities to automate and deliver student support and interventions, which are based on the successful retention initiatives developed by Xavier University (Ohio) under the direction of Adrian A. Schiess. Schiess has managed the university's Office for Student Success and Retention since 1990, helping Xavier to reach a 90 percent three-year retention rate. A four-year license fee costs $70,000, plus a $5,000 annual maintenance fee. For more information, see

Incorporating a calendar, contacts, and task management, PlanPlus for Windows XP 5.0 from FranklinCovey is a stand-alone electronic planning system designed with the look and functionality of a paper planner. The product has a customizable user interface, FranklinCovey applications for the Palm OS, full category support (for tasks, appointments, and contacts), and improved task organization. Enhanced note-taking features include the ability to add objects, flags, and drawings to notes. The new version also allows greater import/export capability, for users who work with file types such as ink (Microsoft Journal), TIF, plain text, and rich-text format. Suggested retail price is $99.95, and a free 30-day trial is available at has launched a new portal to help prospective students, particularly working adults, to find postsecondary programs and degrees. Visitors to, a free online directory, can browse by school, degree level, or subject. Institutions receive a basic listing with information about their traditional campuses and online programs, certificates, and degrees at no cost. Featured listings, which include a school's logo, a custom contact information form, and premium placement on the site, are available on a cost-per-lead basis, with leads based on school-approved criteria. Through a partnership with the internet advertising network, IHEs can get additional prospects. Visit and click on the "Add Your School" link for more information.

A kiosk used for visitor registration, background checking, recordkeeping, reporting, and creating ID badges is the first product offered by Barr Security. The BARRicade Visitor Management System, designed to be a campus building's gatekeeper, uses biometric fingerprint technology and a driver's license scan to compare visitor information to the U.S. Department of Justice database of convicted sex offenders and the school's list of unwanted visitors before allowing or denying access. In the event of an identified sex offender, administrators are alerted immediately to the potential threat.

The search process takes a few seconds, and then a visitor ID badge is printed for allowed visitors in less than 20 seconds. The badge displays the person's name, picture, title, check-in time, and destination, as well as any other categories defined by the institution.

A basic system, which includes installation, hardware, and one copy of the administrator software, costs $5,995; additional software user licenses are $205. A self-serving stand-alone kiosk (shown) is priced at $9,995. Learn more at

The Aptimus Education Solution is a student acquisition product that helps place schools in front of potential students and then delivers leads. Through the Aptimus Education Portal, as well as the Aptimus Lead Generation Network of partner websites, proprietary, scalable tools can screen students by interest-level qualification and confirmation, as well as by real-time phone number and address validation. The technology can limit leads by publisher, exclude by category, target by geographic area, and deliver in multiple formats based on the institution's needs. The system can drive traffic from the Aptimus Network to the education portal, or directly to the institution's information request page. After technology-based data validations are conducted in real time to clean the submitted information, leads that pass the screening are forwarded to the school. Pricing is based on lead volume and the number of qualifying questions; typically the cost is between $15 and $30 per lead. For more information, visit

Sharp's new Conference/Classroom Series XG-MB65X and XG-MB55X portable projectors feature Texas Instruments DDR DLP technology to deliver a 2,000:1 contrast ratio, as well as XGA native resolution. Built-in RS-232C connectivity allows IT support departments to remotely check projector lamp life or provide operational support. The series includes an on-screen guide and help function to assist with set-up and operation. The projectors, priced at $3,395 and $2,495 respectively, weigh less than 9 pounds and can be ceiling mounted.

Also new from Sharp: The AR-C360P color workgroup printer (shown), which was designed to handle a high-volume of documents when the color is important. It produces full-color output at 36 pages per minute and black-and-white output at 40 pages per minute, while offering multiple finishing options and advanced network connectivity. The product's $13,995 price includes My Sharp training and support, which aims to help users become proficient with the product's basic and advanced features. For more information on either new release, see

As presentations become more complex, multiple formats are often needed to convey information. The IN1508 presentation switcher from Extron Electronics makes juggling multiple inputs an easy task. The IN1508 is an economical, eight-input A/V switcher that also provides high-quality upscaling and downscaling for a wide variety of input sources, including high-resolution RGB computer-video, HDTV, and standard definition video. Suited for single-display presentation environments such as classrooms, small conference rooms, and boardrooms, it also features picture-in-picture (PIP). The IN1508 offers high-performance scaling for all popular video formats including video, HDTV, and high-resolution computer video. For more information and pricing options for the IN1508, log in to

Apple's new iTunes U, is a free, hosted content management system allowing colleges and universities to provide students and faculty with easy access to their educational content, including lectures, interviews, audio books, video, and more through the same technology as the iTunes music store. The company, which began a pilot hosting program with Stanford, Duke, the University of Michigan, the University of Missouri, and Brown last year, is now inviting other interested schools to participate. Apple offers transparent branding so iTunes U can carry individual school logos and images, yet still function like iTunes. Content is protected through a secure sign-on feature, and iTunes U includes online editing tools for course managers. The system complements learning management systems, including Blackboard, WebCT, and Sakai, and features integrated podcasting support to automatically generate a podcast feed from within any course. Learn more at

DataSafe Version 3.8 from Fidelis Security Systems aims to protect digital assets from unauthorized disclosure across all network channels, including e-mail, http, webmail, ftp, instant messaging, and peer-to-peer communications. Fidelis bills the product as the first extrusion prevention system and the only network security solution on the market that prevents the unauthorized network transfer of critical or sensitive information across all channels on gigabit speed networks.

This latest release provides new alert management and notation functionality and prebuilt policy templates for DoD Data Classification and the PCI Security Standard. Upgrades to the policy engine help simplify whitelisting of approved business processes, and new decoders provide advanced webmail decoding, encrypted documents detection, and recognition of images embedded in files.

Pricing starts at $65,000 per sensor; sensors are placed at each network egress point, typically near firewalls. For more information, visit

Somatic Digital has enhanced its Publisher's Development Kit to enable podcasts. It allows a traditional paper-based book, supplement, or magazine created through the BookDesigner software suite to connect directly to a podcast. Because of Touch User Interface technology, a student can press a finger, stylus, or pointer to the page to be connected to the digital content. The technology is a sensor-based system housed where the cardboard in a hardback book resides. The kit is available to members in Somatic Digital's Partner Program, with membership costs ranging from $975 to $12,900. The kit is marketed mainly to educators for the creation of instructional materials, but it could be used to create any kind of document, including internal and external communications. See to learn more.

To link to any of these companies, visit

Register now for UBTech 2018

Register now for UBTech 2018, June 4-6 at the Mirage, Las Vegas. At UBTech 2018, you’ll network with a dynamic community of higher ed leaders who are shaping the future of campus technology and explore topics like cyber security, distance learning, campus learning space design, communications, personalized learning and more. Your UBTech registration also includes a free pass to the InfoComm exhibit hall.

Register now>>