Student's ActiveCard challenges CDs

Before joining Unisys' graduate programme early this year Auckland student Jon Bridge spent time with his brother and a friend designing a media product which recently had its first sale to a music and video production company.

Before joining Unisys' graduate programme early this year Auckland student Jon Bridge spent the time with his brother and a friend designing a media product which recently had its first sale to a music and video production company, Kog Transmissions.

ActiveCards can hold any type of data, including text, photos, animation, video, audio and files.

What makes them different from other types of shaped CD cards, is their ability to interact with Web sites and Internet databases. They can connect to the Internet every time they are used and download the latest information on a product or set of products, presented in a pre-defined frame. Thus, the cards are never out of date, downloading current content every time they are used.

Bridge, who did his thesis on Internet advertising, says the cards are gimmicky and therefore attention-grabbing.

"For branding purposes, they are ideal for Web-based companies," he says.

The cards cost around 50% more than traditional CD to manufacture, subject to volume.

ActiveCards, the company, has developed a range of services around the product.

"It's been a really good experience taking one idea and building up a total services package," Bridge says.

Bridge, who is employed by Unisys as a technical consultant, is one of 22 graduates the vendor hired this year - the largest intake it has every made.

"They allow companies to communicate with their customers in a unique way. It's easier for customers to find the company's site and to access information from online databases."

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