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Trader's Corner

Into the Future

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In the day trading heyday of 2000, a television advertisement featured a trader sitting in the main square of a European capital. Pigeons flew up around him as he gazed into glasses displaying a charting screen. I found the idea especially appealing. Just as the cornerstones of the bullish momentum was crumbling in March 2000, I had traveled to Spain. I'd had to call my trading partner several times a day to get an update on my open positions. Those glasses would have been nice.

While I haven't seen such glasses appearing on the market, RaySat hopes to launch a new product this summer or fall that could be nearly as appealing for some traders on the go. The company's SpeedRay 3000 (TM) awaits final FCC approval, but will be a handy, if expensive, vehicle-based, low-profile satellite antenna. The company claimed in a January 3, 2006 press release that the SpeedRay 3000 (TM) will provide a continuous signal whether the vehicle is parked or in motion. That signal is maintained, the company claims, as long as there is line of sight to the antenna. The signal could be lost if traveling through a large city, for example, where buildings would block that line of sight. The SpeedRay 3000 (TM) works with recreational, personal, specialty and commercial vehicles, and provides live satellite TV and two-way, high-speed Internet access.

The "low profile" part of the apparatus' description comes from the diminutive 5.7-inch height of this round antenna. That height was kept minimal even though the Wi-Fi transceiver is incorporated inside the weather-resistant housing of the system. One source likens the shape to that of a UFO and another to a giant toilet seat, so not all are thrilled with its size and shape, despite its acclaimed "low profile."

No extra installation or connections are needed for that Wi-Fi transceiver, making the SpeedRay 3000 (TM) suitable for mounting on the vehicle's roof. The SpeedRay 3000's panels rotate back and forth inside the housing and tilt up and down as it tracks and maintains its satellite signal. All users inside the vehicle could share the access.

The company's press release states that it has no competition among the wireless carriers, since they cannot yet also provide the SpeedRay 3000's (TM) combined national coverage and high speed. The Consumer Electronics Association liked the SpeedRay 3000 (TM) so much that it awarded the apparatus its "Best of Show" award at its January convention. RaySat has experience since 1997 in building phased-array satellite antennas, and it expects that in addition to recreational and personal users, some public entities will find the SpeedRay 3000 (TM) useful since it is not susceptible to local service outages or sabotage.

I wondered if its mounting might make it susceptible to theft, however, a particular worry for such a pricey gadget. Acura's STYLE magazine lists a possible initial selling price of $7,000, with the monthly subscription fee anticipated to be a more manageable $50.00-100.00, although www.wiredathomeblog.com lists the initial cost at a more manageable $3,495.00. One source noted that the antenna can be mounted to the cross bars of a vehicle roof rack if RaySat's special brackets for truck or RV installations aren't used.

You get TV signals for the money, too, and RaySat believes that the Wi-Fi Internet connection may be gravy for those RV owners who want television reception in remote areas. RaySat advises that the antenna is compatible with DISH Network and other global direct-to-home broadcast satellite providers. Those of us who are active traders would probably argue with RaySat and say that the TV reception is gravy to those who need to watch those charts, no matter how isolated the vacation spot, rather than the other way around.

While this price might be too steep for most traders, some of the well-heeled among our subscribers might be interested. In the way of our technology world, prices might lower as the company sells more units, too, or as more competitors enter the market. If you're interested in checking it out so that you can travel and maintain your Wi-Fi connection, go to www.raysat.com.

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