Internet Appliance Marketers Plan to Raise iBrows

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Internet Appliance Network, New York, has partnered with Boundless Technologies, Austin, TX, to offer businesses a distinctive customer branding and one-to-one marketing tool that essentially makes it easier for consumers to access the Internet.

IAN is combining its affinity direct marketing technology with the iBrow Internet appliance, which was introduced last month by Boundless Technologies -- to form a hybrid computing and direct marketing communication product. It uses a lightweight processing and viewing mechanism, including a remote control keyboard, to give consumers an alternative way of sending e-mail and surfing the Web.

The iBrow delivers a relationship vehicle for customer branding and one-to-one marketing programs that can be interfaced with one or more strategic or affinity partners. According to the company, its product "provides a revolutionary way to retain current customer base, attract new customers and extend brand awareness relying on specific software and hardware components." IAN and Boundless discovered each other shortly after the Comdex electronics show in Las Vegas last month.

According to Boundless spokesman Mike Virgintino, the companies are just now beginning the process of targeting business customers, "basically large corporations that will buy this device as well as software services that then will be aimed at their best customers."

Virgintino said "the ideal target person for the iBrow experience is a marketing visionary in an organization -- particularly where they have high customer acquisition costs and retention and want to minimize their customer churn. We try to find those industries and then the ideal person within the company that sees the [benefit of] how the process works." He said the company believes that its most prospective clients will prove to be those typically involved in processing a pilot program.

At IAN, founder Seth Goldstein predicts increased demand for Internet computing devices that can be uniquely leveraged by software marketers.

"Pervasive computing, the integration of Web technology and everyday lifestyles are clearly the future of Internet industry," said Goldstein. "Our partnership with Boundless Technologies will allow us to offer a powerful solution to all of our consumer brand partners."

J. Gerald Combs, chairman at Boundless Corp., which manufactures build-to-order technology and offers inhouse engineering expertise on product design, testing and development for Lucent Technologies, IBM, Wang Global, NCR, and the Tandem and Digital Divisions of Compaq Computer, said the two companies plan to meet the needs of an overlooked niche. He said the two companies would be providing a "much needed, easy and enjoyable browsing experience at an affordable price while growing online businesses and extending a company's electronic reach to consumers."

IAN is among the first companies to offer a complete proprietary software platform for companies seeking branded Internet experiences for its customers. IAN has thus far created turnkey solutions for brands to package customer's interests and preferred information and present it all on the Web.

Boundless Technologies, a wholly owned subsidiary of Boundless Corp., will produce a minimum of 10,000 iBrow software-enabled Internet devices over the next 60 days for an as yet unannounced IAN partner.

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