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From Smart Bombs to Smart Bags

by Axcess Business News Saturday, Dec. 28, 2002 at 2:28 AM

Some fear an Orwellian society over having to much security imposed on their lives through the advent of smarter technologies.

From Smart Bombs to ...
smart_bombssm.gif, image/png, 80x74

From Smart Bombs to Smart Bags
- technology is in demand

By Alan Fein - Axcess Business News

The world grows smaller as technology advances. That all adds up to change in the face of worldwide concerns over personal safety. Some fear an Orwellian society over having to much security imposed on their lives through the advent of smarter technologies. Investors have been taking a wait-and-see approach as well, perhaps chastened by similar fears of uncertainty. But some industries see those same technology advances as a long-awaited windfall.

Since last month's elections bolstered Republican power in Washington, some security stocks have moved higher and some say its been a long time coming. "It's been a very frustrating year," said Marty Roenigk, chief executive of CompuDyne Corp (NasdaqNM: CDCY), whose Attack Protection unit outfits federal and commercial buildings with blast-resistant windows and doors.

In November, the House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed legislation to create a Department of Homeland Security, freeing the bill from a dispute over worker protection.

Still, analysts warn that it may be months or years before any benefits of the new billion department, which combines 22 existing federal agencies under one roof, are disbursed. Analysts were also quick to point out that in this fragmented industry, different companies will reap gains at different stages of the process. Axcess Business News sees both security and government contractors benefiting the most.

Two companies that may benefit the most are American Science and Engineering, Inc (AMEX: ASE), through the sale of its X-ray equipment and Oak Ridge Micro-Energy, Inc (OTCBB: OKRM), which will benefit from the sale of disposable luggage tags that track baggage at airports (smart bags).

Analysts also see the bulk of the federal money going to government contractors like Lockheed Martin Corp (NYSE: LMT) and Boeing Co (NYSE: BA). Here again Oak Ridge Micro-Energy, Inc (OTCBB: OKRM) can benefit as their products largest market is with government contractors.

Defense giants typically out source many component requirements to small companies. Airport security products on the other hand are supplied for the most part by small companies, like ASE and OKRM.

Whether investors look towards security or government contractors, both industries require more advanced technologies. Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Knoxville Tennessee has long been known as a source of many of today's more advanced technologies. Dr. John Bates and his research team at Oak Ridge had devoted over 20 years to the development of electrically and solar rechargeable thin-film lithium and lithium-ion batteries that Oak Ridge Micro-Energy, Inc. (OKRM) owns the rights to acquire through a non-exclusive license from Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

Many of the newer technologies that industry now requires calls for miniaturized components that do more than their predecessors, in affect making them smart by comparison. Electronic devices can be made today that would have seemed like something out of a science fiction movie only a few decades ago.

Smart technologies, like OKRM's waffer-thin batteries, are ideally suited for a variety of applications where a small power source is needed for miniaturized components.

The range of possible applications of these batteries derives from their important advantages compared to conventional battery technologies: (1) Because of their all solid-state construction, the batteries are completely safe under all operating conditions. Moreover, they are unaffected by g-forces, thus making them uniquely suited for smart munitions and other applications in which extreme acceleration is experienced. (2) They can be made in any shape and size to meet the requirements of each application, and unlike conventional batteries, the cost of thin-film batteries decreases as its size decreases. (3) Lithium-ion thin-film batteries can be heated to a temperature of 300 degrees C with no degradation in performance. This means they can be added to integrated circuits using the highly efficient solder reflow process. (4) The batteries can be cycled thousands of times with negligible loss of capacity. This means that the size of the batteries needs to be no larger than required to satisfy the energy requirements on a single cycle. With cycle lives easily in excess of 5,000 cycles, it would require conventional primary coin cell batteries, for example, to have 5,000 times more capacity than a thin-film battery for the same application.

Axcess Business News believes that technology such as Oak Ridge Micro-Energy's can improve both airport safety and fulfill government contractors needs. While this growth-stage company is relatively unknown to Wall Street, Axcess Business News began covering this stock recently, adding OKRM to our Small Cap Corner's "best picks" column. Shares of OKRM closed up 8% since coverage began last week, prompting ABN to expand its news coverage of the Company.

Axcess Business News will continue to report on the security industry and these companies activities for our readers. Watch your in-box for any news alerts on this and other late breaking business news. If your not a member, consider subscribing now and you can get these great market alerts too!

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