An automated fire-watch system using technology from the Mars rover, 4D vision systems, iris recognition, tough notebooks and mobile phones- lots of mobile phones. CeBIT Australia was 50% bigger in 2003 with more than 400 companies accommodated at Darling Harbour, Sydney. According to managing Director, Ms Jackie Taranto, the final attendance was expected to total more than 20,000 at 6pm tonight, up from 13,155 visitors last year.

Wireless capabilities were at the fore during the three day exhibition along with biometric devices - including fingerprint-based technologies for keyboards, USB drives and even the humble mouse and iris recognition devices that are expanding their applications within banking and security markets.

The Fire Watch is a land-based, digital, remote surveillance system that is capable of observing 1900 sq km areas and accurately providing early recognition of forest fires.

Appearing at Cebit 2003 as part of the company's planned entry into what must be one of the most suitable markets in the world - Australia - the system uses a CCD-Camera first developed for space observations by the German Aerospace Center - automatically sends out an alarm to the base station in the event of smoke clouds.

Fire Watch detection software also has the ability to pinpointing the fire source on digitalized maps and the system is currently used throughout Germany as well as in Canada and Turkey.

Stay tuned to www.Gizmo.com.au in coming days for more highlights and key technologies from CeBIT Australia 2003.