LG system cuts costs by letting users share a PC

Network Monitor lowers power consumption

LG is demonstrating a software system at IFA that lets users share a PC to lower power consumption and cut costs.

The Network Monitor system uses software installed on a host computer connected to one of LG's monitors to enable up to 11 users to share one PC within 10 meters.

The latest version of the system is available in the U.S. and will go on sale in Europe in September. The next generation of the system will increase the number of users to 30 and remove the distance limitation by connecting the monitors to the host PC via an Ethernet network, according to Heinz-Dieter Speidel, technical marketing manager at LG in Germany. It will go on sale in early 2010, he said.

Besides power savings, another advantage of the system is that IT departments have to patch, update and install software on one machine rather than multiple PCs. The system also leads to lower ambient noise, according to LG.

The software that makes it all possible is vSpace from NComputing, which is installed on the host PC and also allows the administrator to set up profiles for each user and decide which programs each is allowed to access.

Current performance limitations make it best suited for simple applications such as Microsoft Office, according to Speidel. Typical users would be schools and training facilities, he said.

The host PC needs a quad-core processor at 2.66 GHz or higher with 4GB of memory to handle the maximum number of users.

The system supports both Linux and Windows and is based on the vSpace software from NComputing. The total cost per user is between €240 ($US340) and €280.

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