The latest gizmos and gadgets in communications technology will be on display Monday when the area's biggest trade show comes to town.
More than 3,000 people from the military and corporate worlds will converge during the 31st annual Regimental Signal Symposium at Fort Gordon to talk about ways of working together and to show off the newest innovations.
"The military has come to rely on private contractors and outside companies to take on many projects," said Bryan Tuschen, of the Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association, the nonprofit group sponsoring the event.
"There will be a lot of displays showing what these companies are doing to meet the future needs of the military," he said.
Technology being used by soldiers in Iraq will be showcased alongside new devices such as biometric equipment that can distinguish a person's physical features through fingerprint checks, voice recognition and retinal scans.
Big-name defense contractors, such as Boeing, General Dynamics and Lockheed Martin, will share space with roughly 150 companies under a massive, heated tent that could cover a football field.
The symposium will also conduct closed-door seminars and workshops throughout Fort Gordon for members of the Army Signal Corps, who will arrive from posts around the world.
Tourism officials expect the five-day event to generate $3.5 million in spending on hotel rooms, restaurants and transportation. That makes it one of the top draws in town after the Masters Tournament and the Augusta Futurity.
IF YOU GO
WHAT: 31st Annual Regimental Signal Symposium
WHEN: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday; 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Thursday
WHERE: Fort Gordon; drive through Gate 1 onto Chamberlin Avenue to the Signal Towers. The expo tent is on the left side of road.
Reach Matthew Mogul at (706) 823-3352 or firstname.lastname@example.org.