After every terrorism scare, the business press explores the trickle-down effect new threats and heightened security have in creating new opportunities for companies. Typically, they look at companies with new technologies or products that can be built into the security process, but often there are further unforeseen opportunities. For instance, in the wake of the quickly implemented carry-on luggage restrictions in the UK, travelers could no longer bring laptops onboard planes. While the restrictions have been relaxed, it's not hard to imagine that they could come in to force again in the future, or that the hassle of additional security checks could simply make traveling with laptops more trouble than it's worth. So could such a scenario give a boost to Web 2.0 companies and others developing Web-based applications? Some people are already checking out USB drives with special software that carries things like browser settings, preferences and personal applications that instantly personalize any PC they're plugged into, and carrying such a device with all the relevant settings and software -- including a VPN and other security measures -- combined with web-based applications could be a preferable solution for some business travelers. This assumes, of course, they have easy access to PCs while on the road. But with hotels already adopting to the carry-on ban of liquids by offering free toiletries and other measures, it seems like they'd probably adapt fairly quickly should demand for PC access, rather than just internet access, emerge, since it could be a powerful differentiator. In any case, the reponse for many business travelers to increased security measures is to pack lighter and lighter. Web-based applications developers could try to use this opportunity to push their products, but should traveling with laptops become more difficult, it seems inevitable that interest in them will grow.
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