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Live from PCIA GlobalXChange Update #6

Wed Sep 27, 2000 - 6:31 PM EDT - By Marcus Adolfsson

Short summary of the announcements at the PCIA convention:

Handspring has some thumbnail photos of the new modules on their Wireless Solution page.

Texas Instrument announced support for a Springboard reference design based on the upcoming G3 Wireless standard, which allows for 153 Kbps high-speed packet data for web browsing and email, simultaneous voice and data operation, and two-way SMS. Press Release

Skytel will be the exclusive distributor of Infomitt (one way paging module). The unit might be renamed to fit in Skytel's product family. Shipping late Q4.

AirPrime announced a CDMA based phone for the Visor - AirPrime SB1000. The unit looks identical to Handspring's VisorPhone and uses the same software. They will not sell the unit directly to customers, only through cell phone providers. No announcement yet regarding providers and cost, but Sprint PCS and Verizon are likely candidates.

Kensington Technology Group showed an accessory which docks with the VisorPhone, providing a dial pad and LCD Screen.

The Minstrel S modem from Novatel Wireless will start shipping in mid October at a price of $369. Ominsky expects their branded version of the module to be sold at a similar price to the Palm V modem, and shipping in November.

Tellus Technology announced their CDPD WIPClip Springboard modem, which will be available Q1 for $299 from a yet unannounced service provider. Low profile and lightweight, the WIPClip adds very little to the size of the Visor itself. The WIPClip the ability to access email, browse the internet or access a corporate LAN wirelessly, at speeds up to 19.2 Kbps. Among its key features is the ability to recharge the WIPClip battery through the same Hot-Sync/recharging cradle and charging cable that will be available for the recently announced Handspring VisorPhone. A charging cable will be bundled with the unit. Press release

GoAmerica announced that they are teaming up with Sierra Wireless to provide wireless solutions for the Visor. Sierra are developing a new wireless module for the Visor which will be available Q1 2001. No sight of the Sierra module yet; at the show Go America are demonstrating their service using the Minstrel S modem. Go.Web's proprietary technology compresses and encrypts data and will optimize it for viewing on the Visor, providing a full, non-clipped Internet experience. Go.Web for the Visor will also support Microsoft® Word attachments that can be reviewed on the PDA. Press Release

Arkon Networks showed their cordless Parafone module. It will cost $99 and start shipping in mid December. Available through PalmGear and Amazon.

As reported earlier in the week, @ctivelink will ship with either Metrocall or Skytel service. The second version of the @ctivelink, due next year, will incorporate GPS technology for location based services.

HandyGPS will start shipping large quantities again in late November. The previously shipped units were recalled due to a defect on the PCB card.

Widcomm demonstrated a working Bluetooth module; I successfully played some multi player games against another Visor. Q1 2001, manufactured by Acer.

We are leaving Chicago this evening - expect more reports late Thursday and early Friday. We got interviews with GeoDiscovery, @ctivelink, Omnisky, and some comments from Hawkins on the VisorPhone.

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