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Entries in Wi-Fi (18)

Tuesday
Apr152003

Apple iScreen on the Horizon?

iScreenToday I came across a very interesting story from DigiTimes (via MacNN) and at the Register about Apple supposedly working on a 'wireless monitor' (I assume it will use Wi-Fi).

From what I gather, this 'wireless monitor' or iScreen would be about the size of a Tablet PC but will have no processing power other than monitor hardware and a wireless transceiver. It's also purported to come with a detachable keyboard but no battery (now that seems odd). It's unknown whether the iScreen will have handwriting recognition or not -- though I suspect it makes sense to include this feature to better compete with Tablet PCs.

So, this thing would be a wireless terminal in the form of a flat screen monitor. If you're an old-timer like me, you might remember that old mainframes followed this concept of a central computer CPU with multiple 'terminals' with access. It's unknown whether more than one iScreen could use a single Macintosh or not -- I'd guess it's a single iScreen per Mac .

Even though this is all speculation, the idea of an iScreen with optional detachable keyboard intrigues me. Rather than hauling a laptop around the house, I could just take the screen. Since there is no CPU on board, it's possible that battery life might be quite good compared to a laptop or Tablet PC -- assuming there is a built in battery.

Of course, these kinds of rumors about Apple device often lead nowhere, like the long running rumors of a mythical Apple PDA which have never surfaced in real products. This could also be a Wi-Fi or Bluetooth wireless monitor you can hang on a wall or even a well-placed leak by Apple to divert attention. Still, a wireless monitor... that seems more in line with what Steve Jobs might consider a killer consumer device.

Here's to hoping for an iScreen! ;-)

Friday
Apr112003

The Amazing Wi-Fi PDA Case!

Wi-Fi PDA CaseNow here's a cool idea from a company called Enfora -- a nice leather case with a Palm universal connector and Wi-Fi card built into it. This should make it dead easy to getting a Palm branded handheld on your Wi-Fi network. Even better, the case includes a long-life battery, which keeps the power hungry Wi-Fi transciever from sucking your Palm dry, while providing up to 24 hours of operation. It isn't super cheap at $169, but it's not outrageous and should be easy to use.

Like the coming Wi-Fi SD cards and Memory Sticks, it isn't supposed to appear until June of this year, so we'll have to wait and see how well these accessories for PDAs are accepted. Personally, I think Wi-Fi will have become even more popular by then, so I predict these kinds add-ons will do quite well.

Thanks to bargainPDA.com and Gizmodo for the heads up on this one.

Have a great weekend everyone! :-)

Thursday
Mar132003

McWireless: Would You Like Wi-Fi with That?

No, seriously! McDonald's is actually planning on offering an hour of free wireless internet access (Wi-Fi) in their restaurants in three US cities, according to this story on Yahoo! News. The free one hour of Wi-Fi deal will come with an extra value meal; additional hours can be had for $3 each.

I think this move by McDonald's is very interesting. If successful, this could turn McDonald's into a place where laptop and PDA users know they can go for a quick fix of Wi-Fi and something to eat. I imagine if the service proves popular, McDonalds may even sell Wi-Fi access sans the food requirement, banking on the scent of freshly cooked french fries wafting past visitor's noses as they surf.

Less than a year ago, I was a kinda skeptical about Wi-Fi. I thought it a frivolous nicety I'd never really use. Surprisingly, I became an enthusiastic Wi-Fi proponent after getting our two Mac PowerBooks wirelessly connected to each other and to the Internet through a Netgear Wi-Fi router. Now I enjoy the freedom of Wi-Fi net access all over our house. Our little Wi-Fi network has proven more useful than I'd imagined. With a new son to spend time with, it's great to access the net or our Mac network wherever Nathan is, rather than being chained to a computer in the basement.

I'm happy to see companies like McDonalds, Starbucks and Schlotzky's Deli all offering Wi-Fi "Hot Spots" in their establishments across the US. Soon, I can imagine a myriad of eateries, bookstores, malls, hotels and airports all offering inexpensive Wi-Fi access to their customers.... that would be cool by me. :-)

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