ad info




CNN.com
 MAIN PAGE
 WORLD
 U.S.
 LOCAL
 POLITICS
 WEATHER
 BUSINESS
 SPORTS
* TECHNOLOGY
   computing
   personal technology
 SPACE
 HEALTH
 ENTERTAINMENT
 BOOKS
 TRAVEL
 FOOD
 ARTS & STYLE
 NATURE
 IN-DEPTH
 ANALYSIS
 myCNN

 Headline News brief
 news quiz
 daily almanac

  MULTIMEDIA:
 video
 video archive
 audio
 multimedia showcase
 more services

  E-MAIL:
Subscribe to one of our news e-mail lists.
Enter your address:
Or:
Get a free e-mail account

 DISCUSSION:
 message boards
 chat
 feedback

  CNN WEB SITES:
CNN Websites
 AsiaNow
 En Español
 Em Português
 Svenska
 Norge
 Danmark
 Italian

 FASTER ACCESS:
 europe
 japan

 TIME INC. SITES:
 CNN NETWORKS:
Networks image
 more networks
 transcripts

 SITE INFO:
 help
 contents
 search
 ad info
 jobs

 WEB SERVICES:

COMPUTING

From...
PC World

The wireless world becomes useful in 2000

wireless

January 4, 2000
Web posted at: 10:22 a.m. EST (1522 GMT)

by David Essex

(IDG) -- Web-enabled smart phones and personal digital assistants are popping up everywhere, but making these devices useful is no easy job. Building the complex infrastructure wireless gadgets require will be job one in 2000 for many high-tech heavyweights, including Ericsson, IBM, Intel, Microsoft, and Nokia.

Smart phones got a credibility boost in 1999 when 1200-plus companies signed on to the Wireless Application Protocol, a standard for transmitting and reformatting Web data for the small screens of cell phones and PDAs. Mobile phone vendors Ericsson, Motorola, and Nokia all started shipping their first WAP phones.

Get ready for WAP

  MESSAGE BOARD
Smart cell phones
 

"If 1999 saw the introduction of some very early offerings, the year 2000 will be a confluence of a ton of these devices," says Bob Egan, vice president and research director at Gartner Group.

MORE COMPUTING INTELLIGENCE
IDG.net   IDG.net home page
  PC World home page
  FileWorld find free software fast
  Make your PC work harder with these tips
  E-BusinessWorld
  Reviews & in-depth info at IDG.net
  IDG.net's personal news page
  Year 2000 World
  Questions about computers? Let IDG.net's editors help you
  Subscribe to IDG.net's free daily newsletter for computer geniuses (& newbies)
  Search IDG.net in 12 languages
  News Radio
  * Fusion audio primers
  * Computerworld Minute

Also expected, says Egan, are cellular modems that fit entirely into a PC card, an improvement on today's bulkier modems.

But the more important trend will be the introduction of WAP network hardware and services designed to deliver meaningful content (think tailored news feeds), while also managing security issues.

Though WAP has gained impressive momentum, standardization issues remain, notably a merging of WAP with XML-based proposals from the World Wide Web Consortium, an Internet governing body. "WAP is sort of wireless duct tape," Egan says.

Egan says significant progress on "morphing" the two standards won't come before the end of next year. In December, Microsoft released a new version of Mobile Internet Explorer that supports both HTML and WAP. Ericsson said it would employ the new microbrowser and work with Microsoft to merge the WAP and XML standards.

Biting at Bluetooth

Also figuring prominently in the emerging Web phone picture will be Bluetooth, a standard for low-power, wireless radio transmissions up to 30 feet (300 feet with amplification). Bluetooth has hundreds of big-name supporters, including some WAP leaders.

Bluetooth is touted as a means of synching wireless devices with other handhelds and office equipment, and as a replacement for serial and parallel cables between PCs and peripherals. It also supports small-area point-to-multipoint networks among wireless devices.

"It's basically replacing the cord," says Joyce Putscher, director of converging markets and technologies at Cahners In-Stat Group.

Though Bluetooth is intended to achieve eventual ubiquity with small, cheap connection hardware that fits inside almost any device, the first wave of Bluetooth devices will be relatively expensive.

Bluetooth products will soon trickle forth. In November, Ericsson demonstrated a headset that connects wirelessly to cell phones, and Widcomm showed a modem for Handspring's Visor PDA. Both are expected by mid-2000.

Putscher says TDK will ship Bluetooth PC cards, Universal Serial Bus ports, and Compact Flash modems by the second quarter. Toshiba will introduce Portege notebooks outfitted for Bluetooth and 3Com will have sub-$100 PC card modems in the first half of the year. By the end of 2000, Putscher says, Proxim will release a PC card that supports both Bluetooth and the competing HomeRF wireless networking standard.


RELATED STORIES:
WAP-enabled phones to get voice interface
December 27, 1999
Ohio county police to go wireless
Mobile role models
December 21, 1999
Nokia package offers wireless IP for the masses
December 15, 1999
Microsoft makes the move to wireless phone market
December 10, 1999
Wireless Web gets a boost
November 11, 1999

RELATED IDG.net STORIES:
Bluetooth off to a slow start
(PC World Online)
Microsoft WAPs phones
(PC World Online)
What's the standard for the wireless Web?
(PC World Online)
WAP! You've got wireless
(PC World Online)
The shrink-wrapped wireless Web
(PC World Online)
Top 10 files for your personal information manager
(PC World Online)
Hyperextending your Palm
(Computerworld)
Surf on your Palm with OmniSky
(PC World Online)
Note: Pages will open in a new browser window
External sites are not endorsed by CNN Interactive.

RELATED SITES:
Bluetooth Technology
Note: Pages will open in a new browser window
External sites are not endorsed by CNN Interactive.
 LATEST HEADLINES:
SEARCH CNN.com
Enter keyword(s)   go    help

Back to the top   © 2001 Cable News Network. All Rights Reserved.
Terms under which this service is provided to you.
Read our privacy guidelines.