Fossil unveils PDA wristwatch

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Fossil unveils PDA wristwatch
By: J rgen Sundgot, 06.11.01 11:29

As if cross-platform IR-talking between PDAs wasn’t enough (PPC 2002 and Palm OS PDAs now talk natively), Fossil now aims to let them talk with the their new wristwatch, too.

In this day and age, the world of mobile devices is getting increasingly connected – and Bluetooth is finally getting to where it has been promised to get during the last year. However, amidst all the Bluetooth hype, it’s important that there are other ways of making devices communicate that have been implemented for years, such as IR. And what better for people with severe cases of techno-lust than to get a hold of a wristwatch that’ll talk with their PDA using IR?

Bring PIM information with you without the bulk – but don’t you dare upgrade your PDA to a new platform

Fossil, one of America’s more well-known watch and accessories companies, has created two new wristwatches, called the Wrist PDA and the Wrist PDA/PC – which the company describes as the ultimate companions for Palm Powered or Pocket PC handheld devices. In these watches, data from the user’s PDA is downloaded to the watch through an infrared interface – allowing you to carry around PIM information that’s stored in your PDA in a smaller and lighter package to avoid bulk.

The watch’s built-in applications provide read-only capability and can store a maximum of any one of the following items in the 190KB of available memory; 1,100 contacts, 800 different appointments, 5,000 to do’s and 350 memos. Users access their data through the 102 x 64 pixel LCD display using drop-down menus navigated by a four-direction button on the watch, and they can also receive up to twenty business cards beamed from handhelds or other Wrist PDA watches.

To achieve this, the watch uses an 8-bit Epson CPU, with an IR send/receive module with a 10 cm recommended communication distance, and a communication speed of 57 Kbps. The ROM size of the device is approximately 48K, and it’s powered by two CR2302 lithium coin cells batteries with a battery life of 1.5-3 months depending on typical usage. It’s also water resistant down to 30 meters, and shouldn’t make anyone strain their arm wearing it with its 44 mm x 50 mm x 15 mm case size and a weight of 75g.

As you’ve probably noticed by now, there are two versions of the watches – and unfortunately each is only compatible with either Palm OS devices or Pocket PCs, making the upgrade path a tad more costly for those switching to a new platform.

The Wrist PDA is compatible with the following Palm OS based handhelds: the Palm III series, V series, VII series, m100 series and m500 series handhelds; Handspring: Visor, Edge; and Sony Clie models. Meanwhile, the Wrist PDA/PC version supports the Pocket PC operating system for Compaq iPaq, Cassiopeia and HP Jornada users.

The watches will be available in early 2002 at department and specialty stores, Fossil retail stores and on the company’s website, and will have a suggested retail price of $145 USD.



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