Xircom announces wireless networking for Handspring
January 6, 2000
by Alexandra Krasne
SAN FRANCISCO (IDG) -- Wednesday at Macworld Expo Xircom announced a product that will enable wireless networking for the Handspring Visor handheld PC. And all week at the Handspring booth, Xircom plans to show off its plug-and-play hardware device on Apple's AirPort wireless network.
Based on the IEEE 802.11 wireless LAN standard, Xircom's device provides the first wireless capability for Handspring. While there are several wireless standards emerging for a variety of devices, the IEEE standard has proven faster than the alternatives, such as HomeRF.
Xircom's product will work by plugging into Springboard -- Handspring's expansion platform -- letting you browse the Internet, transfer data and applications, and access e-mail via a wireless network such as AirPort.
Apple's $299 AirPort device, which shipped in October, provides you with a wire-free Internet connection, but only if you've got a Mac. It supports wireless Internet connections for as many as 10 iMac users, and now lets you share an Internet connection with a Xircom-equipped Handspring device.
Handspring's Visor is based on Palm's operating system and closely resembles its PalmPilot cousin. Although the devices are similar in many respects (Handspring looks similar to a Palm and can run hundreds of Palm applications), they differ in that Palm lacks support for USB devices, and so, doesn't support wireless LANs.
Because Handspring's Springboard has an external expansion slot, you can add third-party software and hardware modules to your unit.
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