Send e-mail via phone
November 19, 1998
by Mary Lisbeth D'Amico
(IDG) -- LAS VEGAS -- Sharp Electronics and California-based messaging company PocketScience unveiled at Comdex a service that will allow users to send and receive e-mail and faxes via any telephone, without a connector or cable.
Users first set up an e-mail account with PocketMail and receive a pocket-size device called TelMail TM-20. The clam-shell-shape device features a backlit screen where users can compose e-mail messages. It also has standard personal organizer features, such as an address book, scheduling, and memo functions.
To send and receive messages, users dial a toll-free number and hold TelMail TM-20 to their telephone handset. Pushing a button sends a series of acoustic signals that a transmit message of up to 4000 characters to any e-mail address. It also picks up e-mail sent to the user's PocketMail account, according to a Sharp statement.
Although Sharp says the device works on any telephone worldwide, the service is currently available only in the U.S.
The product will ship to U.S. retailers at the end of November, Sharp said. The PocketMail service costs $9.95 a month. Each fax sent within the U.S. costs an additional 25 cents, and international faxes cost $1. The TelMail TM-20, which weighs 8.5 ounces, will sell for roughly $150, Sharp said.
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