Wireless technology moves beyond the jet set
February 27, 1998
The Nokia 9000 is a wireless phone that can send and get faxes and e-mail, and access the Internet
Web posted at: 12:50 p.m. EST (1750 GMT)
From Correspondent Marsha Walton
ATLANTA (CNN) -- The world of wireless communications, once
restricted to car phones for roadside emergencies and pagers
and laptop computers for the executive set, is quickly
adapting new technologies to suit the needs of everyone from
business colleagues to children waiting for their school bus.
As shown at an industry exposition in Atlanta, convenience is
paramount, and one of the biggest changes has been to combine
communications gadgets to provide that ease of use.
The Nokia 9000, for example, is a wireless phone that can
also send and receive faxes and e-mail, and can access the
Internet at your spoken command.
"It's not your father's car phone anymore," said Tom Wheeler, president of the Cellular Telecommunications Industry
Association, which sponsored the trade show. 170K/15 sec. AIFF or WAV sound
'Serengeti' quenches thirst for communications
General Magic's "Serengeti," due on the market later this
year, is another multi-use tool -- a voice-controlled virtual
personal assistant that lets users access their computers
from any phone.
It can read voice- or e-mails, look up a phone number or
address and check an appointment on a (computerized)
Serengeti also can screen calls. That gives you the option of
receiving messages from your boss or your spouse immediately,
while putting other messages on hold until you want them.
A new technique called "cellemetry" tracks school buses and lets parents and children know if a bus is on time
Keeping an eye on your kids' affairs
Not everything at the exhibition was geared to business. One
item is designed to help keep your children safe.
Millions of kids stand outside in all types of weather
waiting for the school bus, never knowing whether it will be
early, on time or late. Cellular telemetry, or "cellemetry,"
developed by BellSouth, can track buses to the second, making
students' waits a thing of the past.
As Carol Kennemore of BellSouth Cellemetry Data Service
explained, a stripped-down cellular phone is the crux in
communications between the cellemetry device and students'
|Hear a computer give voice messages
111K/10 sec. AIFF or WAV sound
Global Research Systems representative Gena Payne says the device calls students' homes every morning to tell them when
the bus is nearby. 102K/8 sec. AIFF or WAV sound
The system is being tested in often-frigid Bemidji,
Minnesota, where school officials say, overall, it is working
An eye-recognition system using infrared-light beams lets your eyes control the cursor on a computer screen
The eyes move it
Wireless technology can also mean "hands-free."
The eye-recognition system Erica, developed by Tom Hutchinson
at the University of Virginia, is one example. It uses an
infrared-light beam to track eye movement; the eyes then
control the cursor on a computer screen.
Erica is attached to Windows 95, making many new tasks
accessible to the disabled. It can also recall frequently
used words to reduce the amount of typing.
And its "eye-gaze" technology also can be used by advertisers
to see where a viewer's eye really goes when watching a TV
commercial or scanning a Web site.
Up next on the drawing board: a wireless phone that will work
anywhere in the world, whether you are in South America or