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Staying Connected... Everywhere

Techstination feature for Tuesday, April 11, 2000

Not too long ago, it was cool to be wired. Now the buzzword is wireless. I'm Fred Fishkin with Bootcamp, a report on computers and technology. Some call it wireless. Others call it pervasive computing...

"Pervasive computing is defined... it's really the ability to work, to shop, to play wherever you want to whenever you want to. And it's being delivered through devices such as phones, mobile phones, through devices such as Palm."

And that's just the beginning says IBM's David Disney. Web enabled digital phones, handheld computers and even two way pagers will let you bank, trade stocks, send and receive email. It's growing fast in the United States but look at what's happening on the other side of the Atlantic...

"Well I can tell you that in Europe, it's the hot bed right now. It is a part of everyday life in Europe today. Our market research indicates that about 1.2 billion of these devices will be in circulation by 2003. So in three years, the projection is that a quarter of the world's population will have these devices.

Europe got a head start because telecommunications companies agreed more easily on standards on how wireless devices should talk to each other. How will all of this make your life better? Swissair, for instance, is employing the technology in airport terminals that will connect with your wireless phone when you walk in the door and check you in. You can find us on the Web at Bootcamp, I'm Fred Fishkin for CBS News.