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The Coming Internet Appliances

Techstination feature for Thursday, August 17, 2000

Email and the Web seem to be how many of us spend most of our time using computers these days, so why plunk down the extra money for hard drives and such if you don't have to? Quite a few companies have introduced or are about to introduce Internet Appliances. Viewsonic is partnering with AT&T WorldNet to create devices of all shapes and sizes for surfing and email. The idea, says Viewsonic Executive VP Peter Weedfald, is to give you access to the Net... all over the house... .

"Our view is that like there are multiple telephones in the home and there are multiple televisions in the home, we'll now come out with form factors and devices that allow you to put an Internet appliance in the kitchen. Maybe you would like to have an Internet appliance, small form factor or footprint, small screen, seven inch display on your night table before you go to bed at night."

Or perhaps you'd prefer a wireless Web pad?

"That will move from anyplace you want inside the home without any wires attached to it, again to access the worldwide net."

The initial plan is to sell the devices through corporations... which want to market their services to consumers.

"With AT&T WorldNet services who will allow them to have on the front portal or Web screen as you turn it on, there'll be a presence for that major corporation."

You can find us on the Web at Bootcamp, I'm Fred Fishkin for CBS News.