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A Phone in Your Palm....Or a Palm in Your Phone?

Techstination feature for Wednesday, April 4, 2001

A phone in your Palm or a Palm in your phone? I'm Fred Fishkin with Bloomberg Bootcamp. The integration of wireless phones and Palm handheld computers is a marriage made in heaven for gadget lovers. Right now... there are basically two solutions available... .and we'll be looking at them both today and tomorrow. First... the VisorPhone from Handspring. If you have a Visor handheld already, the VisorPhone plugs in like any other Springboard module. The price... 299 dollars with a service contract from either Cingular or Voicestream. Product manager Mark Dadgar...

"It's completely plug and play, like every Springboard expansion module. All the software and the drivers for the phone module are on the phone itself. You slide it into the slot, it powers up, the software launches and you're good to go. What this means is that you've just transformed your handheld into a fully featured cell phone. Every Visor we sell, including the new Visor Edge, has a microphone in the lower left hand corner and the VisorPhone module itself has a little earpiece up at the top of it. So you can hold the device up to your head and talk on the phone."

Or use the included hands-free headset. The great thing about this marriage... .is the phone's use of your addressbook... and the ability to wirelessly check your email or do some light Web browsing.

"It's got full data capability as well. It works on the GSM network here in the U.S. and in Europe. What this means is you're limited to 14.4 data throughput."

Not exactly speedy, but usable. In our next report... the Kyocera smartphone. Bootcamp, I'm Fred Fishkin, Bloomberg Radio.