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Is There a Market for Wearable PCs?

Boot Camp feature for Friday, June 29, 2001

Is there really a market for wearable computers? Bloomberg Bootcamp, a report on today's technology. Imagine if you could take the computer on your desk, shrink it down, wear it on your belt... and have the infinite information available on the Internet at your disposal any time, any where. A company called Xybernaut has been developing that kind of technology for more than a decade... and CEO Edward Newman says...

"Every company that you can imagine is using it. The FedExs, the Boeings, the Bell Canadas, the Daimler Benzes, the Shell Oils, the NTTs, the Mitsubishis. It's at the point now where it's moving out into mainstream we're at the beginning of that j curve."

With a display that wraps around in front of your eye and makes a user look like RoboCop... you have to wonder if there really is a mainstream market for wearable computers. But if you ask Newman...

"I see that no later than next year. Possibly late this year."

Xybernaut is preparing to introduce a consumer version of its industrial wearable PC...

"It is exactly the size of a PDA except it's a full function computer. It runs Windows operating systems, it's got all kinds of RAM, it's got storage, it's got integrated coms, it'll do your trading, your banking, your shopping... it'll run your PDA applications, your laptop applications."

Pricing hasn't been set yet. The industrial version sells for about four thousand dollars. An investment banking service bundle... says Newman..could bring the price down...

"Eventually our goal is to give it away."

Maybe looking like RoboCop won't be so bad after all. Bloomberg Bootcamp, I'm Fred Fishkin.