Of Mobile Birth

Will PDAs commingle with cell phones to form a go-anywhere, do-anything handheld hybrid?

Good morning. It looks like another busy day of meetings, memos, phone calls and, of course, driving all over town. As you start-and-stop your way down your first freeway of the morning, downloading your first Starbucks Venti of the morning, wouldn't it be great to also be down-loading your e-mail and schedule into your Palm handheld?

Better yet, how about doing it without taking your hands off the steering wheel or your eyes off the oversized SUV in front of you? What if you could tell your Palm to read your e-mail out loud and dictate replies to other team members?

In the future, right? Actually, really mobile computing is already coming your way. Before the end of the year, large retail automotive and consumer electronics out lets should be selling the Com-muniport Mobile Productivity Center for Palm handhelds.

Developed by Delphi Automotive Systems, the Communi-port autosync cradle for the Palm V and VII models translates your voice into lingo the Palm can understand and your stored Palm data into computer-generated speech. It fits in your car's cup holder, pulls juice from the cigarette lighter and links to your cell phone.

The Communiport taps the Internet either through Palm's Palm.Net or your cell phone's wireless service provider. According to Delphi, its price will be up to individual dis-tributors, who will probably slap their own labels on it.

Mike Hogan, Entrepreneur's technology editor, can be contacted at mikehoganentrepreneur@juno.com.

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This article was originally published in the September 2000 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Of Mobile Birth.

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