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Extra Juice for Road Warriors

Tired of recharging on the go? Look for this new label.

Wi-Fi is moving into more portable devices, and that means power is at an even greater premium. Battery life will continue to be an issue as power-hungry technologies like VoIP grow in popularity. To address this, the Wi-Fi Alliance has come up with a new label for qualified power-saving Wi-Fi products. Earning Wi-Fi Multimedia Power Save certification requires Wi-Fi network features that save battery power in mobile devices through improved signaling capability and the ability to fine-tune power consumption.

According to a report by Senza Fili Consulting, converged Wi-Fi and cellular devices could be in the hands of up to 55 million subscribers worldwide by 2010. That makes the battery issue all the more pressing. Some Wi-Fi devices, such as the Broadcom AirForce BCM94309CB Dual-Band 802.11a/g PC card and matching access point, have already been certified with the WMM Power Save designation. Expect Wi-Fi-enabled hand-sets to be at the top of the list for new devices that qualify. Check the Wi-Fi Alliance's website at www.wi-fi.orgto find out which products are certified.

Take Some Credit
Swipe cards anywhere you please with a mini machine.

Everything else about your business is mobile, so it makes sense that your credit card processing should be, too. One way to go about it is to get a minia-ture credit card processing machine that works through a cell phone connection. Increased availability and decreased costs are pushing this trend among mobile businesses.

Case in point: Semtek's MobileSwipeis an affordable hardware and software solution that works through Nextel. Its card swiper works with any Nextel Motorola phone. (The service requires subscribing to a data service plan on top of your regular voice plan.) No software needs to be installed. The only major initial expense is the hardware bundle, which runs about $275.

The service works quickly, with credit card authorizations usually coming through in less than five seconds. Cards can either be swiped or the numbers entered manually through the keypad. Card data is encrypted by the reader using 128-bit 3DES encryption for security. This kind of mobile credit card processing solution makes sense for entrepreneurs who travel to clients' sites to conduct business or need to process orders at trade shows.

This story appears in the April 2006 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

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