by November 29, 2000 0 comments

3Com
has introduced an Internet appliance called Audrey, which brings the convenience
of an organizer and Internet connectivity together. Audrey also marks the debut
of 3Com’s Ergo line of lifestyle-centered connected appliances.

Audrey is a device that your entire household can use to
organize themselves, and to connect to the Internet. It has a date book where
various family members can store their schedules, an address book to store names
and addresses, a built-in browser, and e-mail. You can type your mail using its
wireless keyboard (which hangs at the back of the device when not in use), write
on its touchscreen with the stylus, or speak your message out. There are various
tools like cut-paste, copy, etc, to help you out. The stylus lights up in its
holder when you have new mail, and the built-in microphone helps to read out
your mail to you. You access these features of Audrey from the various buttons
on the device.

Audrey comes with pre-selected Web channels that give content
like weather, news, sports, stock quotes, and entertainment. These can be
accessed from the channel knob below the screen. You can customize some of
these, like weather and stock quotes, and select up to six more channels. It
also comes with a built-in V.90 56K modem.

Up to two Palm devices can HotSync with Audrey. So, you can
synchronize your entire family’s schedule in a single, color-coded calendar in
Audrey’s date book, or create a family address book in the device.

Audrey has a 6.25"x4.75" color touchscreen, serial
ports for Palm devices, and 2 USB ports for peripherals like printers. So, if
you want to print out your e-mail, for instance, you can connect a new Canon
BubbleJet printer that’s supported by the device. Audrey has built-in stereo
speakers and a microphone that help to read out your e-mail, and audio output
for external speakers. It runs on the QNX operating system and Palm HotSync
technology. Any system software upgrades are received transparently over the
Internet.

Audrey is available in five colors, at prices starting at
$499. You can buy it online at www.3com.com/ergo, or wait for the product to hit
Indian shores.

Pragya Madan

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