Wearable PC makes waves at CommunicAsia2000

Imagine your desktop PC shrunken to the size of a screen that just covers oneeye. Gauging by what's promised at CommunicAsia2000, that could be more a reality than perhaps the much-touted 3G mobile communication device.

Imagine your desktop PC shrunken to the size of a screen that just covers one eye. Gauging by what's promised at CommunicAsia2000, that could be more a reality than perhaps the much-touted 3G mobile communication device.

by Elaine Ng, exclusive to ZDNetAsia

SINGAPORE, 8 June -- Take for instance IBM's Wearable PC, a trial machine which allows users to look at the screen through a single-eye eyetrack on a head-mounted display.

The system unit has most of what is available in present PCs: Intel Pentium 233 MHz processor, 64KB of RAM, running on a Windows 98 operating system and Lithium-Ion battery that lasts for about two and a half hours.

Weighing about 380g including the battery pack, the Wearable PC's main advantage is its small size and light weight, thanks to IBM's 340MB Microdrive and a compressed motherboard at one-third the size of regular PC motherboard.

"IBM's main objective is to develop the components and technology and form collaborations with companies that are interested in using its products," said IBM's IMC Manager for Communications Sector, Mr. Naoki Kotaki.

But IBM has no intentions to market the Wearable PC directly to consumers and will not be developing the product itself. The development of the product depends on other businesses that IBM collaborates with.

Mr. Kotaki added that IBM is collaborating with Xybernaut to supply Xybernaut with the technology while IBM markets the finished product.

End-users might not be able to benefit from the Wearable PC Prototype as yet because the technology is mainly catered to business use, said Mr. Kotaki. The primary target will be in machine maintenance, he added.

www.zdnetasia.com
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