CeBIT 2002: Viewsonic's smart monitor gives corporate Wi-Fi connectivity

The Airpanel 100 uses 802.11b to give remote access to a secure network, and also supports Bluetooth and GPRS
Written by Graeme Wearden, Contributor
Viewsonic launched a wireless 10-inch TFT touchscreen monitor with built-in 802.11b connectivity at the CeBIT trade show in Hannover, Germany on Wednesday. For images of the Viewsonic monitor, click here. The Airpanel 100 can be used to remotely access a corporate server or PC, or to surf the Internet. It runs on Microsoft's Windows CE .Net operating system, and Viewsonic believes it will allow people to be more productive by giving them easy remote access to their data and applications. The device is similar to Mira, the Microsoft wireless monitor concept inspiring several new products, but adds a business focus and more wireless technologies. Viewsonic has also announced a Mira device, the Airpanel 150. "With the 802.11b -- or Wi-Fi -- support users will enjoy fast connection speeds, so they'll be able to operate their PC while away from their desks," explained David Feldman, product manager at Viewsonic. The Airpanel 100 is due to ship in the US in two months' time, where it will cost $1,195 (about £836). It should hit Europe in July, but final pricing isn't available yet. US Airpanel users will be able to use Wi-Fi hotspots, available in some shops and airports, to get wireless access. Such hotspots aren't yet legal in the UK, although the government has been advised to change this. Until then, British users would be able to get wireless connectivity by using Bluetooth, which is designed to create ad-hoc wireless connections, or installing a GPRS card. At just over 1kg, the Airpanel is light enough for a user to operate it with one hand while holding it with the other. It can be controlled through the touchscreen, or via a mouse or keyboard.
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