palmOne announced Wi-Fi SD cards for its Tungsten T3 and Zire 72 handhelds. This Wi-Fi card is designed for users who want to complement the already integrated Bluetooth connectivity with Wi-Fi. The card contains a built-in 802.11b radio that lets users set up and quickly connect to the Internet anytime they are within range of a Wi-Fi access point or hotspot.
Today, people who need continuous connectivity get it through multiple network solutions, depending on where they are and what they're trying to do. While Bluetooth technology can wirelessly link devices within 30 feet of each other, Wi-Fi can provide faster, reliable and secure wireless access to business, personal or public networks within 100-300 feet of a wireless access point.
Wi-Fi access points, or hotspots, are quickly becoming commonplace. What started out as a technology for large businesses and business travelers is increasingly available in coffee houses, libraries and parks. Today, there are more than 10,000 public hotspots in the United States alone; that number is likely to increase to 65,000 by 2008, according to IDC, a research firm in Framingham, Mass.
palmOne also offers a handheld with built-in Wi-Fi, the Tungsten C. This PDA is designed to manage data-intensive applications. It has a built-in keyboard and a 320 x 320 transflective TFT display.
Four Easy Steps for Setting Up Wi-Fi on Tungsten T3 and Zire 72 Handhelds
The Wi-Fi card from palmOne makes connecting to the Internet easy by allowing users to access a nearby Wi-Fi access point in four easy steps:
-- Insert the card into the SDIO slot of a Tungsten T3 or Zire 72 handheld.
-- Tap on the "Wi-Fi setup" icon on the home page.
-- The Wi-Fi setup application will search for available networks and display the options it finds.
-- The user selects the network, and the device makes the connection. (NOTE: If the network that the user wants doesn't appear on the list of available networks, secure Wi-Fi networks also can be accessed by tapping "Other" and entering the network name and encryption code, if necessary.)
The price of the Wi-Fi card is set at $129. It will be available from palmOne's online store and in retail stores in early September.