Compaq has developed a device that could remember all those little minifacts that you forget.
The Factoid is a gadget the size of a small penknife that has no keyboard, display or audio capabilities. Instead, it uses a radio transceiver, about 200 bytes in size and with a range of 30 feet to send out and record tiny facts.
These could be information you might find on a business card, an advertisement or the results of a reading from a device such as a GPS system or thermometer, the company's Digital Western Research Lab said.
The idea is that everyone would carry a Factoid, which would be permanently switched on and record everything that happens to the user during the day. It would then periodically connect to a central server and download all the incidentals to the user's base station, for example a PC.
But do not expect to see it in the shops soon: Compaq is not committing resources to the blue sky research on which the device is based, which it inherited upon acquiring Digital.
The Compaq lab's projects also include the Itsy, a credit card-sized organiser, and graphics, compiler, Internet protocol and server scalability research.
The lab is best known for its AltaVista search engine, which Internet investment firm CMGI said last week it is interested in acquiring from Compaq.
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