Manufacturers at Comdex have been pushing multifunction devices that will mean more facilities and less weight to lug around on our travels.
These pared down devices do not stop at two functions. Motorola, for example, is selling an all-in-one mobile phone, pager and speakerphone. It is multilingual and displays prompts in one of four languages - indispensable for doing business on the arrival of the Euro.
Also on the mobile phone front, Nokia?s 6100 phone series isn?t just for making calls - it also sports an alarm clock, computer games, calendar, calculator and currency converter. The company?s 9000 family of phones goes still further and includes a large screen that flips open to reveal a keyboard for writing messages, sending emails of up to 160 characters, faxing and accessing the Internet.
Again on the portable front Lexmark has a printer that will print directly from your digital camera without the aid of a PC. ?These are the first portable multifunction devices, the next step will be integration by way of the PC/TV and Internet,? Mark Seaman, retail sales manager of Lexmark told 'Newswire'. He believes it will not be too long before printers will be automatically pulling our bills off the Internet for payment.
Sony Electronics has come up with a computer that?s also a digital camera. The Sony Vaio PCG-C1 "sub-notebook" has a built-in rotating camera and an unusually wide screen for viewing images. Touch a special button on the computer to snap a photo, and touch another button to email it to your mates, nothing could be easier. For those without Arnie-style muscles, it weights only 2.5lbs.
The machine is currently available in Japan, but Sony is planning to make it available in the US next year.
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