New uses for Blackberrrys, PDAs soon

Aug 19, 2005

Phil Hammond carries a PalmOne Treo personal digital assistant with him almost all the time. "It's like carrying my office in my pocket -- I can get my e-mail, my contact list, my notes, even my combination to my locker at the Y," Hammond, marketing director for the Boston-based interior design firm of Margulies & Associates, told UPI's Wireless World.

"Before that, I had a Palm Pilot. That one was good, but this one is even more advanced. The only problem is that it is a little cumbersome -- my fingers are too big for the tiny keyboard."

According to a new survey by eAccess Solutions Inc., based in suburban Chicago, businesses like Hammond's firm are increasingly realizing a return on the investments they have made in PDAs. They first were enticed by wireless e-mail, and now, the survey says, they want to see what other applications can be pushed out to the PDA.

"Customers continue to demand mobile devices that are high in functionality, low in front-end cost, easy to install, administer and, most importantly, low in support costs," said David Bean, president and chief executive officer at eAccess, a provider of wireless devices to the corporate market.

The survey of 1 million online visitors to shows that the most popular PDA is the Research in Motion Blackberry Handheld, used by 68 percent of the survey's respondents. The second-most popular device was the PalmOne Treo, used by 12 percent of respondents. Smart phones were the third-most popular PDA, followed by the Pocket PCs.

Some business professionals claim their office mates are addicted to using PDAs. "Blackberry is known as 'crackberry' because of its addiction," said Stephanie D. Miller, a marketing professional at Vercuity Solutions Inc. "We even have to develop policies, telling employees not to take their Blackberries to the 'john' as IT folks want to prevent employees from accidentally dropping them in the toilet."

Soon, experts said, business professionals will continue to be wireless even when on vacation or at a conference.

Starting in September, Rosewood Hotels & Resorts will provide each of its guests with the new iQue M3 GPS navigator, spokeswoman Sonia G. Weymuller said. "The device also contains e-mail, Microsoft Word, Excel, Internet Explorer, etc., and enables guests to search restaurants and addresses and, thanks to an integrated speaker, gives voice-prompted turn-by-turn directions," Weymuller added.

Even teenagers are now starting to carry PDAs -- albeit modified for their demographic. Zipit Wireless Messenger has developed a portable instant-messaging device that allows teenagers to connect via "802.11 wireless home networks or free hotspots," said Mike Crisp, a spokesman for Zipit. This enables teens, and even some pre-teens, to "chat away with no service fee."

The future should be full of new PDA innovations, experts tell Wireless World.

Next year wireless carriers plan to introduce a number of new technologies including bandwidth-on-demand, instant replay, and real-time updating of pre-paid accounts. Bandwidth-on-demand will enable users to purchase high-speed downloads such as movies and load them onto a PDA before they board a plane for a cross-country flight. The instant-replay technology will allow consumers, watching a live sporting event at a stadium, to use their handhelds to connect to a stadium's wireless system and watch an instant replay of the spectacular play they witnessed. Those with pre-paid minutes will be able to update their services live without having to interrupt whatever they are doing on the PDA at that time.

Usage of the devices may grow exponentially with the new services. Right now, users are limited to e-mail and phone calls and still consume a lot of time. "I am a two-year user of Blackberry, and I average about 1,000 e-mail messages per month and about 4,000 cell-phone minutes," said Robert Cooper, vice president of sales at Haley Systems, based in suburban Virginia near Washington, D.C.

Copyright 2005 by United Press International

Explore further: Mandela phone app for tourists in S.Africa

Related Stories

Peer-to-peer networking takes internet out of the equation

Oct 03, 2008

( -- When people working on a project get together with their laptops and PDAs, they share information via the internet and a client server. But new software developed by European researchers allows independent, ...

Treo vies with BlackBerry for top spot

Mar 21, 2006

The folks at Microsoft, never known for straying away from a fight, have been quietly working on improving its mobile windows operating system to directly challenge BlackBerry's market leadership. I recently ...

Nokia introduced N80

Nov 02, 2005

Nokia today introduced the Nokia N80, the first ever handset to enable seamless home media networking between compatible TVs, audio systems and PCs. Weighing only 134 grams, the compact yet feature-rich 3G ...

Recommended for you

Mandela phone app for tourists in S.Africa

13 minutes ago

A phone app tracing the footsteps of Nelson Mandela was launched Wednesday in South Africa to encourage tourists to explore his life story, 25 years after his release from prison.

The hazards of presumptive computing

28 minutes ago

Have you ever texted somebody saying how "ducking annoyed" you are at something? Or asked Siri on your iPhone to call your wife, but somehow managed to be connected to your mother-in-law?

App to test synaesthesia

38 minutes ago

Four in hundred people have a special mix up of their senses, called synaesthesia. A new app from Radboud University contains four playful tests for synaesthesia. Should you happen to have synaesthesia, you ...

The brave new world of big data retention

38 minutes ago

With the Senate passing the Federal Government's data retention bill last week, there has been a great deal of discussion of "metadata", what it is and whether the government ought to have access to it. ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.