Wednesday, July 24, 2024

Palm Enables RealPlayer, Wrist PDAs

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Palm Inc.’s PalmSource software unit on Monday announced
plans to develop a wristwatch/PDA in partnership with wristwatch
manufacturer Fossil .

The licensing deal with Fossil comes on the same day Palm clinched a
strategic alliance with RealNetworks to turn its
Tungsten PDA device into an MP3 player.

The deal with Texas-based Fossil calls for PalmSource to license the Palm OS
to develop a new wristwatch device (to be called Wrist PDA) under two
brands — Fossil and Abacus. The Wrist PDAs are expected to ship in the
middle of 2003.

The design for the new Palm OS-based Wrist PDA features an illuminated touch
screen with a stylus integrated into the band for Graffiti input. It touts
2MB internal memory, Rocker switch user interface, infrared beaming between
any Palm-powered device and pre-loaded applications like address book, date
book, memo pad, calculator and ‘to do’ list.

The Wrist PDA is expected to retail for between $199 and $299 and would
feature a one-inch square screen. Fossil is the 11th company to incense
PalmSource’s operating system and gives the Milpitas-based firm another leg
up on Microsoft in the battle for handheld OS market

Microsoft’s Pocket PC software competes directly with the Palm OS.

Separately, as competitors Dell and HP hit the Comdex tradeshow circuit with
new PDA
, Palm teamed up with RealNetworks to release the RealOne Player
Mobile on the new Tungsten handheld device.

RealOne Player Mobile, based on Real’s Helix open-source platform, delivers
audio multimedia playback and storage for RealAudio and MP3 files on the
Tungsten PDA.

Palm said the RealOne Player Mobile
would enable the transfer of digital files from desktop RealOne players
directly to the Tungsten handhelds, a crucial feature for consumers looking
for portability of digital music.

The Seattle-based RealNetworks said it was working with Helix Community to
make the Helix DNA Client available for the Palm OS 5 platform, which would
enable other media applications to be developed for the Tungsten handheld
and other Palm handhelds.

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