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(Nikkei BP Group)

(No.1 High-Tech News Site in Japanese)

  • IBM Japan to Release Wearable Personal Computer
  • September 18, 1998 (TOKYO) -- IBM Japan Ltd. revealed a prototype of a wearable personal computer that comes as a headset with a small monitor and a separate PC body fits into a pocket.
    The wearer can virtually see a 26-in. monitor 2 meters away when the 1cm x 1cm thin-film transistor liquid-crystal display (TFT-LCD) is set about 3cm away from the eye. The user can wear it while walking as well as perceive outside views through the display.

    The prototype shows 320 x 240 dots and 256 monochrome gray scales, but it will be improved later to 800 x 600 dots and a color display.

    The PC is operated by "ViaVoice 98," voice input software of IBM Japan, and a small-sized controller with a stick type pointing device, "TrackPoint."

    The headset weighs 50g, the controller with a built-in microphone weighs 20g and the body of the PC including the batteries weighs 299g. The total weight is 449g including the cables attached.

    The PC has a 233MHz MMX Pentium microprocessor and 64MB of memory, the same as IBM Japan's ThinkPad 560X notebook PC. For the 340MB hard disk drive storage, a 42.8mm x 36.4mm x 5.0mm CompactFlash card-sized Micro Drive is adopted.

    For an interface, one Universal Serial Bus (USB) port, one infrared communication port and one CompactFlash card slot are provided. A lithium-ion secondary battery supplies power for 1.5-2 hours of operation.

    IBM Japan will merchandise it by the latter half of 1999, although its price and other details have not been decided yet.

    (Nikkei Personal Computing)

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    Updated: Thu Sep 17 18:40:47 1998 PDT