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Sony Announces Vaio Notebook with Bluetooth Module

Sony Corp. unveiled two home notebook PC models, the Vaio C1 (PCG-C1VRX/K) and Vaio Note SR (PCG-SR9G/K).

The PCs’ high-end models are loaded with wireless communication modules complying with Bluetooth. Those PCG-C1VRX/K and PCG-SR9G/K will be priced at around $2,200USD.

This is the first time the company has installed Bluetooth-compatible wireless communication modules in its products. The new Vaio can be connected with other Vaio PCs and the Modem Station, which is expected to go on sale in April, wirelessly. The new VAIO series will be released in rapid succession on and after Feb 10, 2001.

In the Bluetooth-compatible models of both the C1 and SR, a utility for Bluetooth named “BlueSpace,” is pre-installed. It searches for other Vaio PCs around it with which it can communicate via Bluetooth, and establishes one-on-one communications between the two machines. Once the connection between the two machines is established, it is possible for users of those machines to send and receive files in the hard disk drive. It has the maximum data transmission speed of 723kbps, and a transmission range of between 10m and 100m.

The record of communication established by Blue Space is maintained, just like the data of incoming calls are stored in the mobile phone. Users, therefore, do not need to do anything except select the machine from the connection records to communicate with the same machine the next time. BlueSpace is also equipped with an access control function, which allows or bans the PC to communicate with specific machines, and prevents the PC from communicating with other machines without the input of passwords by the user.

A tool for chatting called “VisualShare” is also installed. The tool enables Vaio users communicating via Bluetooth to enjoy chatting with each other.

Moreover, Sony will launch “Bluetooth Modem Station PCGA-BM1″ in the middle of April. It enables users to connect a C1 or SR to analog lines via Modem Station. Using the terminal adapter, which is sold separately, it is possible for users to connect them with integrated services digital network (ISDN) lines. As Vaio is connected with Modem Station wirelessly using Bluetooth, users do not need to attach cables, such as a modular cable and serial/USB, to Vaio for connection to the Internet. The market price estimated by Sony is about $260USD.

In addition, Sony is moving to install Bluetooth modules in telephones, facsimile machines, mobile phones and electric home appliances. The company plans to enable PC users to communicate with electric home appliances by using BlueSpace in the future. According to the company, connection with products of different companies is technically possible, as long as the products comply with Bluetooth. Sony plans to release on its Web site information on other companies’ products that have been checked and proved for conectability with Sony’s Bluetooth products.

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