Casio Announces the Casiopeia Pocket Manager BE-300

Casio, Inc. of Dover, NJ announced today that continuing its product innovation for wireless mobility, Casio’s new CASSIOPEIA Pocket Manager BE-300 is shaping up to be one of Casio’s most expandable PDA offerings ever. The new Pocket Manager BE-300 series is the first Windows Powered PDA with a color touch screen display, targeted for introduction at under $300. The robust features of the BE-300 and its economical price are driving many third party developers to create wireless and other mobile computing applications for this unique platform.

“Published reports indicate that the demand for wireless technology for business is poised to explode,” said Gary Schultz, director of marketing for Casio’s Mobile Information Products Division. With this is mind, Casio is working with independent software and hardware vendors (ISV/IHV) to promote popular adoption of the CASSIOPEIA Pocket Manager platform in order to provide wireless data solutions.

Casio Mobile Wireless Internet Service, provides CASSIOPEIA users with the ultimate wireless solution by leveraging the capabilities of the Pocket Manager platform. The browser allows users to access business applications, Groupware and e-mail, document libraries, Intranet databases and documents, unified messaging application (voice and e-mail notification, fax mailbox and paging services) as well as instant messaging applications for fast group collaboration. Pertinent Internet data such as travel (flight status, directions), news, weather, and business information are also available with Casio Mobile Wireless Services.

Enfora’s PocketSpider® is the first wireless Internet protocol (CDPD) device designed exclusively to fit in a Compact Flash slot of a personal digital assistant (PDA). Using a Compact Flash enabled PDA, the PocketSpider supports e-mail, web access, messaging and custom enterprise solutions. The Enfora PocketSpider is a Compact Flash CDPD modem that slides into the Compact Flash slot of the BE-300 and requires no external power. The PocketSpider utilizes its own rechargeable battery capable of providing up to eight hours of wireless activity. The PocketSpider also provides security features such as data encryption and error correction for file transfers and messaging. It is one of the most popular Compact Flash CDPD wireless data solutions that frees today’s workforce from landline limitations.

“With the PocketSpider, users carry the ability to wirelessly connect anywhere there is wireless CDPD coverage, truly freeing them from the office,” said Greg Yates, vice president of Marketing and Sales.

ZCOMAX provides Casio with an all new Compact Flash Wireless LAN adaptor designed to run on the Pocket Manager series. This high performance 11 Mbps spread spectrum device empowers Casio BE-300 users with high speed real-time access to network resources, such as corporate databases and the Internet, without being tethered to the wall. The availability of high-speed wireless communication opens opportunities and applications that are otherwise difficult or impractical to implement. In the corporate world, users can move from floor to floor while wirelessly accessing e-mail and databases, or synchronize to their PC at the touch of a button. They can access printers on the network, or send faxes, transfer files and access web pages from the Internet. In vertical markets such as hospitals, health care professionals can access real-time information to increase productivity and quality of patient care. PDA’s with broadband wireless capability fits naturally in other vertical applications such as manufacturing and warehousing, where it links factory floor to company networks and improves inventory tracking. In schools and universities, students can roam about freely while using their Pocket Manager to connect to the university network. All these wireless capabilities are available on the Casio BE-300 at speeds 586 times faster than traditional narrow band wireless services and seven times faster than aT1 or SDSL connection.

“To be truly wired, you must be wireless. And, at 11Mbps, Casio and Zcomax are delivering possibly the fastest wireless connectivity today at an amazing price point,” said George Zhu, president of Zcomax Technologies, Inc.

Socket Communications’ plug-in cards will be compatible with the BE-300’s Microsoft CE operating system. BE-300 owners will be able to choose from Socket’s family of energy efficient plug-in connectivity and data collection products like Bluetooth, Ethernet, and Bar Code Scanning.

The Bluetooth Compact Flash card will provide Casio users with the ability to connect a mobile PC with a Bluetooth-enabled cellular phone. With it, you can access e-mail, the Internet or your company network easily and simply, without the need to buy, carry and connect cables. As Bluetooth-enabled devices become available in the U.S., users will be able to connect to a wider range of computing and telecommunication devices like printers, LAN Access Points, other mobile PCs and digital cameras.

Socket’s Low Power Ethernet Card (LP-E) lets you synchronize to your corporate network 500 times faster than typical serial ports. You can link your mobile computer to a partner PC or server anywhere on the campus network.

Bar Code Scanning products provide a solution for field users that is 500 times faster and 10,000 times more accurate than keying information in by hand. Products are designed to go to work immediately in a wide range of applications and work with all common scanning codes. Perfect for taking inventory.

InfoMove, Inc. provides software and services that enable wireless carriers, automobile companies, and major hardware and software providers to safely deliver personalized information to end-users while in a vehicle. InfoMove is working on developing applications for the BE-300 so it can receive localized, personalized information—including real-time traffic advisories, audible turn-by-turn directions, vehicle diagnostics, maintenance alerts, emergency services, location based advertising, text-to-speech enabled e-mail and internet content, such as news stocks and weather—while you are in your car. Salesman, real estate professionals, limo drivers—anyone who spends time on the road—will find this service an asset.

The BE-300 includes a 32K color touch screen display and is highly expandable. The BE-300 includes a USB/Serial Connector, a Compact Flash card slot (Type II). The
BE-300 is Casio’s first PDA model to feature an optional PC Card unit (model JK865PU with a list price of only $159.99) that accepts a variety of expansion modules including wireless LAN cards and wireless modems. The Pocket Manager series features an open development framework based on Windows CE 3.0 operating system which provides software developers an easy method to port over popular business applications. With a suggested retail price tag of under $300, the BE-300 will be available in September 2001.

Schultz said that to support the CASSIOPEIA Pocket Manager BE-300 and other CASSIOPEIA products with relevant content, Casio also announced “myCasio.com.” This is a Web-based service that expands the utility and enhances the enjoyment of CASSIOPEIA products. It offers an easy to use system that delivers a complete spectrum of mobile content and services for personal, business and entertainment.


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