"Ericsson and Red Hat have unveiled a strategic initiative
to develop a broad range of technologies, products, and services
for home communications. The first tangible results of the
partnership will emerge when the Ericsson Cordless Screen Phone
(unveiled at CeBIT, last February) begins shipping towards year
end. The joint effort aims to exploit the emerging market
opportunity for Linux-based information appliances and mobile
devices. The move is part of Ericsson's broad vision of "anywhere,
anytime communication" technologies and products."
"Frank McGhee, Ericsson vice president of business development,
describes the Ericsson Cordless Screen Phone as "a wireless web pad
with a built-in phone and Bluetooth wireless technology for in-home
use" (see photo). "Basically," says McGhee, "it's a Linux platform.
You can surf the web, check your email, and send voice clips." Oh
yes: it makes phone calls, too."
"Unlike an ordinary cordless phone, the Ericsson device
communicates with its base station via Bluetooth, a short-range
spread spectrum wireless technology championed by makers of cell
phones, PDAs, and other portable devices. Currently, Bluetooth
range is limited to approximately 10 meters, which is somewhat
restrictive for a relatively expensive product that is intended to
be used throughout a home. But help is on the way, according to
McGhee, who says Ericsson is in the process of extending
Bluetooth's range to 100 meters through increases in both transmit
power and receive sensitivity."
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