Palm beams Gitex Times to handhelds

For the first time ever at a Middle Eastern Trade show, exhibitors, delegates and visitors will be able to get the latest news delivered to their handheld devices so that they can "read, walk and talk" at the same time.

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By  Peter Conmy Published  August 30, 2001

For the first time ever at a Middle Eastern Trade show, exhibitors, delegates and visitors will be able to get the latest news delivered to their handheld devices so that they can "read, walk and talk" at the same time.

The initiative has been developed jointly between ITP, the publishers of Gitex Times, and Palm — which has developed a specific application especially for the event.

"People that are going to Gitex will be able to access up-to-the-minute information on the show, whether it be news or announcements," says Peter Conmy, Internet manager, ITP.

"The world is changing and there is a lot of research out there that suggests that handheld computing will be the future. If that is the case, ITP has to be at the forefront and as publishers we want our news to be read by as many people as possible, whether that be online, in the magazine or on handhelds," he adds.

Palm intends to provide a link through infrared connectors to the Internet so that, by using the infrared port on any Palm operating system device, users will be able to synchronise their Palm devices to the Internet on the show floor.

During the synchronisation process, a specifically designed link will take users directly to the Gitex Times web site where the pages will be reformatted and optimised for the Palm.

"The idea is that people can download all of the pages of Gitex Times online, reformat them for the Palm size screen and then view them offline, in their own time," explains Stuart Maughan, area manager, MEA, Palm.

"The synchronisation will take place at several locations throughout the show, for example on the Palm stand and the ITP stand. Essentially people will be able to do it wherever we can put the synchronisation cradles," he adds.

The download can be completed by anyone with a handheld running the Palm operating system, so it includes devices from Handspring and Sony also. Maughan explains that users will be able to obtain the application that facilitates the downloading of the Gitex Times pages as they enter the show.

The ability to receive the latest news on a handheld device may seem like a Gitex gimmick, but Maughan explains that the initiative demonstrates much more.

"We have done this to show that people who think that a Palm is just a personal information management device are wrong. We are trying to show that it is a much more versatile device for Internet access," Maughan says.

The project will also act as a showcase for Palm's developer community. In this instance, the plaudits will go to Information Appliances International which developed the application in a matter of weeks.

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