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Surf The Web Free from Convenience Stores

There is a new option for users looking to connect thier handhelds to the Internet. Zap Link e-services kiosks are being installed in Circle K stores that provide wireless Infrared connectivity. Handheld users can connect to the Internet by pointing their Infrared port towards the Clarinet Systems EthIR Beam located inside the kiosk. They can then download email as well as browse the Web. The service is free. There are only 35 stores in the initial rollout but hundreds more are planned for next year.

These information kiosks will also offer Internet phone calling, video teleconferencing, online shopping as well as and other services. It's part of a project to bring new technology services to customers of Circle K.

"Info Touch and Clarinet Systems are breaking new ground with the introduction of Infrared technology. Circle K customers are now just a beam away from downloading web-based information into their PDA", said Info Touch Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Hamed Shahbazi. Info Touch Technologies is the company that developed the kiosks.

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Whoa...

GregGaub @ 11/20/2001 3:13:17 PM #
Strange things are afoot at the Circle-K.
Huh huh.

:P

but seriously, I might have to pop into a Circle-K every once in a while if this becomes widespread. I'd much rather use their kiosk to get my mail than spend my mobile minutes on it. :)
-Greg
PS. Can you name the quote?

RE: Whoa...
I.M. Anonymous @ 11/20/2001 3:24:35 PM #
This would much more interesting at a retailer where you can actually sit down for a while. Still, any progress...

BTW, I got that quote... Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure.

RE: Whoa...
I.M. Anonymous @ 11/21/2001 8:43:45 AM #
Circle-K seems like a very odd place for this. There used to be several Circle-K stores in my area, but there were not kept very well. They were dirty and poorly stocked, and attracted little more than blue collar workers on their way to and from work to buy beer and tobacco products. Somehow I don't think this is a crowd that cares about syncing their PDA.

Perhaps Circle-K stores are different in other cities, but regardless it seems like this project is destined for failure due to the quick stops people make at these types of stores.

first step toward MIT's Oxygen project

I.M. Anonymous @ 11/20/2001 3:19:01 PM #
When I saw this (and the Starbuck wireless internet couple of months ago), the MIT Oxygen project pop into my mind....

... hope it will be successful soon...

What software is need to do this? Blazer and thats it?

I.M. Anonymous @ 11/20/2001 3:48:38 PM #
?

RE: What software is need to do this? Blazer and thats it?
blind505user @ 11/20/2001 4:35:44 PM #
You can use many applications to surf using Infrared. Users of the Mobile Internet Kit can also use all of the PQAs through the IR ports. You can sync your AvantGo client as well as use the built in browser to surf the web real-time. I use MutliMail and Eudora Internet suite on my palm as well.

RE: What software is need to do this? Blazer and thats it?
higgy @ 11/20/2001 7:18:18 PM #
I have seen these Clarinet systems thingies (Scientifical name) before. I am in the Navy (not on a boat (Shoe name is Ship). I would like one for my home network, but I am guessing they are prices more toward the enterprise market.



RE: What software is need to do this? Blazer and thats it?
higgy @ 11/20/2001 7:20:53 PM #
Should say PRICED more toward the enterprise market.

RE: What software is need to do this? Blazer and thats it?
I.M. Anonymous @ 11/20/2001 7:55:43 PM #
There is a single port version of the product that retail for 249.00 US. I have one at home and it comes in handy when someone else is on the computer and I want to do a quick check of my email or update my AvantGo client.

Yea, but...

tipds @ 11/20/2001 3:56:12 PM #
When will the user be able to download Palm applications directly to their hand healds? For a PC on the internet, you can download shareware and install it. If you surf the web on your handheld, you can't download a new program and run it directly. First, you download to your PC, then install from the PC to the handheld. I think users should be able to download applications directly from the web to their handheld and be able to use them. It would be nice if there was some ability to seperate the handheld from the PC, if so desired by the user.

Tip DS

RE: Yea, but...
blind505user @ 11/20/2001 4:01:48 PM #
Actually that is how the system is designed. Currently there is one file that can be sent to the Palm handheld using the OBEX protocol. The end user walks up to the unit and presses a hardward button on the kiosk. The kiosk then beams the application using OBEX in the same manner you would beam an application from one Palm to another. During the pilot, the kiosks beam out a free full version of a Tetris clone made by Electron Hut.

Using our EthIR STAR technology, users will be able to choose from available downloads from the web interface and have them "Beamed" using OBEX to their handheld; effectivley seperating the Palm from the PC. You can purchase EthIR STAR units and by using our SDK write your own applications for content deployment via OBEX.

RE: Yea, but...
rsig @ 11/20/2001 9:07:00 PM #
O.K., I can grasp that but how about a low-tech explanation of why one can't download a .prc file directly from the internet to a handheld? Thanks.

RE: Yea, but...
I.M. Anonymous @ 11/21/2001 9:27:39 AM #

Wireless connections on a Palm

I.M. Anonymous @ 11/20/2001 4:38:14 PM #

Since we are on the subject (sort of)

Has anyone had any success connecting a Palm device to any of those wireless public networks such as the ones at many Starbucks?

I have a H330 and a symbol wireless 802.11 CF card but MobileStar tells me that the only way to authenticate my login is through a standard HTML browser.

Are there any utilities out there that can be used to perform a login to such networks?

Has anyone out there connected using a Springport module or the one for the m50x series?



RE: Wireless connections on a Palm
I.M. Anonymous @ 11/20/2001 4:52:36 PM #
I am pretty sure the service at starbucks is only for pocket pc

RE: Wireless connections on a Palm
I.M. Anonymous @ 11/20/2001 4:58:42 PM #
Proxy-based web browsers(AvantGo, Blazer, Browse-It, Palmscape) won't work for that initial authentication.

Try something like EudoraWeb.

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