World's First IR Internet access Kiosk for PDAs

Palm ran an advertisement in Singapore's Straits Times yesterday that there will be IR-kiosks installed in Singapore's Changi Airport Transit Lounge to enable wireless Internet access. Changi Airport has a press release on that: "Passengers in the Departure / Transit lounge of Singapore Changi Airport can now access the Internet using their Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs). This service, which is the first of its kind in the world, is made possible with the 8 Infrared (IR) Internet Access Kiosks introduced jointly by the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS), Sunderland Technologies Pte Ltd, Palm Inc. and StarHub Internet.

With these IR Internet access kiosks, passengers using PDAs like Palm TM handhelds or laptops with IR ports no longer need to plug into any modems or subscribe to any Internet Service Providers (ISPs) in order to download their e-mails or access the Internet. By simply positioning the IR ports on their PDAs or laptops in line with the transceivers on the kiosks, passengers would be able to connect to the World Wide Web through StarHub Internet. Passengers whose IR ports on their PDAs or laptops are not configured properly may also approach the technical staff that will be on-hand in the airport computer shops to assist with the necessary software configurations.

The IR Internet access kiosks are the latest addition to Changi Airport's wide range of Internet facilities and services catered to meet the growing needs of business travelers and net-savvy passengers. Other facilities available in the Departure / Transit lounges include two Internet Centers for passengers traveling without laptops, a wireless Local Area Network (LAN) and more than 20 PC connection points for passengers traveling with laptops. "In this information age, people need up-to-date information even while they are on the move. We are always looking for ways to give passengers ready access to the Internet. The IR Internet Access Kiosk is yet another initiative of Changi Airport. We will continue to explore and adapt new technologies to enhance the facilities and services for our customers," said Mr Wong Woon Liong, Director-General of Civil Aviation.

Mr Jeremy Lee, Director of Sunderland Technologies, said, "Sunderland Technologies is proud to introduce its first PointIR Kiosks in the world's best airport - Changi Airport. We are also pleased to be a partner of Changi Airport in its drive towards becoming a leading high-tech airport." "We are pleased to be part of this new initiative by Changi Airport to make access to the Internet easier for all travelers. This is in line with StarHub Internet's aim to bring the power of the Internet to everyone," added Mr Lim Seow Thong, Deputy General Manager, StarHub Internet. Craig Will, Director, Asia Pacific for Palm Inc, said "The corporate environment is being transformed into a virtual enterprise supported by a highly mobile, geographically dispersed work-force. Fast, easy remote access to information via networked resources and electronic communications is crucial for the mobile professional. With Palm Inc's focus on providing leading-edge wireless mobile solutions, we are committed to this alliance with the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore, Sunderland Technologies and StarHub Internet to provide wireless mobile information management on Palm handhelds."

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I am impressed

Maggyver @ 6/1/2000 2:40:47 PM #
This is definitely an exciting development. As long as security concerns can be addressed, I'm all for it and hope the U.S. will be seeing it soon.

don't forget us!

Mike Knox @ 6/2/2000 10:14:03 AM #
I think this is a great idea. I think Heathrow could benefit from something like this.

Maybe I won't need ....

Eddie Willers @ 6/2/2000 12:04:27 PM #
That wireless modem afterall. Though I don't travel for business, being a chauffeur in the NYC area, having these kiosks @ LGA, JFK, & EWR would be great!

IR Syncing

jscherber@tech-pacifica.com @ 6/11/2000 9:03:07 AM #
Does anyone know what these kiosks look like? I visited the Sunderland site to no avail. I am extremely interested in the technology but cannot find any information save a product name "pointIR". Anyone know anything about it?

Best,James

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