personal communicator

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personal communicator

A concept for a handheld mobile device that was co-created by Toronto engineer Robert J. Fraser in 1991, who also coined the term. The personal communicator was conceived to provide always-on, wireless connectivity to a nationwide network for information retrieval and transactions (stock market, weather, banking, etc.) as well as calendar synchronization, messaging and e-mail. Contacts and to-do lists were also envisioned.

Humble Beginnings
At least two devices with the personal communicator moniker appeared within a couple years. AT&T offered the EO in 1993, and IBM, in conjunction with BellSouth, introduced the Simon in 1994. Apple's Newton was introduced in the same time frame, but had only a fax/modem and infrared communications. All of these handhelds were underpowered for the tasks at hand and never took off.

An Eventual Reality
The functionality in Fraser's device did materialize a decade later when the Internet became ubiquitous and devices such as the BlackBerry emerged. After the turn of the century, wireless PDAs using cellular networks (true personal communicators) became a reality, and they eventually evolved into the smartphone. See PDA and smartphone.
References in periodicals archive ?
The mylo personal communicator allows you to send instant messages with Google Talk(TM) instant messaging service and Yahoo
On the other hand, the AT&T EO Personal Communicator has fully-integrated communications devices that sets ft apart from other PDAs.
One example is AT&T's Hobbit microprocessor, the driving force behind EO's personal communicators.
The mylo personal communicator boots up in seconds and can scan for available wireless networks right away.
The Cisco Unified Communications system includes a number of innovative products, applications, features and capabilities, including Cisco Unified CallManager, Cisco Unified Personal Communicator, Cisco Unified Unity, Cisco Unified MeetingPlace, Cisco Unified IP Contact Center, Cisco Unified Presence Server and Customer Interaction Analyzer.
NYSE: MOT) today announced the exclusive introduction of the V200 Personal Communicator from Motorola -- a next-generation communication tool for trend-setting consumers.
The Personal Communicator Wireless Alliance is a broad alliance of the world's largest paging carriers and manufacturers.
The Personal Communicator Wireless Alliance is yet another step in the development of systems capable of extending wireless communications to portable devices as consumers look for ways to send and receive information anywhere they go.
An open architecture to the Personal Communicator will bring closer the PDA and Personal Communication industries, to the benefit of the consumers and third party entrepreneurs.
The CHATNOW Two-Way Radio Communicator is the new personal communicator that allows kids to be in touch with their friends and family in up to a two-mile range without paying for airtime or signing a calling plan contract.

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