Viewsonic Adds Functions for Wireless Development

By Eric Griffith

March 21, 2003

The display-maker's new Visual Solutions software initiative targets developers looking to create controls on and for wireless products --like Viewsonic's own PDAs and Tablet PCs.

Making monitor's is no longer enough for Viewsonic.

This week at the Microsoft Mobility Developers Conference being held at the CTIA Wireless 2003 show in New Orleans, the company announced its Visual Solutions initiative, which the company hopes will spur developers into adding wireless controls and functions to enterprise products over a Wi-Fi network using Viewsonic's airsync Visual Management software.

Viewsonic's goal, according to Michael Boehm, chief software architect at the company, is to take its visual technology "experience to the enterprise." They plan to overcome obstacles to embedded wireless (which Boehm sees in part as not enough variety of form factors and the expense of customized applications) by offering a number of products that will support airsync.

The first is the V37, a follow up to the V35 Pocket PC, but with support for Microsoft's .NET framework in ROM memory. Wi-Fi in the unit will be through an optional Secure Digital (SD) card, which will be available after the V37 launches this summer.

Other products with airsync will include the airpanel V210 wireless monitor, N210 video processor which turns any Viewsonic display into a network client (wired or wireless), and the V1100 Tablet PC (which will gain extra Voice over IP capabilities. Using airsync, a network administrator can control exactly what content will appear on the mobile devices.

As mentioned by Microsoft chairman Bill Gates in his keynote at CTIA, Microsoft expects wireless mobility to become the fastest growing of its businesses. The latest release of Visual Studio .NET 2003 will allow developers to do a bit-for-bit emulation of a PocketPC for making mobile applications. The first 25,000 people who purchase a copy of the new Visual Studio .NET product will get a free Viewsonic V37 PocketPC unit to boot. It goes on sales April 24.

Viewsonic has long been a close Microsoft partner, and was one of the original companies to offer a Tablet PC based on Windows XP. At mid-year, Viewsonic expects to ship a Digital Media Center for home theater systems based on Microsoft's Windows XP Media Center Edition.



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