eKiosk.com of New Lenox, Ill., and Clarinet Infrared Systems of San Jose, Calif., announced a partnership agreement to provide wireless infrared connectivity to millions of travelers carrying handheld and laptop devices. Recognizing the rising popularity of infrared-ready, handheld devices such as Palm, Psion, Windows CE and laptops, eKiosk is the first company to provide these users with the ability to connect to the Internet through a high-speed eKiosk workstation. The first eKiosks installed with Clarinet's infrared ports are located at Northwest Airlines WorldClubs in Minneapolis and Detroit.
"By incorporating Clarinet infrared ports, eKiosks provide Internet connectivity at the speed of light, without the hassle of hooking up wires and cables," said Don Heidrich, CEO of eKiosk.com. "Anyone using an IR-ready device can instantly access an eKiosk to check and send email or surf the Web."
"We are pleased to partner with eKiosk to bring the convenience of wireless connectivity to the millions of travelers who have been keen to access their emails or surf the Web but could not do so because their devices only supported infrared," said Wen Chang, president of Clarinet Systems. "With a greater number of individuals toting their handheld devices and laptops while they travel, partnering with eKiosk allows us to provide easy and convenient network access for these travelers at airports and hotels.
Utilizing IrDA-compliant Fast Infrared of 4Mbps data transfer standard, users will connect to the Internet at 70 times faster than any modem. Travelers and guests will get fast, on-demand, dedicated network connectivity without need for cables, cradles, Ethernet and RF cards.
"It is not simply a question of greater convenience," added Heidrich. "IR users can also access our fully capable workstations and the eKiosk Network for more secure and complex transactions or tasks. While portable devices are great, they cannot do everything by themselves. eKiosk provides the host communications network infrastructure and expanded workstations capabilities needed to get the job done."
Under this partnership, eKiosk will provide Clarinet Systems a promotional link on its site and also undertake other promotional activities. Clarinet Systems, a global provider of wireless connectivity for handheld devices, will promote eKiosk in other regions through its global sales organization.
Palm-size communications devices, with built-in IR ports, can be found in virtually every industry today, in corporate America and the rest of the world. Any organization that has a large and mobile work force is quickly adopting these appliances.
Typical vertical markets include hotels, airport lounges and hospitality suites. With the increasing use and deployment of these portable devices, as a primary means of gathering and disseminating information, there is a corresponding need for on-demand access in public spaces.
IrDA compliance is fully supported by Microsoft, Apple, Palm and Linux in their operating system software
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