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Handspring, Citizen prep micro-Visor

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Remote control for virtualized desktops

Now how's this for weird: a PDA for your PDA. That's what PalmOS-licensee Handspring and Japanese watch company Citizen are apparently working on, according to Handspring co-founder Donna Dubinsky.

Dubinsky, interviewed by CNet, said the two partners have built a prototype, credit card-sized device that plugs into Handspring's Springboard peripheral connection slot and your personal data from the PDA to make it easier to carry around.

Now hang on a mo'. The whole point of the PDA is that it allows you to carry your personal data around in a device that's rather more portable and convenient than a notebook computer, let alone a desktop PC. They're supposed to be light, pocket-sized and, indeed, that's just what Handspring's Visor is.

So why bother with something even smaller? What's the point? We're not sure we can see one. Citizen, of course, has been here before, with the Rex PC Card, which plugged into a laptop, copied personal information from it then displayed that data on a built in LCD. With the rather more usable Palm Pilot selling like hot cakes, Rex didn't.

And it's hard to see a modified Springboard compatible version doing any better. After all, anywhere you can take 'Rex 2', you can take a Visor. Maybe Citizen will figure this out - certainly it has yet to decide when (or if) it will turn the device into a commercial product as yet, said Dubinsky. ®

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