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Scientist Tests Wearable Computer
Posted: 16-Jan-2000 [Source: AP]

[Are wearable computers like these the next logical extensions to the wireless internet?]

Springfield, Mass. -- The guy wired-up with a headset and keypad in the dairy-food aisle is not just an information-age geek with a 21st century calculator.

He's Andrew Fagg, a University of Massachusetts scientist who could be shaping the future. Fagg is working on making smarter wearable computers -- and, yes, also picking out his own groceries from a computerized list.

``One person I passed ... after I got 20 or 30 feet down the row, he said, `What some people won't do to watch television!''' Fagg said Jan. 10.

He is doing research in one of the newest fields in computing: devices that allow a personal computer to be as wearable as a tool belt. The user can wear the monitor as a headset and keypad as a wrist watch.

The commercial market for such wearable computers has expanded strongly over the past year, mainly for specialized industrial uses. They're already used by warehouse workers to check inventory, doctors to review medical records, and transportation workers to inspect roadways.


Fagg already wears his computer buddy most days at work. He takes notes, retrieves addresses and performs other everyday tasks. When better cellular data networks are set up in western Massachusetts, his device could tap into the Internet or dial into other computers via cellular networks.


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