Tuesday, December 09, 2008

The 3Com (Palm) Audrey

I'd almost forgotten the Audrey, the high water mark of the Palm PDA platform ...
An Apple in your kitchen - The Unofficial Apple Weblog (TUAW)

... 'Welcome to Audrey.' With those three words, I experienced my first Internet appliance. 3Com's Audrey was meant to deliver lightweight 'internet snacking' from a user's kitchen, and offered email and internet access, a calendar and contacts database, plus synchronization of up to two Palm devices. It had a touch-sensitive screen, wireless keyboard and a clear plastic stylus that would glow green when new mail arrived....
This was a time when 3Com imagined that everyone would have a Palm device. They'd all beam appointments and contacts and even software (peer-to-peer IR-based viral app distribution) back and forth.

Families would sync to Audrey, and view the family calendar.

Sigh. Those were the glory days. Back then Palms used Graffiti One, not the evil spawn-of-Jot that came before Palm's long fall. Palm devices were going to be wallet, key, planner, memory manager, aide and more.

It was a noble vision. Maybe the gPhone will get us there some day. In the meantime, the Audrey deserves a special place in the museum of extinct computers, an alternative reality artifact.

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