Skip to Main Content
The author discusses the importance of form factor in mobile computing. A number of new commercial products and technology demos have pushed mobile computing into breakthrough form factors-a device's basic size and weight-giving developers the opportunity to create truly new usage models. In the author's opinion, the three most important new devices are the Palm Pilot from 3Com, Rex from Rolodex Electronics, and a demonstration Java ring that was distributed at the JavaOne Conference in San Francisco. Each product group shows a different set of choices of features, form factor and interface capabilities. However, while many of these small, innovative computing platforms are moving into commercial markets, most current mobile computing research is focused elsewhere.