Wireless Monitors

One recent development in the display industry has been the advent of the "wireless monitor." While on the surface this sounds like an incredible achievement, underneath we find the name is mildly misleading, even though the product is a valid one.

The wireless displays on the market today tie in to the ability of Windows XP Professional to support remote access to the computer through its Remote Desktop feature. The monitor actually is a device that connects wirelessly to a regular PC using Remote Desktop, essentially no different than accessing the host PC from across the Internet.

Current implementations are intended more for use in an unwired setting, for instance a conference room, where a staff member can quickly set up a wireless monitor and connect to his or desktop PC, without actually disconnecting, moving, and reconnecting the PC hardware. A touch screen lets an individual use the device without need for a mouse. A "virtual keyboard" program allows for typing on screen with the stylus, and a regular keyboard and mouse can be attached as well. In addition some models allow the use of an larger external monitor for shared viewing.

Such flexibility makes this product a great fit for presentations, group meetings, Internet access for a conference, and many other applications. Since the user is actually operating a PC on the company network, any software program may be used.

While wireless data streams cannot yet support monitor-quality video signals, this type of product is a very neat entry into a niche market.
Currently retailing for around $1,000, they are an elegant alternative to conference room clutter.

August 2003

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