By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
NEW YORK -Xircom will start shipping the Rex 6000 MicroPDA, the first Rex organizer Xircom has developed since purchasing the Rex name from Franklin last year.
The 6000, shipping in December with a $149 suggested retail price, improves upon older Rex models by incorporating a touch screen so consumers can manually input data and not rely on downloading information from a PC, said Christian Bubenheim, general manager of the Rex Business unit.
"The older devices were just for viewing, but we found that people wanted to be able to input data while away from their PC, and the best way to do this was through a touch screen," he said.
The 6000 features 2MB of memory, touch screen, stylus, five navigation buttons, seven hot keys and auto synchronization software. The new screen was added while retaining the Rex's usually credit-card size, which is the major selling point of all Rex organizers.
For this holiday season the 6000 will be sold primarily online through Rex.net, Amazon.com and Buy.com along with a few regional retailers such as J & R in New York City. A rollout to brick & mortar stores will take place next year.
Xircom also unveiled Rex.net, an online service where Rex owners can download additional services for the device. For the time being, these are offered for free, but the company plans to create better value-added content for the site that consumers will have to pay for.
Xircom is now developing wireless versions that will incorporate Bluetooth and cellular technology. These are expected to be ready to ship by next summer, Bubenheim said. However, Xircom will be careful to stay within its product niche and not try to take on Palm, Handspring or the PocketPC vendors that offer more robust products.
This TWICE webinar, hosted by senior editor Alan Wolf, will take a look at what may be the hottest CE products at retail that will be sold during the all-important fourth quarter. Top technologies, market strategies and industry trends will be discussed with industry analysts and executives.