October 12, 2000 1:55 PM PDT
Audrey, 3Com's Net appliance, to make its entrance
Audrey, a countertop unit with an 8-inch touch screen, is designed to be the first in a family of Internet appliances dubbed Ergo. Audrey uses a combination of the QNX and Palm operating systems. It runs on National Semiconductor's Geode processor.
A 3Com representative was not immediately available for comment.
Audrey has had several cameos, including a brief, inadvertent appearance on 3Com's Web site. Audrey was originally due to take the stage last month, but its arrival was delayed shortly before a planned launch.
The $499 unit comes in colors such as slate, ocean, sunshine, meadow and linen, according to the no-longer posted Web site. Audrey is designed to synch with Palm handheld computers and also has a dial that can shuttle between preset Web sites.
According to the briefly posted Web site, Audrey owners can "scribble, record or type" their email on the unit, which comes with a built-in 56K modem, a wireless keyboard and a built-in microphone and speakers. Unlike devices from Microsoft and America Online, Audrey is designed to work with a variety of Internet service providers.