November 30, 2004 1:57 PM PST

iPaqs turn up the security

SINGAPORE--Hewlett-Packard introduced a series of handhelds, the iPaq hx2000 line, designed to provide better security and connectivity for mobile professionals.

The hx2700, launched Tuesday, comes with an embedded biometric fingerprint reader that allows a user to capture prints from two fingers, from either hand. This allows for greater flexibility should the owner suffer a cut on one finger, said Robin Seow, general manager of the personal systems group at HP Singapore.


The hx2700 iPaq comes with a
fingerprint reader.

HP said the latest models also come with tools that offer better investment protection for corporations.

Seow said that existing commercial risks are caused by weak password systems, easy data access, device theft or loss, and insecure data transfers between a PC and handheld. But with HP's ProtectTools security application, organizations can configure their users' iPaqs to protect data security and user authentication.

The security software tool, for example, can erase all sensitive data in the handheld after several failed password attempts. The software can also be configured to give access only to an authorized handheld when it attempts to synchronize with a host PC. This, Seow said, would prevent wrongdoers from attempting to download data via the handheld cradle using their own handhelds.

Application alliance
HP also has teamed up with two Singapore-based independent software vendors, AlpSoft and IdealSoft, to provide enterprise applications over the wireless platform. These include sales force automation, customer relationship management and location-based tracking tools.

At the Tuesday launch of the hx2000 series, IdealSoft demonstrated its sales force automation tool, which allows retail staff to wirelessly connect and access their back-end enterprise resource planning or inventory system. These customer service employees can then place a purchase order, check for stock availability and arrange for a delivery--all via an iPaq handheld. Delivery staff, equipped with handhelds, can retrieve their schedules and assignments for the day.

The iPaq hx2000 is available in three configurations--hx2100, hx2400 and hx2700--all of which support dual expansion slots (for CF and SD cards) and Bluetooth. Processor speeds range from 312MHz to 624MHz, with up to 128MB ROM and 128MB RAM.

The hx2100, hx2400 and hx2700 are priced at $349, $449 and $549, respectively.

Eileen Yu of CNETAsia reported from Singapore.

 

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