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SOCKET COMMUNICATIONS AND TRIMBLE NAVIGATION COLLABORATE ON WORLD'S FIRST PCMCIA-BASED GLOBAL POSITIONING SYSTEM (Evaluation)

 SAN JOSE, Calif., Feb. 17 /PRNewswire/ -- Socket Communications of Hayward, Calif., today previewed a Global Positioning System (GPS) designed to attach to mobile computers via the Personal Computer Memory Card International Association (PCMCIA) interface. Socket is developing the product jointly with Trimble Navigation (NASDAQ-NMS: TRMB) of Sunnyvale, Calif.
 The PCMCIA card that connects Trimble's GPS receiver to mobile computers was developed by Socket. By taking electrical power from the host computer via Socket's PCMCIA card, Mobile GPS requires no external power supply, offering a true plug-and-play solution. "Working with Trimble on the Mobile GPS is in keeping with Socket's mission to build alliances with companies offering key technologies to end users," said Socket President Mike Gifford. "As with all our OEM partners, we plan to work with Trimble over the long term on a cohesive development plan to meet emerging consumer needs." Socket's family of PCMCIA products currently available or to be released in early 1993 includes: Ethernet adapters with NE2000 emulation, wireless LANs, serial and parallel expansion, fax/modems, pagers and SCSI interfaces.
 Applications for GPS, a satellite-based location system, include personal navigation systems, real estate appraisals and sales, insurance claims adjustment, public safety and emergency disaster response. "The marriage between GPS and mobile computing is a natural," said Trimble OEM Sales Manager William Dussell. "The term 'mobile computing' implies location independent operation and determining one's position is often a real-time operating requirement," Dussell added. Trimble is the only GPS manufacturer with application expertise in all of the existing vertical markets for GPS.
 The PCMCIA standard, adopted by Apple, AT&T, IBM and more than 300 other companies, is a key enabling technology for bringing GPS to the rapidly growing mobile computing market. "The mobile computing industry is still sorting out a host of competing hardware and software standards," said Trimble Mobile Computing Manager, Charlie Abraham.
 As the debate rages over which is mightier, the pen or the keyboard, which operating system is best and whether a palmtop is a computer or a communicator, the common thread across most platforms is the PCMCIA Type 2 slot. Makers of mobile computers (laptops, notebooks, palmtops, pen-based computers, etc.) are flocking to the standard. Several market research firms predict that the majority of PC-compatible notebooks introduced in 1993 will have at least one PCMCIA socket. Furthermore, notebook computers are expected to represent the highest growth segment of the PC market over the next five years.
 A Mobile GPS Developer's Toolkit, available in March 1993, will allow application developers to add GPS functionality to their programs via the PCMCIA interface. Complementing Trimble's existing line of SVeeSix serial interface products, the Mobile GPS Toolkit includes a six-channel GPS receiver and antenna, PCMCIA Type 2 interface card, manual and C-source code software for operation in the DOS environment. The price of the Mobile GPS Developer's Toolkit is $995. Additional hardware-only kits are priced at $595.
 Founded in 1992, Socket Communications is a PCMCIA technology company that designs, manufactures and markets a family of Credit Card products. Socket is a member of the PCMCIA LAN Working Group, as well as the Working Groups for Socket and Card Services and for the 32-bit Card Bus. Socket can provide software and hardware to adapt existing products to a variety of host platforms equipped with PCMCIA slots. Evaluation units of several additional PCMCIA products are scheduled for release in the first quarter of 1993.
 -0- 2/17/93
 /CONTACT: Bettina Babich, vice president of sales and marketing for Socket Communications, 510-670-0300/
 (TRMB)


CO: Socket Communications; Trimble Navigation ST: California IN: CPR SU:

TM-TB -- SF007 -- 7598 02/17/93 19:15 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Article Type:Evaluation
Date:Feb 17, 1993
Words:602
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