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Socket Unveils Infrared PC Card for Wireless Data Transfer; Product Premieres at COMDEX in the Infrared Booth, Hilton H213.

NEWARK, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Nov. 25, 1996--Socket Communications, Inc. (NASDAQ Small Cap:SCKT) unveiled at COMDEX its Infrared Serial I/O Card to provide wireless infrared communication between notebooks and Infrared Data Association (IrDA)-compliant devices. Similar to communication between a remote control and television, infrared communication allows users to transfer data and files from a notebook computer with a PC card slot to peripheral devices such as printers, handheld PCs, personal digital assistants (PDAs) and palmtops, cellular phones, pagers and digital cameras. The Infrared Serial I/O Card does not require any power cables or connectors so users can easily and conveniently transfer data.

For mobile computers not equipped with a built-in IrDA port, Sockets Infrared Serial I/O Card provides a convenient, safe, reliable, and cable-free connection. The card offers the same infrared capability as a built-in port, giving users a low-cost solution to optimize the functionality of their existing notebook.

"The majority of older notebooks don't have built-in IrDA ports, making data transfer more tedious. Many users are now realizing the ease of using infrared technology to transfer data to their desktop, printer or other peripheral device," said Andrew Seybold, industry consultant and editor-in-chief of Outlook on Communications and Computing. "Socket's Infrared Serial I/O Card is addressing this market need at an optimal time."

The Infrared Serial I/O Card operates with existing Windows 95 IrDA drivers for desktop connectivity functions such as synchronization, file transfer, network access, and printing. Additionally, it is compatible with popular IrDA-compliant file transfer/synchronization software packages including LapLink, Briefcase, TranXit and CarbonCopy on operating platforms supported by those products.

"The Infrared Serial I/O Card solidifies Socket's strategy to provide easy to use, low-cost and low-power consuming connectivity solutions for mobile professionals," said Martin Levetin, president and CEO of Socket Communications.

Powered by a standard PC Card interface, the Infrared Serial I/O Card does not require a power adapter, for ease of use and flexibility. The IrDA portion of the card includes a removable infrared adapter which is attached to the PC Card on a short, flexible cable. The infrared adapter rotates so users can easily position a line-of-sight infrared link without having to re-adjust their notebook. With IrDA-standard speeds up to 115.2 Kbps and a distance range of .15 to 1.0 meters, the device enables users to conveniently point the module towards an IrDA device such as a printer, another notebook, PDA or handheld computer.

"Socket's Infrared Serial I/O Card represents a valuable addition to IrDA upgrades for mobile computers," added John LaRoche, executive director of the Infrared Data Association. "Its low-cost and convenient form factor are well-suited for notebook users who don't want to carry bulky cables and power plugs to transfer data to other devices."

Socket recently announced the expansion of its Serial I/O Card family to provide mobile users with low-power and flexible communication ports for mobile computers and peripheral devices. Socket's connection solutions are based on its High-Integration Serial (HIS) chip technology featuring extremely low power consumption, making them ideal for battery-operated mobile computers and handheld devices. With this chip technology and compatible driver software, the Serial I/O Card family offers compatibility across the broad range of operating systems and platforms available today.

Pricing and Availability

The Infrared Serial I/O Card will be available December 30, 1996 through Socket's standard distribution channels including resellers, VARs, system integrators, and OEMs. The suggested retail price is $199.

About Socket Communications

Socket Communications, Inc. develops and sells connection solutions for mobile computers, including Ethernet PC Cards, a family of Serial PC Cards, as well as PC Card hardware, software, and services for wireless messaging. Socket's PageCard is a PC Card alphanumeric pager that downloads wireless data to a mobile computer. The PageSoft messaging library includes development tools and middleware, send and receive applications, plus rules-based E-mail forwarding agents. Details about Socket and its products may be found on Sockets web site at -0-

NOTE TO EDITORS: Socket Communications, Inc., PageCard, PageCard Wireless Messaging Systems, SWiMS, PageSoft and Serial I/O Card are trademarks or registered trademarks of Socket Communications, Inc. All other brands or products herein are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective holders.

CONTACT: Socket Communications

Howard Case, 510/744-2762


A&R Partners

Annie Grace, 415/363-0982
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Nov 25, 1996
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