LAS VEGAS — Laptop users who forget to print out addresses or meeting room numbers don't have to wait for their laptops to boot up to check the information. And gadget users may soon find that they can recharge their devices wirelessly.
A laptop from ASUSTek Computer Inc. has a 2.5-inch secondary liquid crystal display that allows people to check recent e-mails, photos, videos and calendar items using the "SideShow" feature of Microsoft Corp.'s latest operating system, Windows Vista.
"If I'm in the elevator, in the hallway, or even in my car, or in a meeting or something and I want to check my last e-mail or show pictures to somebody, I can just use this 'SideShow' feature," said Raymond Chen, ASUSTek's marketing vice president.
The external display has 1 gigabyte of flash memory and, because it uses little power, should be able to last 50 hours before recharges, Chen said.
The display module can programmed to sync up with selected data on the computer regularly, such as every hour or when the computer powers down. Information is viewable even when the computer is off.
The laptop, which will cost $1,799 to $1,899, is expected to be available after Vista's Jan. 30 consumer launch.
Also helpful for those on the go: Auto parts manufacturer Visteon Corp. is developing a wireless charger for mobile devices.
The base station on which a mobile gadget is placed to be rejuiced plugs into a car's lighter socket and sits in a cup holder. Visteon expects to sell the chargers for $60 starting later this year.
For now, a separate $30 adapter is needed for each gadget for it to work with the wireless charger. In the future, the company and its technology partner, Fulton Innovation LLC, hope to partner with manufacturers to build the necessary components directly into devices.
The technology works because the base station creates a magnetic field that generates a current within the gadget's adapter.
The companies — as well as cell phone maker Motorola Inc. and furniture maker Herman Miller Inc. — have formed an alliance to create a standard for the wireless power-up technology, called eCoupled.
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