Paris, August 2002: France Telecom researchers have developed
an unprecedented software application that transforms PDAs
equipped with a miniature camera into full-fledged mobile
videophone devices. This means users will soon be able to
set up a wireless video contact between two Pocket PCs.
This makes it possible for the first time to easily establish
direct connections between two people at remote locations
without any wiring. Sound is now enhanced with video: the
speaker is displayed on the screen and converses with the
same audio quality as a conventional phone call. The call
can be preceded by transmission of personal information,
such as a business card, multimedia animation, logo, etc.
This data is displayed on a Web page to identify the caller
before the called party answers. Users can also show callers
where they are by pointing the PDA camera around them.
This breakthrough makes costly add-on equipment unnecessary.
The new France Telecom application, known as "eConf",
gives PDAs the processing power needed for this type of
functionality despite the limited resources inherent to
these handheld devices. "eConf" is compatible
with all communications standards. The application currently
runs with the WiFi (802.11b) wireless networking specification.
It enables transparent service continuity with wireless