At the International Conference on Wearable Computing, which took place in Fairfax last May, the Xybernaut Corporation presented the Mobile Assistant, a hands-free minicomputer with dozens of practical applications. Since this handy companion is utterly suitable to be taken into the field, why shouldn't it be useful to physicians visiting their patients or to nurses providing care in hospitals or at home?
The Mobile Assistant actually consists of a two pound Pentium 133PC, a small battery, a tiny microphone for oral instructions and a little screen, focused just in front of the user's eye. Its technology is based on Intel's Pentium 266 MHz MMX mobile processor.
The device can be comfortably worn on the belt and is provided with both docking and communication capabilities. You can use it on a desk top as well as anywhere on the road. Already next year, the Mobile Assistant is expected to be price competitive with laptop consumer computers. At this moment, the minicomputer is still almost exclusively being used in the industry.
At the Wearable Computing Conference, international industrial and academic representatives witnessed several demonstrations of the latest portable technology, participated in discussion forums which concentrated on past experiences, future expectations, and emerging standards in the wearable computers business. Obviously, some of the applications, like the Mobile Assistant, appear to be promising assets for the medical world.