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Line of "browser only" low-cost PDA devices that communicate text and image without a cellular network.
(Of course better and newer models would also have voice capabilities, but that comes later.)
Start off with a walky-talky like pair of low-cost PDAs except you dont talk but can only "SMS"
(Sold as toy for kids).
Continue with Wifi or bluetooth to PC.
Use PC as relay station - connected to the regular internet in broadband. People can even get payed for giving the relay service. (works only for people in the local vicinity).
Within a short while you'll have people able to pass and recieve information on local networks around the world, without the need to pay the cellular companies.
[BunsenHoneydew, May 02 2006]
||Skype on my wifi PDA lets me do all of the above..
I think the expensive bit of a PDA is the screen, and wifi, rather than the on board applications.
||Yup cybiko. so must I remove this? ;''''( [MFD]
||Not necessarily. MFDs are judged by the admins.
||For short range you could use Bluetooth.
Bluetooth SMS is possible using calendarnotes which you send to your peers.
||Might be a good way to communicate during a meeting or a class?