Load matching in the palm of your hand. That's what NetTrans, an Internet load matching service, is offering for free -- more or less.
New NetTrans software makes its load-matching service accessible on hand-held Internet-ready computers that run the Palm operating system. For the moment, that means the Palm VII personal organizer. However, it will soon include other Palm products and many web-enabled mobile phones.
The software is available as a free download at www.nettrans.com/palm. However, it won't be very useful without a NetTrans subscription, which can cost approximately $35 per month.
Hand-held computers and web-enabled phones have much smaller screens than most portable and desk top computers. Accessing the web with these devices requires software -- called a minibrowser -- that displays pages formatted specifically for small screens. The new NetTrans software will do just that.
While NetTrans may be first to introduce minibrowser load-matching, other services are sure to follow. NetTrans itself plans to introduce similar software for applications running other than the Palm OS.
NetTrans's hand-held load matching will make the service available to drivers directly from their cabs wherever an appropriate wireless Internet service is available. While wireless Internet access is spreading rapidly, it is not universally available. The Palm.Net wireless system, for example, offers coverage in 260 U.S. metropolitan areas where load-matching services will be most in demand. However there are wide gaps in the Midwest an West.
John Bennett has been appointed vice president and chief technology officer for Meritor, a newly created role at the company.