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Motorola offers lightweight handheld for retail use

Device is targeted to retail, hospitality and health-care workers

Motorola Inc. Monday announced the CA50, a lightweight handheld that combines VoIP over WiFi with a bar code scanner. The device is targeted to retail, hospitality and health-care workers.

Workers would use the device to check prices and inventory in stores or to request immediate delivery of equipment at hospitals, said Tom Esposito, senior director of advanced data capture at Motorola’s enterprise mobility unit.

Available sometime this quarter, the device sells for US$540. It weighs only 3.7 ounces, and is light enough to carry in a pocket or on a lanyard for easy access. The CA50 fills a gap in handheld products, since it is light and inexpensive compared to ruggedized scanners on the market, Esposito said.

It is 4.37 by 1.81 by 1.01 inches in size and includes a five-line monochrome display, according to Motorola. It runs the Windows CE 5.0 mobile operating system, has 64MB of RAM and 32MB of flash memory. An internal antenna connects to 802.11a/b/g WiFi networks.

The voice over WiFi capability can be connected to a user’s desktop, so that incoming calls to a store or hospital could be redirected to the CA50 to ensure a call isn’t missed.

The connection would be achieved with additional software from Avaya Inc. or other vendors that Motorola did not name.