Coming soon for sports fanatics: a handheld gadget that provides brief text updates of every major professional or college-level sporting event as it happens. Here's how the Sporting News SporTrax works: DataSport Inc., a San Mateo (Calif.) startup, will gather news from St. Louis-based Sporting News Publishing Co., a subsidiary of Times Mirror Co., and other sources. The data are compressed and sent to a satellite that relays the information to 38 FM radio stations for near-nationwide coverage.
A datebook-size unit contains microprocesssors that will decipher the signals and display the latest game results on a small liquid-crystal display. A keyboard on the device will allow owners to get other information, such as pregame injury lists or team statistics. DataSport says that SporTrax is ideal for "displaced" fans--those who don't live in the same city as their favorite team. The receiver will cost $495, not including subscription fees: $720 for a year or $79 monthly.