THANKS TO THE INTERNET, personal computers let people keep up with news, information, and E-mail from around the world. Problem is, bringing in all that stuff requires a lot of time and ties up phone lines. Global Village Communication Inc., a Sunnyvale (Calif.) supplier of communication gear for PCs, thinks it has a solution.
Its $149 NewsCatcher is designed to keep Net and info junkies abreast of what's happening with the help of a wireless radio network. The package, which works with any IBM-compatible PC, includes software and a pyramid-shaped receiver that uses a paging frequency and attaches to the computer. After signing up for service with AirMedia, a wireless data service run by New York-based Ex Machina Inc., subscribers fill out a profile indicating their interests: news, horoscopes, sports, etc. AirMedia editors then scour the Net looking for that information and blast alerts and summaries via the wireless network.
The pyramid picks up those alerts, displays them on the PC's monitor, and points members to where they need to go on the Net to get the full story. NewsCatcher can even be set up to alert owners when a new piece of E-mail arrives on their various online-service accounts.
After a one-year free trial of AirMedia, Newscatcher subscribers can expect to pay $5.95 to $9.95 per month for the service, depending on how many features they sign up for.