A Palmtop That Fits On A Hard Hat

Mark Engineering Associates Inc. figures that certain workers have been left out of the portable computing revolution. In some settings, say on the 20th floor of a construction site, even the tiniest palmtop computer is difficult to use. Butnow, the Spokane (Wash.) company has developed a portable that could be as easy to use as putting on the proverbial thinking cap.

On May 20, Park Engineering was to introduce CompCap, a one-pound IBM-compatible PC that can be mounted on a construction worker's hard hat or in a special vest. A voice-recognition system with a vocabulary of over 250 words replaces the typical keyboard so workers can literally call up information such as blueprints or floor diagrams. CompCap uses Reflection Technology Inc.'s Private Eye display, a tiny screen that creates the illusion of a 12-inch computer screen floating in space. CompCap will cost about $3,000 to $5,000.

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