For The Exec On The Run, A Digital Valet

Root aims to be everything from travel agent to help desk

Manhattan, Aug. 13, 10:15 a.m. Bob Vanech is racing through Central Park in a cab after a meeting with a prospective partner for his company. Vanech ignores the trees and the midmorning joggers the cab is whizzing past. Instead, he is focused on his handheld Palm III, coordinating his schedule via cell phone with Root, a service he is testing that acts as a Digital Age concierge or secretary. "O.K., so reservations for 1:15 at Blue Water Grill," Vanech says. "Great."

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