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Start-up unveils wireless Internet Surfpad

Innovative Technologies hopes to catch a wave with its remote control device for surfing the Web on a PC.

A Southern California start-up is bringing new meaning to the phrase point and click.

In an effort to provide relief to those suffering hand and wrist pain because of the repetitive motions involved in controlling a PC's mouse, Innovative Technologies has designed a wireless remote control for surfing the Web on a PC.

The Internet Surfpad features 20 pre-programmed and programmable buttons, allowing users to navigate Web browsers and specific sites without touching the mouse or keyboard. Users can navigate between sites, or program the Surfpad to launch specific pages. The wireless remote eliminates the back strain and carpal tunnel syndrome associated with continuous mouse clicking, according to Innovative Technologies.

The patented device is a finalist in the American Electronics Association's High-Tech Awards, the company said.

Similar wireless remote controls are available for set-top boxes such as Microsoft's WebTV. The Internet Surfpad could be used by WebTV users as well, Innovative Technologies said.

Additionally, most PC manufacturers offer customizable buttons on keyboards to launch specific Web sites or partner with content providers to provide one-touch access. Compaq Computer, for example, offers direct access from its Presario keyboards to Yahoo's portal. Similar scenarios are conceivable with the Surfpad.

Innovative Technologies has developed a reference design which it hopes to license to manufacturers. The company is also open to licensing the underlying technology for other purposes. "Our ultimate goal is to pioneer innovative and imaginative Web sites that integrate with easy-to-use interactive Internet control," said Gerry Grant, inventor and company president, in a statement.

Grant is currently looking for content partners to develop "integrated vertical portals" which can be controlled using the Surfpad.

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