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Motorola unveils IM family device

Motorola on Wednesday introduced a handheld device dedicated to sending and receiving America Online instant messages. The Motorola IMfree is a CD case-sized gadget priced at $99 and has a built-in keyboard. The device works on a 900MHz ISM band technology--the same technology as older cordless telephones--and communicates with a base that is attached with a USB cable to a computer.

The IMfree works best at a range of up to 150 feet from the base and over a computer with a broadband connection to the Internet, according to Motorola. The company said there are no monthly fees for the device.