Wrist-worn computer packs beaucoup functions

The Zypad WR1100 is tough, lightweight, modular, and wearable. Features include Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity, GPS navigation, an electronic compass, and a fingerprint sensor.

Mark Rutherford
The military establishment's ever increasing reliance on technology and whiz-bang gadgetry impacts us as consumers, investors, taxpayers and ultimately as the defended. Our mission here is to bring some of these products and concepts to your attention based on carefully selected criteria such as importance to national security, originality, collateral damage to the treasury and adaptability to yard maintenance-but not necessarily in that order. E-mail him at markr@milapp.com. Disclosure.
Mark Rutherford

With the Zypad WR1100, we're getting closer to "beam me up," at least in looks, if not in actual transporter compatibility.

This bit of bling is a ruggerized wrist-worn personal computer designed for the bush. It contains a high performance CPU with 128MB of flash memory and 256MB of RAM.

With the Zypad device, which runs a Linux operating system, one can access a remote host system through integrated wired or wireless interfaces. The unit boasts a special fiberglass-reinforced nylon-magnesium alloy case for maximum durability and minimum weight.

Features include "802.11 and Bluetooth/Zigbee interfaces, a GPS receiver, electronic compass, biometric fingerprint sensor, and a tilt- and dead-reckoning system that detects the position of the user's arm and sets the system to standby mode when the arm is hanging down beside the body."

Battery packs and functions can be switched out or expanded with a modular hot- swap.

The color VGA 640x480-pixel touch screen, which is resistant to water, dust, is clearly readable in direct sunlight, according to Parvus, the Salt Lake City-based engineering company that makes this marvel. The night vision-compliant feature is optional.

The onboard microphone and speaker are dialed for high noise environments. Diddy, you may need one of these.