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Wyse cruises toward wireless line

Cruise Technologies will license its system software for wireless thin clients to Wyse Technology.

Cruise Technologies, the former mobile division of Zenith Data Systems, will license its system software for wireless thin clients to Wyse Technology, a network computer manufacturer that is expected to unveil a Winterm Wireless line this month.

Cruise also announced $12 million in first-round venture financing as it is formed as an independent company to market the system software for the wireless ZDS CruisePAD device to other manufacturers. In addition, the company will license reference designs to hardware manufacturers.

CruiseConnect, the company's software, lets mobile users in offices or campus settings run server-based Windows, Windows NT, and terminal-based applications from the wireless devices. Users carry handheld "electronic tablets" that communicate with a Pentium or Pentium Pro server via a radio frequency network.

The screen on the wireless device displays the data sent by the server over a wireless LAN (local area network). Users touch an on-screen keyboard with a finger or stylus or perform mouse functions in the same way.

A single server can support about 60 clients, Cruise says, and the devices will be targeted at vertical markets in health care, manufacturing, warehousing, retailing, auto repair and dealerships, government, and the military.

CruiseConnect wireless products will incorporate Citrix Systems' application server software and wireless LAN technology from Proxim.

Cruise received funding from venture firms Battery Ventures and Bessemer Venture Partners. Packard-Bell NEC, parent company of ZDS, holds a minority interest and contributed patents to the new venture.