MOUNTAIN VIEW, CALIF. — SimpleDevices Inc. is distributing its new SimplePad Internet appliance to application creators and preparing to announce its first major customer.
The device was developed on a superquick timetable. In mid-February, the firm sent the computer-aided design for mold making and initial production at a plant owned by Hong Kong-based Manufacturing Modes and Technology Ltd.
A SimplePad transforms a Palm personal digital assistant or comparable device into a 1.6-megabit-per-second, wireless Webpad that can access a computer or the Web. Josh Ferguson has led the project's design work and showed a prototype during a visit to the firm's Mountain View headquarters.
A polycarbonate-housed SimplePad functions as a local-area-network adapter. The design calls for buttons of a PC/ABS blend and a light pipe of PC for optical clarity.
An original equipment manufacturer will distribute SimplePad beginning in May at a projected retail price of $199. Right now, software developers are working on applications in the health-care, legal, transportation and consumer markets.
SimpleDevices was established a year ago, employs 20 and is developing other platform software and products such as the SimpleFi wireless, high-fidelity audio component and the SimpleClock Internet-connected, multimedia alarm clock.
The firm has received money from seed fund and incubator Venture Nova LLC of Mountain View; Nasdaq-traded Proxim Inc. of Sunnyvale, Calif.; and individual investors.