RealTime IT News

MailBug Puts E-Mail In Any Room

Looking to make use of the Internet without the confines of a computer, Landel Telecom launched MailBug, a self-contained Internet appliance that provides full-featured e-mail messaging without a computer or modem, and without needing any special skills or software.

MailBug is a tool designed to let users check and reply to their e-mail from anywhere in the home. Among its features are a keyboard with full-size keys, and an 8-line LCD screen that displays text without wrapping the lines.

MailBug weighs one and three-quarter pounds, and measures just over 10 inches long, seven inches deep and two and three-quarter inches high. It does not need a dedicated telephone line, but waits for the line to become free before sending messages. It is always on and ready to use--unlike a computer that needs booting.

"Everyone knows about e-mail, and millions of people are enjoying the convenience and immediacy of staying in touch with family, friends and colleagues through e-mail," said Steve Landry, president, CEO and chairman of Landel. "At the same time, many people have found it daunting to get online because of either cost or complexity. Even today, three-fourths of U.S. households do not have Internet access. Now MailBug lets everyone with a telephone line send and receive e-mail, affordably and simply."

MailBug can store approximately 100 messages, has a built-in address book and personal telephone directory, and offers all the common features of e-mail, including reply, reply all, cc, bcc, forward, save and delete.

The vendor is supporting MailBug with an integrated access service that costs around half the price of typical ISP fees. MailBug costs $199.95, plus the service fee of $9.95 per month. The first 900 buyers get three months' free service.