ICQ Adds Offline Capabilities

America Online Inc. subsidiary ICQ Inc. Monday released Signaler, new technology that automatically notifies ICQ users of chat requests.

Signaler is the latest offering from NECS, a subsidiary of Israeli Bell South International Group. The technology will notify users regardless of whether they are currently online.

“Signaler allows ICQ users to be reachable even when their PC is not connected to the Internet,” said Zvika Eadan, NECS general manager.

“Signaler enables chat buddies to send ICQ chat requests even while they are not connected to the Internet — as long as their PCs are turned on,” he said.

Signaler features technology that causes a pop-up message to be displayed on a PC screen that includes the name of the person requesting a chat. The message is accompanied by a special telephone ring.

NECS plans to develop a similar system for AOL’s Instant Messenger, Yahoo Pager and Microsoft’s PIP.

The program is available for a 21-day free trial. After that, the service costs $9.95 annually.

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