Connectivity specialist Xircom is taking advantage of the increasing mobility of technology and the adoption of IT by small and medium businesses to launch a new connectivity product.
The modular, snap-together PortStation is a combination of various connection ports such as Ethernet, modem, serial and parallel, among others. The device then connects to a single USB port on either a desktop or mobile computer.
"USB is an industry trend at the moment. Intel has made it part of its chip set and easy PC strategy," explained Chris McPherson, country manager of Xircom Australia/New Zealand.
"Small and medium businesses are also looking for devices that are plug and play because they lack IT expertise," said McPherson of PortStation's potential popularity in this market segment. He attributes the growing demand for a product such as PortStation to the need to simplify the increasingly complicated process of connectivity. "The number of peripheral devices has proliferated and the PortStation allows you to simply connect and disconnect a number of devices through one USB port."
The PortStation will connect up to 127 devices, according to McPherson, and will run on any operation system apart from the Mac.
It will be offered in three different packs, although customers can select modules in any combination.
According to McPherson, Xircom's retail stores, such as Harvey Norman, Harris Technology and Coles Myer, will be the main distributors of the PortStation. The vendor is also negotiating bundling deals with existing PC vendor partners such as Compaq, Acer, Hewlett-Packard and IBM.
Connection Starter Kit includes two end caps, a parallel connection, a 4-port USB Hub and a serial PS/2Office Communications Kit includes two end caps, a parallel connection, a serial PS/2 and an Ethernet 10USB Hub Starter Kit includes two end caps and a 7-port USB Hub