Xybernaut Now Has Linux OS for Wearable PCs

Xybernaut yesterday announced that its Mobile Assistant IV wearable computer is available on the Linux operating system.

The Mobile Assistant IV is a full PC that connects wirelessly to a customer's network, and porting it to Linux will help satisfy customer requests that have heated up in the past three or four months, especially from Europe, according to John Moynahan, chief financial officer and senior vice president at Xybernaut.

"In many respects (Linux is) a good fit for wearable apps, because of its inherent networking capabilities and the fact that it's a robust OS," Moynahan said.

The Mobile Assistant IV, which can be worn in a number of ways, including on a vest or belt, is available running DOS, Windows 98, Windows NT and Unix operating systems, in addition to Linux, he said. The vast majority of Xybernaut customers -- automotive, shipping and aerospace workers who use wearable computers on factory or facility floors -- use Mobile Assistants running Windows 98 or NT, but that could change if a big car manufacturer, for instance, decided to run Linux, Moynahan said.

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