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Poken Schmoken

Did you ever own a Palm Pilot or other Palm device? One feature that was pretty popular in the early days was the ability to “beam” items from Palm to Palm, usually “business cards”. It uses infrared to transmit and receive the data and can be used to beam any sort of data that you want, including full applications. But both parties need a Palm device.

Bluetooth can do much the same thing but never really caught on in a big way. Exchanging email addresses verbally or the like seems to work just fine today. Given that, what do you think the chances are that a new physical device called a Poken will become successful?

You connect with someone else that has a Poken by holding them together (this is called “poken someone” — ugh!). The devices exchange tokens and you plug your Poken into your computer to upload your new contacts.

The Poken has two components: a Poken hand and a little character that the hand connects to such as these:

Would you pull one of these out in a business meeting? Hey, can I poken you? Probably not but that’s not the target audience for this device anyway; teens and college students may love them. Will Poken succeed? Maybe. Depends on whether enough Poken get out there for owners to, er, poke. Otherwise the whole thing may be silly as the CueCat. And the CueCat was free while each Poken costs $24.95 $19.96.

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