Palm Pilot inventor to unveil new "mobile device"

Sunnyvale (CA) - Jeff Hawkins, who is credited with the invention of the Palm Pilot handheld computer, will be announcing a new mobile device tomorrow, Palm said today.

One day before his 50th birthday, Jeff Hawkins will have another chance to introduce a new mobile product, which is promised by Palm to "describe a new category" for mobile devices. The announcement is scheduled to be made at the D : All Things Digital conference in Carlsbad, California.

Hawkins career involving handheld computers goes back to 1989, when he created the Gridpad, which is considered to have been the first tablet computer that was pen-operated and supported hand writing recognition. Later on, he invented the Graffiti handwriting recognition software and, with the help of US Robotics, brought the Palm Pilot handheld computer, the first widely successful handheld computing device to market in 1996.

After the sale of US Robotics to 3Com in 1998 and four new generations of Palm devices, Hawkins left 3Com and co-founded with Donna Dubinsky Handspring, which initially offer the Visor handheld and began selling the Treo smartphone in 2001. 3Com spun off Palm in 2000, which acquired Handspring in 2003 and brought Jeff Hawkins back into the fold. He is listed as "founder of Palm" in the management team of the company today.