The pagers featured here are designed with specific business needs in mind. Each is sold through a paging service provider, so prices will vary across the country. And not all paging services support all of the pagers profiled. Check with the provider before you sign up for a service.
The Challenge: Receive pages on a device that doesn't clip on your belt
Power Tool: Gold Line Professional Pager
Disguised as a fat pen, Motorola's Gold Line, fits in a jacket pocket without ruining your tailor's handiwork. It looks like it comes from a "Man from U.N.C.L.E." episode and it's got plenty of practical features. The numeric-only pager has a 12-digit display and a backlit screen, and it can store up to eight time-stamped messages. The Gold Line even emits an audible signal when it's about to die.
The service provider PageNet offers the Gold Line pager in some cities (check with them), but you can't get nationwide coverage.
Coordinates: $149.95 purchase price. PageNet, 800-724-3638; http://www.pagenet.com ; Motorola, Inc., 800-548-9954, http://www.mot.com/MIMS/ PPG/
The Challenge: Respond to messages quickly without interrupting the work flow
Power Tool: The Tango
The big problem with pagers is that once you get a message, you've got to call back. Motorola's two-way Tango pager finally lets you skip the phone and respond to messages with the push of a button.
This alphanumeric pager pulls in text messages and displays them on a three-line LCD that's hidden behind a flip-up cover. When a message arrives, you can reply instantly by using one of 16 preprogrammed responses, including curt messages like "Will call later" or "running late." You can change the type of ring, file messages, and set an alarm clock.
SkyTel is the first (and so far the only) paging-service provider that offers the Tango.
Coordinates: $399; $15 a month to lease. SkyTel, 800-643-0323, http://www.skytel.com; Motorola, Inc., 800-548-9954, http://www.mot.com/MIMS/PPG/
The Challenge: Get messages, not numbers or indecipherable jottings
Power Tool: The Tenor
With voice paging, your beeper can now act as a wireless answering machine. Motorola's Tenor is the first such voice pager on the market, although service isn't expected until late this year. It can store up to four minutes worth of messages — in the caller's own voice. When a message arrives, the unit responds with either a silent vibrating alert or an audible alarm. You can then play it back immediately.
The first company to offer voice messaging with the Tenor pager is expected to be PageNet with its VoiceNow service.
Coordinates Anticipated lease price: under $20 a month. PageNet, 800-724-3638, http://www.pagenet.com ; Motorola, Inc., 800-548-9954, http://www.mot.com/MIMS/PPG/
A version of this article appeared in the June/July 1996 issue of Fast Company magazine.