So you don't want to install an ISDN line, and you don't need words and pictures. All you want to do is share some documents and drawings online. With a new modem and software, such dataconferencing is possible.
The Challenge: Transmit files without hanging up the phone.
Power Tool: U.S. Robotics Sportster VI
Capitalizing on the latest standard for transmitting voice and data over the same phone line, the Robotics Sportster VI lets you share memos, spreadsheets, even whole applications online without breaking off your phone conversation.
The method it employs is digital simultaneous voice data (DSVD). Although not yet an official communications standard, DSVD is expected to become one later this year. The Sportster VI is an internal card for your PC that combines a 28.8 Kbps modem with a 14.4 fax. Using Intel's ProShare Premiere Edition Personal Conferencing software for Windows, you place a regular phone call. Once you're connected, you and the other person can share a report on your computer screens, assuming the other he other person has Lotus 1-2-3, the conferencing software enables you to edit and add figures on your screens. In other words, share the application.
You can save some money by opting for another 28.8 Kbps modem, Cardinal Technologies's MVP288IS. It comes with Radish's TalkShop software that also lets you share files on a voice call. Unfortunately, it won't let you talk and transmit documents at the same time.
Coordinates: Sportster VI, $389. U.S. Robotics, 800-342-5877; http://www.usr.com MVP288IS, $259. Cardinal Technologies Inc., 800-775-0899; http://www.cardtech.com
- "I See How to Work Together"
- "Quain's Top Ten - VideoPhone"
- "Troubleshooter's Guide for Ordering ISDN"
A version of this article appeared in the August/September 1996 issue of Fast Company magazine.