Bill Buxton's Notes

Rather than a free-standing slate/tablet computer, the Zenith CruisePAD was a remote terminal to one's PC. It was designed to allow the user to interact with that PC's applications from a distance over a wireless network. What made it interesting to me was that it let one do so directly on the CruisePAD's screen, using either a stylus or finger.

This was an interesting approach given when it was released. In that year, 1995, neither Wi-Fi (which came into existence in 1999 with the formation of the Wi-Fi Alliance), nor the IEEE 802.11 protocols on which it was based, were available (the original version of the IEEE 802.11 standard was not released until 1997). Hence, it relied upon a proprietary 2.4 Ghz spread-spectrum radio protocol which they called CruiseLAN.

The PCMCIA card that you see beside the CruisePAD is what is plugged into the host computer in able for the two to communicate.

Bill Buxton
April 2011

Device Details

Company: Zenith | Year: 1995 | Original Price (USD): $1399