Wearable PCs, Voice Recognition and More in Wireless Trading Mailbag

Plus, weigh in on RIM pagers, and Scott Fullman's site faves.
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Last week's What Works

talked about the limits of widely hyped wireless trading.

In our reader mailbag, few disagreed. However, some tech-forward folks offered some other possibilities. (This week's

report tested online stocks screeners. Please let us

know your thoughts.)

Another Alternative

For one, some brokers offer voice recognition services -- in which you speak your trade into the phone -- an alternative the article did not address. "There was no mention of the remarkable convenience of

E*Trade's

(don't know how many others have this) speaker-independent voice recognition trading. All features (quotes, trades, etc.) can be accessed simply by speaking into the phone. The accuracy of recognition is amazing and in my opinion is much more convenient

than the key-pad punching for automated phone trading," wrote

Sean Murphy

of Irving, Texas.

Have you used a speech recognition service to place trades or get information? Has it worked? What are the limitations? Please email

whatworks@thestreet.com.

Better Wireless Access

Then there's the matter of new and improved wireless access. A couple of readers have written in about

Ricochet

, a service from

Metricom

. Ricochet offers wireless data delivery at 128Kbps -- more than twice the speed of a typical 56k modem.

Reader

Brian McGonigle

of San Francisco, an E*Trade and Ricochet user, writes: "It's just like normal Internet wireline access ... but wireless." Right now, Ricochet is being sold for use with laptops and desktops. At the

Fall Comdex 2000

tech gadget conference this week in Las Vegas, Metricom announced a new trial of the Ricochet network on

Compaq's

iPAQ Pocket PC and its use with another new gadget, WebPAD Metro. But there's still no word about devices on which online brokers offer their wireless services, like Palm Pilots.

Eric Kirbach

of Kirkland, Wash., (just across the lake from Seattle) was disappointed that there was not more detail about the pros and cons of the Research in Motion two-way pagers. Some firms' wireless trading programs, like those from

Fidelity

and

DLJdirect

, include the RIM as a device option. Kirbach would like to hear more about how useful or limited the RIM is. Are there any RIM users, past or present, who can weigh in? Please email

whatworks@thestreet.com.

Wearable PCs

Finally,

Tommy Nuttall

, a watercraft stuntman at a theme park in Orlando, Fla., heralds the promise of so-called wearable PCs as the next best way to conduct "handsfree-voice activated-wireless-communications."

Xybernaut

is one company that produces these interfaces, but the company's site indicates its product is for workers, and the customers it cites are business and government organizations. With prices starting around $5,000, this isn't exactly a mass-market product yet.

Still, it's something to look forward to. As one reader put it: "I have long been waiting for the wireless connection that will allow me to be mobile. I mean really mobile, which is a sail boat in the South Pacific. To be able to do this you have to have satellite, and the only reasonable trading platform is the notebook computer. ...

Everyone is missing the point on going to a cell phone. Put the earpiece/mike on the laptop and you have a much more usable device for trading. If we can't get this then forget about it."

What Works According to ...

Each week, What Works asks a market pro or pundit what sites he or she thinks work, or don't. Reader

Michael Aiken

suggested we inquire of Scott Fullman, the chief options strategist at

Swiss American Securities

.

As an options watcher, Fullman says he keeps close track of stock "movement and activity" and "swings," not just the fundamentals. "I try to combine a cross section so that I get a really good look at the market."

Is there an analyst, fund manager,

CNBC

celeb or other pro or pundit you'd like to hear from about their favorite, and least favorite, sites? Please email

whatworks@thestreet.com with your suggestion.