E-Mail on Palm Handhelds

Motient Corp. product uses Graffiti for two-way communication.

Snap-on device Motient Corp. this week will unveil the MobileModem, a snap-on device that turns a Palm V handheld into a two-way e-mail pager much like the Research In Motion Ltd. BlackBerry, except that customers use the Graffiti handwriting language to compose messages rather than a keyboard.

Always on The device has a fixed antenna and an "always on" feature that enables it to receive messages even when it is not hooked up to the Palm. When it is hooked up, it will wake the Palm up and alert the user every time a message comes in.

Wide coverage The Motient network covers 99 percent of the 565 most populated U.S. cities, said officials with the Reston, Va., company.

Pricing The service costs $49.99 per month, and the modem costs $179 for customers who pay for the first and last months of service upfront.