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Programmable Logic Controller Handheld HMI Software for Palm Pilot!



pocketHMITM Provides Small and Handy PLC Data Access on Palm Computing Connected Organizers

              Charlotte, NC., August 4, 1999 -- Software Toolbox®, Inc. and Narly Software announced today their new pocketHMI family of Human Machine Interface software products for the Palm Computing® Platform.  The pocketHMI family of software products will provide a convenient, easy to use, and low cost way to access PLC data using the popular Palm Pilot® Organizers based on the Palm Computing Platform from 3Com. Users of the pocketHMI software will include plant engineers and maintenance personnel, OEM’s, and systems integrators.  With an installed base of millions of units, the Palm Computing Platform currently holds 73% of the US personal companion market (IDC, May 1999). 

            John Weber, President of Software Toolbox, said “If you talk to engineers you’ll see that there are a lot of engineers out there already using Palm Pilot’s for their personal organization, appointments, notes, and address book because of their simple yet powerful user interface and attractive price point – extending the reach of these units to be able to access data in PLCs on the plant floor is a natural extended use of the Palm Computing Platform.  By using this off-the-shelf high volume hardware platform, the user benefits from the easy availability and low cost of the hardware driven by Palm Computing’s high production volumes.  The engineer takes a $195 piece of software and puts it on an off-the-shelf piece of hardware available at any electronics store to put an HMI in their pocket ready-to-use whenever they need it.



            Clifford Jones, President of Narly Software adds, “Imagine a machinery OEM mounting a Palm Organizer with every machine they ship with the pocketHMI program loaded – the OEM gets a very low cost off-the-shelf hardware platform that is easy to maintain and can be replaced at your local electronics store rather than having to stock expensive spares for proprietary hardware.  Imagine the integrator or maintenance person being able to walk up to a control panel and not have to remember to bring proprietary HMI hardware with them or lug a laptop with programming software just to check out some memory areas in the PLC – the possibilities are endless here.”

The pocketHMI software will provide functionality to read and write specific memory addresses in a target PLC or monitor selected datapoints on a polled basis while connected to the PLC. The pocketHMI software puts a portable, flexible, battery driven HMI in the engineer’s pocket.  The user interface leverages the simple point and tap interface of the Palm Computing Platform to minimize the amount of effort the user puts forth to get connected to the PLC.  Connection to the PLC is made through a simple serial communications cable connected to the built in serial port on the Palm Connected Organizers and the programming or serial port on the PLC.  The engineer will be able to walk out to their PLC, pull their Palm Computing Connected Organizer out of their pocket with the pocketHMI software loaded and connect up to the PLC immediately and see what is happening in the controller.  Built-in online help provides complete instructions on how to use the pocketHMI at a single touch.



The pocketHMI software will be available for delivery in September 1999 for the Allen-Bradley, Modicon, and Mitsubishi PLC platforms followed by GE Fanuc and PLC Direct in the 4th Quarter 1999. 


About Narly Software

         Founded in 1998, Narly Software’s mission is to take the concept of a personal digital assistant and bring it to the next level.  This next level will be communicating with many different types of equipment on the factory floor in a much more useful role than in the past.  Narly Software is found on the internet at  and will be focusing on the development of  automation software applications for the Palm Computing Platform. Narly Software has partnered with Software Toolbox to leverage the marketing and sales expertise and worldwide reach of Software Toolbox to bring the pocketHMI products to market. 


About Software Toolbox

Founded in 1996 to address the growing need for a single source for industrial automation users to find, evaluate, purchase, and get support for component software including the pocketHMI from Narly Software, Software Toolbox has over 500 products available for purchase via secure online transactions at or by phone at 1-888-665-3678 or 704-587-9545.  Adding value to this single convenient source for eCommerce transactions for automation software is a deeper eBusiness strategy that provides knowledge dissemination through the breadth and depth of technical knowledge and information available to users 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.   This includes technical articles, white papers, online training materials, technical datasheets, product trials, documentation, application notes, technical support notes, and more. For an electronic copy of this release including high resolution color photos, visit



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Narly Software
La Habra, CA, USA
Tel 562-694-2220
Creators of Industrial Handheld HMI OIT and MMI Software Tools.
Copyright Narly Software 1999 - 2000 All Rights Reserved Worldwide.