How To Really Surf The Net

Intel-backed surfboard has built-in Wi-Fi and a tablet PC.

People have been talking about surfing the Net for years. Jools Matthews actually does it.

Intel has helped build the world's only Wi-Fi waverunner, a toughened, waterproof tablet computer embedded into the surface of a working surfboard. An embedded Intel Centrino chip lets the board communicate with a wireless access point on the beach.

That lets riders check E-mail, browse Web sites, and use an embedded camera to record footage of themselves riding the waves. A solar-charging kit lets the device recharge in the sun, extending battery life.

Matthews, a British surfboard "shaper," built the board to help promote the 2004 Intel Gold Coast Oceanfest, a sports and music festival held this weekend in North Devon, England. Intel also has set up a number of wireless hot spots on the beach in North Devon, which will be used both by participants and judges as they watch competitors surf, bike, skateboard, and play other sports.

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