FutureShop: Web-Free Shopping

Forget your PC. Let your TV, smart fridge or land blimp make the deal

Attention, e-commerce shoppers: Your days of being tied to the PC for your product needs may soon be over. In the near future, currently being envisaged by engineers, you'll go shopping via PalmPilot, via TV with cable-modem hookup, via game machine, via intelligent refrigerator--via any means, it seems, other than a good old-fashioned desktop and keyboard.

A new kind of consumer is about to emerge as the Internet revolution spills over the edges of the computer revolution's territory. "The next wave is people who never wanted to buy a PC," says Barry Parr, an analyst at International Data Corp. Even...

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