(1) See Internet-connected appliance.
(2) An earlier computer specialized for Web browsing, e-mail and other Internet services. Also called an "information appliance" or "Web appliance," such devices cost much less than desktop computers and were designed for ease of use. Today's Internet appliances are Chromebooks, although smartphones and tablets run a huge number of Internet-based apps as well. See Chromebook, e-mail appliance, digital photo frame, digital photo frame, network appliance, server appliance, Internet TV, network computer and smartphone.
One of the First
In 2000, this Linux-based machine was dedicated to Web browsing. It had no hard disk, and files were stored on the Internet. (Image courtesy of The New Internet Computer Company)
The Ergo Audrey
The only product in 3Com's Ergo line, Audrey's functions were activated from buttons on the side. The touchscreen was tapped by finger or the clear, plastic stylus (holder on top of unit). Introduced in 2000, Audrey was dropped in 2001.
The "iLoo" Internet Toilet
In 2003, Microsoft's U.K. division announced a street-side, public toilet with access to the MSN network. There were also rumors of Web site ads on the toilet paper. Quickly shelved after the announcement, people thought Microsoft had lost its senses, but it was just a prank to advertise MSN. In England, a "loo" is a toilet.