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Psion PLC is the British company mostly known for developing the pioneering Psion Organiser as well as a whole range of more advanced, clamshell-design Personal Digital Assistants:

All these PDAs have a small keyboard, which in all but the Organizer's case is of the standard QWERTY layout, or regional variation thereof.

Psion was established in 1980, and during the first three years developed games and utilities for the early home computers such as the Sinclair ZX Spectrum. Some of the software was released by Melbourne House. Its name is said to mean "Potter Scientific Instruments Or Nothing", a reference to its founder David Potter.

Psion developed its own operating system called EPOC to run its PDA products. In the latter half of the 1990s Psion saw the potential for convergence between PDAs and mobile phones, which resulted in the eventual formation of Symbian Ltd. in June 1998 in conjunction with leading companies in the sector, notably Nokia, Ericsson and Motorola. Psion retained a 20-30% shareholding in the spun-out business. The EPOC operating system became known as the Symbian Operating System, which today powers a number of leading smartphones such as the Sony Ericsson P900 series.

Psion withdrew from the consumer hardware business in 2002 in the face of decreasing margins and competition from keyboardless PDAs from companies such as Palm, largely retreating into the industrial mobile data-entry hardware sector through their purchase of Teklogix (Canada).

In 2004, Psion announced its intention to dispose of the company's remaining Symbian shareholding to Nokia, as they no longer regarded it as a core part of their strategy. Although opposed by many shareholders, the large shareholding of the founder, David Potter, ensured the vote was carried.

Having closed or disposed of all its previous operations, Psion today comprises of one remaining operating division, Psion Teklogix.

External links

In high energy physics the Psion is a meson, now normally called J/Psi to reflect its independent discovery and naming by two groups of scientists in 1974.

In parapsychology and science fiction, a psion is a person who possesses psychic abilities.

Psion is a science fiction novel by Joan D. Vinge.


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