infrared ports

What is an infrared port and what is it for? I've seen then in some new notebooks.
wsanchezAsked:
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aburrConnect With a Mentor Commented:
An infrared port is similar to a serial port. In fact it is a serial port , but one which uses infrared rays instead of wires. It works like a TV remote. It is particularly used by palm tops to transfer data to desktops or printes which are appropriately equiped.
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ozoCommented:
does it include rts cts dtr dsr dcd signals?
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wsanchezAuthor Commented:
I don't know about that ozo but I've seen those ports in notebook brochures.
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aburrCommented:
It does not include those signals in the same way as an RS232 port, but it does include the functionality of those signals in the port drivers. Win 98 has those drivers built in. Older systems have special drivers. The HP palm top had one of the first, if not the first, IR port. It worked with other HP. Soon printers with an IR port appeared. Then IR port add-ons for desktops so Palm top could talk to desktop without wires. IR ports are gradually appearing in many places now.
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wsanchezAuthor Commented:
How common are IR ports and devices with IR now?  Do you foresee them as the ports of the future?
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aburrCommented:
They are quite common in palm tops. I do not think that they will be the port of the future but they will become more common. My prediction capabilities are limited.
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