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The US$4000+ Gresso 1GB MP3 player

February 19, 2007 In November we wrote about the newest of the elite mobile phone manufacturers, Gresso, which makes phones from 200 year-old African Blackwood and Gold. Now Gresso is to diversify and has announced a collection of ultra-exclusive Mp3 players, to be called Symphonia, and the idea to create an Mp3 player that is dedicated to create a device for those customers who demand the ultimate craftsmanship and exceptional design. Four Symphonia models will be released in Q2, 2007, being made from Blackwood and White Gold, Blackwood and Pink Gold, White Gold and Pink Gold respectively, with the same ancient blackwood and 18 carat gold in each case, with prices ranging from EUR 3000 (US$4000) to EUR 5000 (US$6500).  Read More

Sony VAIO L series all-in-one PC

February 16, 2007 Presenting the iconic VAIO L series, a revolutionary new all-in-one PC concept from Sony. As much a design showcase as it is a functional unit, the L series has transformed a computing device into an integrated business and entertainment tool that combines the power of a PC with a quality LCD and stylish chassis. The VGC-LA38G features a floating design, which fits into any interior. The polycarbonate frame contributes not only to the sleek transparent look of the VAIO L series but also provides a chassis that is light, strong and durable. Providing a portable centre of entertainment for the home, Sony created the VAIO L series to double-up as a stereo. The sound from the unit is enhanced with a Sound Reality audio chip, 3Wx2 high quality speakers and Sony’s SoundFLOW software. This unique audio feature lets you play music and view artist information, the time and calendar even when the keyboard is folded up.  Read More

The doPi iPod Karaoke Machine

February 14, 2007 There seems no end to the interesting things you can do with your iPod. The doPi Karaoke system turns your Video iPod, MP4 player or DVD player into a fully functional karaoke machine! You can hear the music, minus the lead vocals and see the streaming video lyrics right from the screen of your video iPod, MP4 player or straight up on your TV. The US$60 system includes all the cables, the mixer and a professional quality microphone, and songs can be purchased for US$0.99 in audio format without streaming lyrics, or US$1.99 with streaming lyrics in video format.  Read More

OmniVision debuts 5 MPX camera module for mobile handsets

February 14, 2007 The 3GSM World Congress is on this week in Barcelona and lots of interesting and significant announcements are being made which will shape the next generation of mobile handsets. One that will certainly have an impact was from OmniVision which is a major supplier of CMOS CameraChip solutions for high-volume imaging applications. OmniVision announced the details of a 5.17 megapixel auto-focus camera module for mobile handsets based around the OV5623 CameraChip sensor. The new 14mm x 14mm x 8.75mm module, which OmniVision is premiering at, paves the way for high-resolution cameras to enter the mainstream mobile handset market.  Read More

NVIDIA enters mobile application processor market

February 13, 2007 - NVIDIA have unveiled their latest product geared for the mobile market, and contrary to what you might expect, it's not a new 3D card for laptops. The NVIDIA GoForce 6100 is the first in a coming family of processors that offer an integrated multimedia solution to power the myriad new handheld devices that will influence our lives in 2007 - and it uses less than half the power of anything on the market today.  Read More

Global Mobile Phone Shipments Top 1 Billion Units in 2006

February 9, 2007 Just a few days ago in our article on the exciting prospect of Near Field Communication capabilities for the mobile phone, we wrote that global mobile phone sales were heading for a billion units a year. We were wrong - according to the latest research from Strategy Analytics, global mobile phone shipments in 2006 grew a healthy 25 percent year-over-year, to reach an all-time record total of 1 billion units in 2006. Mobile phone sales have exploded from less than 100,000 units in 1983 to 100 million units in 1997 and have now passed the 1-billion level in 2006. Given there are only 6.5 billion people on Planet Earth, that means one in 6.5 humans (regardless of age, poverty or location), purchased a new phone last year. "Mobile phones have become a critical driver of innovation and profit for the world's semiconductor, memory, battery and display industries”, according to the Strategy Analytics. Nokia (347.5 million handsets sold) and Motorola (217.4 million) continued to dominate volumes, but it was Sony Ericsson who shone brightest. Growth, volumes, revenues and total profits are all at their highest ever levels for the Japanese-Swedish company which grew volumes from 51.1 million in 2005 to 74.8 million in 2006. In doing so, it became the world's third largest handset vendor (in revenues) overtaking Samsung.  Read More

Ruggedizing the BlackBerry

January 25, 2007 You want the convenience and functionality of the Blackberry but you’re a klutz and/or you work in a very hostile or rainy outdoor environment – there’s now a simple solution that we quite like. The OtterBox 1930 and 1931 cases are designed to ruggedize BlackBerry handsets while allowing water-resistant access to keypad, scroll wheel, escape button, power button, mute button and programmable side button, all through the case. A rigid screen cover protects the LCD from scratches and drop damage with a rigid screen cover and Donaldson acoustic membrane vents allow sound transmission while keeping the case sealed.  Read More

PRADA and LG launch touch screen mobile phone

January 20, 2007 LG and PRADA have unveiled a mobile phone controlled entirely by a touch-screen which is sure to draw comparisons with Apple’s recently announced iPhone. LG and PRADA have apparently worked closely together on every aspect of the product, from handset development to marketing, first announcing their intentions in December, but no doubt sensing the opportunity presented by the worldwide iPhone publicity and the possibilities of an iPhone delay given that Cisco is in litigation with Apple over the name. The PRADA Phone by LG (KE850) has a touch interface which eliminates the conventional keypad making the overall usage experience a highly tactile one. An extra wide LCD screen maximizes visual impact, allowing the user to benefit from several key features of the phone, including the 2 megapixel camera featuring Schneider-Kreuznach lens, video player and document viewer capacity. The PRADA Phone will be available with prices starting from 600 Euros in mobile dealerships and PRADA stores in the UK, France, Germany and Italy as of late February, 2007, followed by countries in Asia such as Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Singapore from late March, 2007. The Korean version of the phone is scheduled to launch in the second quarter of 2007.  Read More

Paper 2.0 - Toshiba Matsushita Display Technology enters the market

January 19, 2007 The second coming of the book, the paper and ink mainstay of human knowledge for most of the last 5000 years, appears to be almost upon us. Despite thousands of years of technological development, paper has maintained its readability advantage of over modern display technology but technology is just about to surpass it and the logical big players are getting ready tp produce readable displays that offer an experience akin to that of reading on paper - this is known as Electronic Paper. E-Ink’s Electronic Paper Displays are the current dominant player in the marketplace, with its displays used in the iRex Iliad and Sony Readers, with other implementations in clocks, watches, smart cards, billboards and mobile phones but there will be others and Toshiba Matsushita Display Technology (TMD) entered the fray this week when it announced not only that it has developed a high-resolution, 16-level grayscale, highly-reflective, 5-inch VGA monochrome thin-film transistor (TFT) liquid crystal display (LCD) which offers the combined features of high resolution and high reflectance, but that it had started mass production. The display technology looks fantastic (see images inside), and is well suited for monochrome applications such as found in electronic dictionaries and books or operating panels of multifunctional office automation equipment.  Read More

Samsung SCH-W559 Mobile Phone with Immersion’s VibeTonz System for Tactile Touchscreen Fee...

January 18, 2007 Relevant feedback from an intelligent device is very important to the feel of that device, how you relate to it and how efficiently you use it. Immersion Corporation is the company that has enabled touch feedback technology to dominate video game interfaces and now we warrant, it’s set to do the same for mobile phones. The new Samsung SCH-W559 phone is the first to use Immersion's VibeTonz System to provide tactile feedback in response to touchscreen presses. VibeTonz offers a broad range of touch feedback effects to make user interface features, applications, and multimedia content more intuitive and engaging. For example, virtual onscreen buttons feel more like mechanical keys, and the phone’s full-fidelity, vibe-enhanced ringtones are help identify callers in noisy environments. So compelling and useful is the vibration feedback system that global research and consulting firm Strategy Analytics believes that “market conditions are almost ripe for an explosion in touchscreen phones”, and “by 2012, 40% of mobile phones could be using some form of touch sensitive technology.  Read More

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