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OQO 02 ULTRA MOBILE PC - the World’s smallest Windows Vista Capable Personal Computer

January 9, 2007 Bill Gates yesterday showcased OQO’s next generation ultra-mobile PC, the model 02, in his keynote address at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Weighing a mere one pound and small enough to fit in a pocket, the model 02 is the world’s smallest Windows Vista capable computer and not only have the company fixed every shortcoming of the first model, the model 02 is up to four times faster and has a display more than six times brighter than its groundbreaking predecessor. Redesigned from the ground up, the model 02 features a new ergonomic backlit keyboard and capacitive TouchScrollers for easy input and navigation. The model 02 incorporates complete wireless connectivity – including EV-DO Wireless WAN, WiFi, and Bluetooth – ensuring the user has high speed and uncompromised access to the internet, email, and networked applications. Expected to ship before the end of March, the OQO model 02 will sell for US$1500.  Read More

UltraVideo

January 9, 2007 Samsung Electronics debuted two new entertainment phones at CES yesterday – the Ultra Music and Ultra Video exemplify the convergence of basic devices, such as PMP, MP3 and radio, with mobile phones. Both combine the features of a camera phone with 2 MPX images, with their particular entertainment bents, all facilited by an LCD on each side. On one side there is a smaller LCD screen and the dialing keypad for making phone calls, contact entry and cell phone menu functions. The reverse side has a large LCD screen and a dedicated touch sensitive pad to cater to the multimedia functions.  Read More

The engine

January 9, 2007 IMAGES ADDED One of the big breakthrough technology announcements for the CES show which begins next week has landed - Microvision will show the world's smallest and thinnest full-color projection display prototype. Using the company's Integrated Photonics Module (IPM), the miniaturized projector engine promises new capabilities for mobile devices as it can be embedded in a mobile phone or PDA, or used as a standalone accessory display with a variety of mobile devices. “Small, two inch displays that are common to mobile devices such as cell phones are barriers to growth of exciting mobility markets, because they limit the user viewing experience,” said Alexander Tokman, President and CEO of Microvision. “Our projection display solution is expected to eliminate this bottleneck, benefiting consumers, mobile operators, content providers, and consumer electronics OEMs.” The commercilisation of this potentially disruptive technology will enable a range of cheaper and more readily available heads up displays and wearable displays.  Read More

ScanBuy - barcode software on your camera phone creates the Physical World Hyperlink

January 8, 2007 From time-to-time, we see a potentially disruptive technology of such magnitude we ponder its ability to shake the foundations - Scanbuy rates in that category. The irony of the ingenious system is that it leverages the humble barcode – a sixty year old far-from-vogue technology under threat from RFID. Last week, the U.S. Patent Office issued a patent to Scanbuy for a "System and method for decoding and analyzing barcodes using a mobile device". The software works on any handheld device (download here) with a camera and internet connection and uses the camera to read the barcode, then connects the device’s web browser to the corresponding web site. What this enables, which we think is very significant - is the connection of physical objects to the internet - a Physical World Hyperlink. Camera phones have only been available in most countriesfor four years yet they are fast approaching ubiquity– in 2005, 45 percent of all mobile phones sold in the U.S. were camera phones, with 64 percent in Western Europe and 90% plus in the logical Asian hotspots. Global sales of camera phones is expected to approach a billion a year by the end of this decade – accordingly, Scanbuy’s free software and a mobile phone means that a consumer can connect with a poster, billboard, magazine, newspaper, food packaging, businesscard, city guide, map or merchandising display – it’s a no-brainer to make a dead-as-a-doornail product interactive to the majority of people. 2D barcodes are already the preferred way for Japanese and Korean consumers to access mobile content but the beauty of the Scanbuy system is that it works on any camera phone and doesn’t require a special attachment or built-in bar code reader. The first application of this technology is fairly logical - being able to walk through any physical store and snap the barcode of any onbject and immediately have your phone tell you where else you can buy it and price comparison shop for you. We think that represents significant seismic activity under the foundations of bricks and mortar businesses, but it’s just one aspect of what can happen when you connect the real world to the internet. If you have an idea for how it can work for you, there’s even a software developers kit.  Read More

The credit-card-sized Taxi Hailer

January 7, 2007 Hailing a taxi during peak period is skill requisite for your survival in the urban jungle and this is a sure fire way to be seen - the UKP12.50 Taxi Hailer has the form factor of a credit card and contains an energy efficient super bright LED flashing light. The Taxi Hailer costs UKP12.50 for one, getting down to UKP3.53 for bulk orders and for not much more, you can have them branded for a unique promotional item that it likely to be both kept and appreciated. Via Gizmodo  Read More

Mac tablet computer with GPS

January 7, 2007 Here’s one to look forward to for Mac enthusiasts. The ModBook is the first ever Mac tablet computer solution and we’ll be able to see it without the veil on January 9, at the Macworld Conference & Expo in San Francisco. The Axiotron ModBook is not a Mac product, but uses Apple's Mac OS X Tiger operating system and its own WACOM Penabled hardware to create a high-end slate-style notebook computer that is fully compatible with Apple's Inkwell, a Mac OS X Tiger feature that provides system level handwriting and gesture recognition to all Mac applications. This means you can draw and write directly on the screen for a uniquely intuitive user experience. The slim, slate-style ModBook form factor makes further claims as a very useful tool for mobile users, as there’s an optional built-in Global Positioning System (GPS) developed in cooperation with GlobalSat Technologies using the SiRFstar III chipset.  Read More

The era of digital paper approaches

January 5, 2007 The era of digital paper where we will wirelessly connect to purchase and download a book or pick up the latest edition of a newspaper is approaching fast with the news that Plastic Logic is to build the first commercial scale factory to manufacture plastic electronics. The facility will produce flexible active-matrix display modules for "take anywhere, read anywhere" electronic reader products - thin, light, robust active-matrix displays that offer a reading experience closer to paper than any other technology. “The battery will last for thousands of pages so you can leave your charger at home," said Plastic Logic CEO John Mills. The facility, to be built in "Silicon Saxony" at Dresden in Eastern Germany will be initially capable of producing a million display modules per year and production will start in 2008 and ramp from there. This capacity will enable the creation of some radical new product concepts in a wide range of applications including flexible displays and sensors. Independent experts from IDTechEx forecast plastic electronics will be a US$30 billion industry by 2015, and could reach as much as US$250 billion by 2025. What sort of new gadgets will be possible? Well just check out the image gallery of concept products (pictured) that range from digital passports to boarding passes to maps to menus to any form where the printed word needs to be updatable … amazing new possibilities and efficiencies and every page read helps save a tree.  Read More

The first truly double-sided LCD

January 5, 2007 Each new technological breakthrough, regardless of the vertical market from which it came, seems to have the potential to influence not just its core market but dozens of other verticals. Some technology breakthroughs influence more verticals than others and we can’t help but feel that Samsung’s new double-sided LCD might have a profound effect on the form factor what we’ll be carrying a year or three from now, and subsequently on the content formats for the world’s burgeoning mobile information industry. The LCD can show two different pictures or sets of visual data simultaneously on the front and back of the same screen. Other conventional double-sided LCDs can only show a reverse image of the same video data. The LCD's efficient and ingenious use of light to display images in both transmissive and reflective modes promotes slimmer, more cost-effective products and will replace two display panels with one, thereby reducing overall thickness of mobile products by at least 1mm. The display requires only one backlight, while previous double-screen LCDs require two. One side of the panel operates in a transmissive mode, while the other operates in a reflective mode. By using a unique reflective design that utilizes the light trapped in the opposing screen's transmissive mode, the reflective mode does not solely rely on external light sources.  Read More

US$20 clip-on x6 optical zoom lens for camera phoines

January 4, 2007 Mobile phones with cameras are proving to be immensely useful for many purposes, mainly because they have the advantage of always being with you. Sadly, the evolution of many potential niche markets is being held back by phone manufacturers who wish to sell you their latest 2MPX and no optical zoom model this year before they’ll sell you another one with 4MPX and x2 zoom next year, even though they could deliver a much higher spec now if they wanted to. Accordingly, cameras with high quality optics are still rare and optical zoom lenses on cameras are even rarer. So if you’re one of those people who would like to have a x6 optical zoom on your mobile and would gladly pay big bucks for it, here’s one that will do the job for just US$20. It has a manual zoom and focus but as you can see from the images on their site, it works very well, particularly at that price. The mounting for the zoom clips onto Nokia N72, 6230, 6230i, 6680, 6600, 6630, 7610 and 6681 phones and Sony Ericsson K750i, W800i, W810i and W550i/W600i models. Via the Red Ferret.  Read More

Tangle DNA Sound Portable iPod Speakers

December 20, 2006 Best known for its twistable playthings, Tangle has announced a new design for portable speakers based on its "Fun Twisty Thing" technology. The Tangle DNA Sound iPod Speakers comprise two high powered speakers that seem to float in mid-air as they are gracefully suspended above the speaker base by four twistable Tangles. These Tangles allow you to twist and turn you DNA Sound Speakers in any possible direction.  Read More

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