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Hardware Software Linux Technology

A Linux Machine For Your Collar 318

Posted by timothy
from the eudaemonic-pie dept.
MadSaxon writes "gumstix.org has a brief but titillating description of a very small Linux machine based on the PXA255: 20 x 80 mm, '64MB SDRAM, 4MB Flash, MMC/SD/SDIO slot, and power management. It takes 3.6V - 5.0V power, and has been drawing under 200 mA.' It weighs less than 12g sans battery, and 'can fit in a collar undetected.' Is collar-top computing the Next Big Thing?"
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A Linux Machine For Your Collar

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  • Neat item (Score:4, Interesting)

    by grub (11606) <slashdot@grub.net> on Wednesday January 28, 2004 @01:14PM (#8113927) Homepage Journal

    So many possibilties:

    Link to these lie-detector glasses [slashdot.org] for better detection.

    Card counting in Vegas.

    Covert recording of conversations (low bitrate MP3?)

    The chicks. Well.. maybe not the chicks..

    Anyhow, this is moot. I can't recall the last time I wore a shirt with a collar.. :)

  • Why not wireless? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Sean80 (567340) on Wednesday January 28, 2004 @01:16PM (#8113957)
    It has always struck me that putting more and more power close to people is the wrong way to go. Instead, why not make these machines effectively a "dumb terminal" and hook it in the Internet through a wireless connection, where it would interact with web services? Then, you can have a supercomputer on your side, and you wouldn't even know it.

    But, I guess that goes against the post. My other thought is the social stigma associated with these things. I still get people telling me in an embarassed tone of voice that they can't remember my number any more without their cell phone handy. I see these things being huge in the area of 'intelligence augmentation' and 'external memories', if only people could accept that learning things rote is no longer something we actually have to do any more.

  • by torpor (458) <ibisum.gmail@com> on Wednesday January 28, 2004 @01:18PM (#8113981) Homepage Journal
    ... i dunno that i'd be all 'collar' about it.

    i'd definitely wear one of these in my leather jacket, though.

    seems like it would be a good fit for 'seams', and i can think of a million uses for linux-enabled clothes, really ... especially if i can put an 802.11g-friendly antennae thread somewhere.

    combine it with todays 'bendy LCD' materials, and we could, finally, be rid of the package-gadget dilemna forever. (clothes become computing devices.)

    "hi, i'm home, its me, this is my pgp key, turn on the lights and wake up the studio ..."

    "constant-slashdot feed, on my collar lcd..."

    "location-based websites" - now, here is an idea whose time has come: an internet based entirely on -physical- proximity.

    who knows, maybe devices like this could save the music industry. if my clothes walked away with legit .mp3s' of the concert i just attended, i'd attend more concerts.
  • How About a Watch? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Cpt_Kirks (37296) on Wednesday January 28, 2004 @01:19PM (#8113991)
    Put this in a watch and I will buy one.

    I've been looking for a geeky watch. The IBM Linux watch doesn't look like it is ever going to come out.

    Add a tiny color touch screen, some buttons and a tiny speaker/mic.

    The SD slot has lots of possibilities (I mean other than "wrist pr0n").
  • by SmallFurryCreature (593017) on Wednesday January 28, 2004 @01:21PM (#8114023) Journal
    You keep your neck undented. Things in my pocket have to survive me bending over and such. The connectors on portable players always get damaged because of that. Same with the antenna's on old phones. Add to it your keys, loose change and handkerchief and you got a hostile enviroment.

    Belt? Even worse in many ways. In a working enviroment things tend to snag. And if you are crawling around after wires this is not nice.

    So yeah the collar would be an intresting spot. A safe place on the body. How often do you bump your hips into something and how often your throath?

    Of course the original reference was humorous intended but I just dislike it when people automatically snub an idea just because they refuse to think for a second about a new possibilty.

  • by tweakt (325224) * on Wednesday January 28, 2004 @02:20PM (#8114649) Homepage
    It has always struck me that putting more and more power close to people is the wrong way to go. Instead, why not make these machines effectively a "dumb terminal" and hook it in the Internet through a wireless connection, where it would interact with web services? Then, you can have a supercomputer on your side, and you wouldn't even know it.

    You're exactly right, that is the way things are headed. But stop to think about the local computing power that may be required. Things like sophisticated video compression algorithms, speech recognition, and in the future perhaps an intelligent agent which sifts through data and presents useful items (think advanced version of dashboard). All of these things will need power close to the cpu. After that, Sun had it right, "The Network is the Computer". Especially for storage of data, etc. But there will always be a baseline requirement for local computing power.

    Also, another idea to consider. By offloading processing power... ie, the "dumb terminal" approach, you take away the power to customize your experience. You effectively end up with an advertising receiver. You'll be powerless to access the types of information that you're interested in, and the device becomes more like a television, only capable of doing what it's preprogrammed to. Most people will not go to the effort to set up their own web services to connect to.

    Distributed processing power is the future. But with lots of power spread out over millions of portable devices all interconnected, it becomes more of a social appliance that a number crunching system.

    (I drift off topic...)

    Personally what I'm most interested in are assistive agents. I think in the future you may be considered handicapped to NOT have one of these things someone on your person allowing you to tap into the global network, maybe even subconciously. Think instant google searches based on something you're thinking about, augmenting your memory automatically. Some really cool stuff, just hope the economy keeps together so I see it happen in my lifetime.

  • by wolf- (54587) on Wednesday January 28, 2004 @03:28PM (#8115338) Homepage
    If a Woman can be kept off a plane for a heated jacket with wires protruding, how are geeks going to explain to airport security why their shirts are beeping?

"Mach was the greatest intellectual fraud in the last ten years." "What about X?" "I said `intellectual'." ;login, 9/1990

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