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BBC: 2005 Looking Good for Gadgets 149

Posted by michael
from the brilliant-deductive-work dept.
wiggles writes "The BBC says, 'The relentless pace of development in the hi-tech world and rampant competition in many of its sectors, particularly among mobile phone firms, all suggests that 2005 is going to be a very good year.' They talk about that (overused?) buzzword 'convergence' and the implications for gadgets in 2005 as we further approach the 'convergence' asymptote. So what 2005 gadgets are Slashdotters looking forward to?" I'm forecasting that 2006 and 2007 are ALSO looking good for gadgets. You heard it here first...
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BBC: 2005 Looking Good for Gadgets

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  • iPhone (Score:3, Insightful)

    by choas (102419) on Monday January 03, 2005 @09:33AM (#11243729)
    I will need to get my hands on an Apple iPhone (or whatever they will call it)

    • While on the phone subject . . .

      Anyone remeber the GLOBALS from Earth Final Conflict? About a 5 inch video monitor that rolls up into the body of the device, Video/Digital camera, GPS, [video]Phone, and a low end computer all in a package that fits not so badly in one hand (when the screen is not engaged/unrolled.)

      I want one of those audio-our ports.
  • Home automation (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ccmay (116316) on Monday January 03, 2005 @09:34AM (#11243731)
    I'm building a house and hoping to be out on the bleeding edge of home automation. There is some very cool IP-based stuff coming out.

    Control4 [control4.com] looks especially interesting.

    -ccm

    • Re:Home automation (Score:1, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      have a look at AMX [amx.com] stuff..not cheap, but very reliable, and the programming backend is a lot more powerful than competitors like crestron!
    • Re:Home automation (Score:3, Informative)

      by Gr8Apes (679165)
      wait for the zigbee [zigbee.org] stuff. Works with your existing G band wireless, no powerline issues, global standards. Should be way cool.
    • Re:Home automation (Score:3, Interesting)

      by kaleco (801384)
      In that case, I'd recommend making the house extensible rather than bleeding-edge with today's technology. Make sure that cable routes throuout the house are easily accessible as well as concealed so that when you decide to tweak something you are able to do so quickly and and painlessly. Oh, and make sure to document the project. I'm sure I speak for most of us when I say it sounds like an interesting thing to do ;)
    • start seeing more X10 popups...

      *ducks*

  • time warp (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ghostprovidence (540255) on Monday January 03, 2005 @09:36AM (#11243740)
    If you live in Korea or Japan you already own the cool gadgets we'll see in 2006 ...
  • I'm hoping/betting the reception issues have more to do with Sprint than the cell phone itself, and I'd really like to ditch either my Palm or my phone.

    Alex.
  • DAB (Score:4, Interesting)

    by spectrokid (660550) on Monday January 03, 2005 @09:38AM (#11243752) Homepage
    A new car stereo with DAB and MP3 for those long drives to work. My wife got a new phone with camera and kitchen sink. We are three weeks later and she still has to place her first usefull phonecall...
    • by CdBee (742846)
      really, we need home radios that have wifi-to-router implemented as well. I am fed up of needing different gadgets to listen to DAB, Mp3, Online radio and conventional FM.

      A USB slot to record live radio onto a memory key would be useful too, although I'd settle for internal caching if it had a big enough hard drive.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 03, 2005 @09:38AM (#11243753)
    The rumor is out there [spotstop.com]...
  • A simple request... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 03, 2005 @09:39AM (#11243760)
    I'm looking forward to a PDA that has decent battery life, costs less than $150, has good software and a decent OS installed on it, accepts compact flash cards, is well-supported, is light and thin, and syncs with my Linux machine without having to use duct tape and an extensive knowledge of kernel operations.

    If there actually is a PDA out there for lazy farts like me, then I'd be grateful for the tip. If there is no such animal, then I hope some company stops focussing on cramming multimedia stuff into a smaller and smaller box and listens to lazy farts like me who just want a good basic PDA and are Linux users.

    • Get an older Palm device. I've been VERY happy with Linux support for the Handspring Visor series. The older ones use AAA batteries and the less older ones use internal lithium batteries. The B&W screens and PalmOS are really nice to battery life... Mine averaged 3-10 days depending on how heavily I used it. You can also get a CF expansion card for the slot in the top if 8 or 16MB isn't enough for you. It syncs beautifully with jpilot, as long as you remember to hit both the sync button on your des
    • a phone with decent, usable features that are added by an engineer rather than a fscking marketing department that wants more shit to put on the spec list.
      a small pda-phone, good battery life, bluetooth and IR, and an SD or xD card reader. that's all i really care about.
      my phone has an endless list of "Features" like 100 memory addresses and voice dial. but there are only 20 voice dial locations. which means that if i want to use voice dial, i've got to portion them out. well, since the voice dial optio
    • Find an old Handspring Visor with a Springboard slot and get the CF reader for that. Magically, you have exactly what you want for probably under $50. And Palms are supported just fine in Linux - Kpilot syncs my Visor very well with Kontact and all the apps within it.

      Newer devices do more than older devices - this isn't new. But don't complain that newer devices do too much for what you want when a thousand older devices must be on eBay looking for a home like yours.
      -N
  • Convergence (Score:3, Funny)

    by CleverNickedName (644160) on Monday January 03, 2005 @09:39AM (#11243763) Journal

    convergence (kn-vûrjns) n.
    1. The act, condition, quality, or fact of converging.
    2. Mathematics. The property or manner of approaching a limit, such as a point, line, function, or value.
    3. The act of putting a clock on an existing gadget.
  • the toys are so expensive and complex. Do you guys really think they will make our life easier?
    • Of course they will. I am getting on one of these [vertu.com] because I feel 20K stg is a small price to pay for the comfort of knowing I have a crystal display cover which is scratch proof. Finally I can sleep at night.
  • WiFi phone (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 03, 2005 @09:41AM (#11243776)
    I am getting one of the new wireless VoIP phones. A friend of mine has one and it is absolutely awesome. As long as you live in the city or an areas where there are many access points it is the best phone you can imagine. Crystal clear calls worldwide with no noticeable delay at minimal bandwith consumption and no cost. WiFi phones rock!
    • Re:WiFi phone (Score:2, Informative)

      by ZakMcCracken (753422)
      Crystal clear calls... until there are 6 of you making calls at the hotspot! There are a lot of scalability problems with VoWiFi (concurrent users competing for bandwidth "collide" all the time, huge overhead for small packets, no call admission control...)

      But vendors are clever: since the overhead is huge for small packets, they might as well use a high-quality 32 kbps codecs in there; so when you're trying out their solution with just one or two phones, you think "wow, the quality is better than any phon
    • I am already using this since last 2 years in bombay india.

      Wireless VoIP Phone [relianceinfo.com].

      USofA really needs to pick up pace as far as mobile tech. is concerned. But will the baby bells controlling so much of the telephony market, I don't see that happening.
  • I travel a fair bit for work, and I would LOVE a Camera or Binoculars that could tell me what I'm looking at. IOW, if I pull up the Binoculars from my window seat on the plane (yes, I'm amused easily), it would be great to tell what city or natural feature I'm currently speeding past.

    For the camera, it would be nice if it told me in a little overlay, and if it stored the info in the EXIF header to make it easier to categorize pictures.

    ---

    Other wierd ideas like this on my blog [blogspot.com] :-)

    • Very interesting. Perhaps by combining a GPS reading and knowing how far the object is from the binoculars, it could consult a database of natural features documented in that area. The Database could be as simple as a file on a SD card or something...
    • People are working on exactly what you're asking for. The field is often called "Augmented Reality" [howstuffworks.com]. There are numerous problems though, and the prototypes that works decently are expensive 20-kg packpacks.

      GPS is not the end-all solution unfortunately, since:
      1) It works really crappy indoors
      2) You need some way of knowing exactly which direction the user is facing. Compases are easily confused so you need gyros. Good gyros are expensive and big.

      ... but it is a really cool field of research.
    • "IOW, if I pull up the Binoculars from my window seat on the plane (yes, I'm amused easily), it would be great to tell what city or natural feature I'm currently speeding past."

      One of the things I really like when I trvel on CSA [www.csa.cz] is a display on the plane that maps our route, gives a list of nearby cities and landmarks, the outside temperature, air speed, ground speed, time in the air and estimated time to arrival. Of course it is a 12 hour flight to the Czech Republic, so I am sure this releaves the flig

      • When I am looking at a city on the ground, I would love to know which city that is.

        I use my GPSR on planes all the time. You should ask permission before the flight takes off, but I've never had anyone say no, and have never had a problem using it(except from the other cattle/passengers who seem to get freaked out if you don't sit there and shut up). Get a window seat and make sure you get the antenna up close. An external antenna helps as well as a method to stick it to the window.

        Great fun seeing where y

  • The Perfect Phone (Score:5, Insightful)

    by global_diffusion (540737) on Monday January 03, 2005 @09:44AM (#11243790) Homepage
    I want the phone I used to have. I bought this Nokia 8600 (8200?) in the year 2000. It was excellent. It was tiny, got great reception and had amazing voice quality. I paid around $150 for it, and it was worth every penny.

    I dropped it once and it stopped working. When I went looking for a new phone, I discovered that Nokia had discontinued the 8600 and the only options for new phones were these large monstrosities with cameras, video games, color screens and picture messaging. Absolutely horrible.

    Now, don't get me wrong, I'm looking forward to the days of wearable computers, but when it comes to a cellphone, all I want is a phone that is small and has good voice quality. The 8200 was the perfect phone. I have no idea why it was discontinued, but all the cell phone makers are playing the same game -- gadgets, gadgets, gadgets. I don't want crazy features, I want something that does its job well, not 15 jobs poorly.

    Here's to hoping that in 2005 cell phone makers will go back to producing good cell phones, and not try to include a camera and an atari emulator on every model!
    • Have you tried ebay, incase somebody is trying to get rid of one?
    • When I switched company half a year ago, I was offerede any phone I wanted by the new company, so I went hunting... I ended up with a siemens S55 [siemens-mobile.com]. The S55 was the lightest phone with the features I wanted (bluetooth and gprs). Can't get any games to work on it, the colors on the screen are kind of off and it's kind of lo-res, no camera, but it's light and small and it was easy to get my T|T3 to connect to the internet over bluetooth and gprs (it was even easier with my new Axim x50v).

      Oh, and it's cheap.
    • I found my old phone. It was an 8210 [nokia.com] (the American version). In grey. Totally sweet.
    • by sczimme (603413) on Monday January 03, 2005 @10:13AM (#11243937)

      Here's to hoping that in 2005 cell phone makers will go back to producing good cell phones, and not try to include a camera and an atari emulator on every model!

      I travel quite a bit to customer sites, and many of them - particularly organizations with very valuable intellectual property (e.g. trade secrets) - explicitly prohibit cameras of any kind. It is my hope that the major mobile phone vendors recognize the need for nicely-featured phones without cameras for use by consultants and other people working in these facilities.
    • I've had my Samsung SGH-x427 [mobiledia.com] for about 6 months now, and it's the best cellphone I've ever used. It's cheap and light, and I can go about a week without charging it.

      It also doesn't have all those features that you don't like, which is one of the reasons that I got it. I love that I can fit it in the leg pocket of my jeans or the breast pocket of my coat, and it's very sturdy - I've dropped it a bunch of times and it hasn't yet skipped a beat.
    • Re:The Perfect Phone (Score:4, Informative)

      by perky (106880) on Monday January 03, 2005 @10:40AM (#11244104)
      Things I want on a phone:
      1. Small
      2. Lots of space for contacts
      3. Synch with Outlook
      4. Some flash memory with a USB socket, like a USB memory stick
      5. Well designed UI
      6. Good audio quality
      7. Shold look recognisably like a phone
      8. Predictive text

      Things I don't want on a phone:
      1. Camera
      2. Video camera
      3. Games
      4. Audio recorder
      5. mini qwerty keyboard
      6. flashlight
      7. GPS
      8. Compass
      9. Microsoft Office
      10. A meda player

      Things that are acceptable as long as they don't get in the way:

      1. GPRS
      2. Some kind of WAP/internet thing
      3. Bluetooth
      4. a Java runtime

      Incidentally, I had the same phone as you until it broke. subsequent models have been larger and less easy to use.

      Also, with reference to "must look like a phone", when Nokia released the 6230 last year, almost everyone I know bought one within 2 months. This was because it didn't look like it was designed by a 12 year old like the previous two years output.

      • by bhima (46039)
        My Girlfriend has this phone that is TINY. I find it almost impossible to use. And I really don't get this incredible shrinking phone thing. The distance from my mouth to my ear is still the same as is the size of my hands. What good is a phone I can't dial?
      • by rwa2 (4391) *
        I'm obviously a bit different from you, but here's what I've been looking for:
        • Large, hi-res color display
        • big but slim
        • touchscreen & navigation buttons
        • GSM / GPRS worldphone
        • Synch with Multisync
        • IR / Bluetooth. Don't really care much about Wifi, I can set up a bridge with my laptop if I really want to extend Wifi for some reason.
        • Removable storage (SD / MMC)
        • No camera
        • No antenna "stub" - they're not really necessary for good reception, other than to make the device look like a phone

        Software:

        • Pri
    • I was disappointed that my 6 year old dualband StarTac would no longer roam in-network on Verizon when I went to Dallas last week. Now I have to buy one of those crap $30 phones with crap voice quality or a $150 phone that's a $30 phone with $120 worth of useless crap and the same crap voice quality. Crap.

      (BTW I live in SF Bay Area CA where the 800 mhz network is alive and well.)
    • monstrosities with cameras, video games, color screens and picture messaging

      Completely agreed. I'm intending to go to these guys [retrofone.com] if I ever need to replace my 8890. Which I hope I don't.

      Peter
  • by PornMaster (749461) on Monday January 03, 2005 @09:50AM (#11243819) Homepage
    I'd like to see a reasonably priced mini-ITX system with actual horsepower...
  • $500 "iMac mini" (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 03, 2005 @09:51AM (#11243832)
    I hope the rumors about this little beast are true-- I'd love to get as many family and friends as possible to switch away from Windows, and the existence of a cheap Mac would be a big help.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 03, 2005 @10:03AM (#11243892)
    I think the relentless pace of development in the hi-tech world and rampant competition will be responsible for many premature releases of buggy gadgets in 2005.
  • E-paper (Score:4, Informative)

    by Foofoobar (318279) on Monday January 03, 2005 @10:05AM (#11243900)
    E-ink has made a partnership with a company that prints circuits on plastic making e-paper a reality. They go into mass production in 2005 making the paperless office a potential reality.
  • Like the console that fits in a joystick [thinkgeek.com] or these oldish-looking cell phones [pokia.com]... what's next in this trend?
    • Retro digital camera's like:

      The first rangefinder digital camera using the Leica M lens-mount: The Epson R-D1

      The LEICA DIGILUX 2 which is expensive but cool

      Or my least favorite: the Rolleiflex MiniDigi, a tiny digital copy of Rollei 6x6cm Twin Lens Reflex Camera

  • Killer smartphone (Score:3, Informative)

    by gilesjuk (604902) <giles,jones&zen,co,uk> on Monday January 03, 2005 @10:16AM (#11243961)
    A mobile phone with:

    MP3 playback, superb sound quality and standard 3.5mm socket.

    GPS receiver and the ability to use standard GPS software for smartphones.

    A very good keyboard (not spongey), either a standard phone type or qwerty as long as the device doesn't look stupid.

    SDIO compatible SD slot

    Wifi

    Good battery life

    Good speakerphone

    Expandable memory

    Non-volatile storage

  • I want a Palm Pilot that does everything my current Palm Pilot does, but without the random crashed and frequent resets when I try to sync, at least with the default applications.

    Oh, and I want a SDIO Wireless Card for it.

    Oh, wait, this is a REAL WORLD list of ideas, not science fiction. My bad. /me unbends another paperclip, having worn the threads off the stylus that unscrews to reveal a reset pin
    • Must be something seriously wrong with your Palm. The only time mine (Tungsten E) has ever crashed is running crappy freeware apps, or test versions of my own software.

      The SDIO wireless would be good: I think the official one will burn out a tungsten E.
      • According to Palm's Tech Support, there's nothing wrong with it. They said I just need to reinstall Documents to Go.

        Never mind the fact that in my original support request, I spelled out in writing that the problems persisted even after a hardware reset.

        In the end I uninstalled Documents to Go. Lovely that an application that came with the device turns out to be a bug ridden slice of pain. In all fairness doing so did eliminate an entire category of errors, so now I can sync the piece of junk with just
        • Yes, Doc to Go is crappy. What happens to the Palm that requires a reset during syncing though? Does it just freeze?

          Personally, I'd just return the thing under warranty to wherever I bought it - that isn't normal Palm behaviour.
    • Wait for those palms with the new Cobalt OS from palm. The OS have been available, but afaik we're still waiting for devices to start using it. I myself can't wait for a Tungsten running Cobalt. It got memory-protection, so applications can't overwrite the memory of others. This should solve a lot of crashes I hope :)
      • Nice as the idea is, I'm afraid I'm already soured on the Palm Platform, largely because of my experiences with their support. They shipped an unreliable, buggy piece of garbage with the T2 (Documents to Go) and can't seem to offer support beyond "reinstall" when users have problems. It's pretty clear their "support" is in the form of untrained staff looking for keywords and sending canned replies. I was continually reminded of the Elizabot when I was dealing with them, and have no intention to repeat th
  • The Nokia 7710 [nokia.com] is a good example of convergence for me, a cell phone with included wide screen PDA, good web browser (with even flash movies support) plus pop/imap mail reader, radio/mp3/video player, webcam, voice recorder, java and even gps, most of the kinds of portable gadgets in one piece.

    Maybe in this year the example is taken by more vendors, and that kind of device grow in features and get lower prices.

  • Let's see how many of them actually make it big. Buy too soon and you might end up with something that's not the standard, no longer supported, surpassed by something else with more functionality, too expensive too use, or incompatible with existing stuff.
  • Actually, I need a gadget that would prevent me from reaching my wallet. Or probably gameshark-like devices for credit cards.

    Nah, I'm looking forward to the Cell processor and the technological advances it would bring.

  • How about a phone that works as a damn phone? I don't need an mp3 player, digital camera, video camera, calendar, notepad, toaster, coffeemaker, dishwasher, steam shovel, etc. All I really want is to be able to place a call with the assurance that it will connect, and remain connected until the end of the conversation. But all those R&D dollars keep manifesting themselves in useless crap like opening animations reminding me to be safe and courteous every time I power up my phone.
  • A linux or palm PDA with integrated wifi, GPS, and a qwerty keyboard - provides normal web browsing and email. Make it a little bigger than the current PDAs if need be. I have waited way to long!
    • Actually, there already is a Zaurus model with Wifi builtin (6000). The thumb keyboard's not bad, but their clamshell models have better keyboards. Too bad the new 3000 doesn't have builtin wireless, but that was a deliberate design decision on their part. GPS works fine on the Zaurus too, albeit with a CF card.

      But the other AC reply to you is right... you'll get sticker shock.

  • by gelfling (6534) on Monday January 03, 2005 @10:47AM (#11244156) Homepage Journal
    I and I suspect most of you over the age of 15 don't need a 'phone' primarilly designed for game play. Though I can't decide which I need more; a device that plays audio CDs and MP3 CDs as well as solid state storage MP3s, or, a phone/PDA combo that can replace an MP3 player as well, as long as the MP3 player doesn't tax the battery much more than the phone how.

    I would like better more commonsense PDA functions in the phone such as Palm conduits to Lotus notes and the ability to sync to a web based public calendar. I'd also like a better phone book, one that allows better integration of email addresses.

    And as a long time T9 user - back when it was used on Palmpilots as well, I have to say, that dog won't hunt anymore. It's too tedious to use effectively for text messaging and email. I think that Samsung and company are just going to have to bite the bullet on this one and provide a fold up keyboard tht connects to the obscure and seemingly useless data port on on VI660 phone in order for me to effectively use PCS vision services.

    And I probably won't get a camera phone unless and until it's a better cheaper and more efficient replacement for a REAL digital camera. And at that, it has to plug directly into a photo printer and unload and print just like the cameras of today.

    In five years I want to get rid of my laptop, PDA, phone, MP3 and CD player and use a single device that doesn't cost as much as a car, runs 2 full days on battery power and is 100% backup-able to some storage device on my homeLAN like a network NAS box.
    • And I probably won't get a camera phone unless and until it's a better cheaper and more efficient replacement for a REAL digital camera. And at that, it has to plug directly into a photo printer and unload and print just like the cameras of today.

      Why in the heck would you want to print a digital picture? I thought the point of digital photography was that you could share it without killing trees. Get Gallery [menalto.com].

      And I'd much rather have everything be Bluetooth enabled and network than carry one huge thing aro

  • It's in the nature of the avarage gadget to be something you don't need until you buy it, or you see everyone else use it. Keeping that in mind, I'm looking forward to improvements on existing stuff much more than getting my hands on new thingies. If the storage space, portability, speed, ease of use, battery life, and of course the price of existing gadgets will really improve, I'll be happy. :)
  • It's gotten a good amount of bad press, but this dual-hinge flip phone/windows PDA still seems like a winner to me. I'll find a way to compensate for the small memory.
  • by pojo (526049) * on Monday January 03, 2005 @11:20AM (#11244412)

    Call me foolish, but I for one am not lusting after convergence. I'd rather have good Bluetooth support. That way, my cell phone, which is good at GSM communications and picture taking, for example, can talk with my iPod which is good at data storage (where all those pictures go). Or my PDA, with it's nice big screen, can download web pages via my cell phone. Or my cell phone can get the next 24 hours worth of appointment information from my PDA, in case I want to travel light for a little while. The scenarios go on and on...

    It just seems a little more elegant than carrying one monolithic brick around with you.

    • Mod parent up.... Great post and no moderator points :-(
    • Why carry 8 half bricks when with 1 you can do all? Not sure about size limitations, but the ideal gadget would be one that have by itself, can be accessed all the features, AND is not a brick... probably the size could be the same as your PDA or smaller even. Check this example [nokia.com] (i made already a comment on it here, im not related with the company, but is a good example) of something that is not a brick and have all those features.

      Also, maybe separate gadgets do their own task better, but somewhat i would

  • Give me ONE DEVICE that will take the place of my cell phone, my 4MP digital camera, my large screen PDA running Linux, and my iPod.

    Make it with an extra long battery life, or on-board power source, and give it removable flash memory or a micro hard drive (oh wait, the iPod already has a hard drive, thank you.)

    That will be convergence enough for me. I don't care what it costs.

    But what would be uber-cool is if it were an Apple product.

    Regards,
    Roger Born
    writing.borngraphics.com
    "Vini Vedi Velcro"
  • Which shrinking electronics every device is going to do all it can. You'll just have several form factors to choose from:
    "pocket size" for voice communication, text messaging, web search, music, small photos, music;
    "head phone" size;
    "clip board" size;
    "desk top" size;
    "wall size" for high quality entertainment.

    MIT's Project Oxygen is experimenting with ubiqitous computing with three of these form factors- handheld, desk and wall. Everything communicates through wifi.
  • Of course, if you all bought one of those nifty new TOYOTA RIDING ROBOTS [gizmodo.com] to ride on, you would not need to converge all your toys. You could carry them all with you, right at your fingertips.

    Ref: http://www.gizmodo.com/gadgets/robots/toyoto-ifoot -and-iunit-026866.php

    =)

    Regards,
    Roger Born
    writing.borngraphics.com
    "Sorry. No Refunds"
  • If companies keep this up, they will find that their new product will not sell, because many people like myself will hold out thinking that a new and better gadget will be released next month.

    it used to be I buy a gadget knowing that at I will be "cool" for at least 6 months, but now I find myself holding out because what's the use of buying that new Uber phone when next month there will be a better cheaper one.

    what this means is that companies will find their products won't sell and that could only mea
    • Sometimes I want to buy some gadget which has certain features, and I look in the local shops, then I can't find it. Instead I find yesterday's (or last year's, or the last 6 month's) model, and for the same price too or even overpriced.
      I don't buy in that case, if anything I might buy online from another country, cheaper and a more recent model.
  • by WillAdams (45638) on Monday January 03, 2005 @12:03PM (#11244872) Homepage
    Unfortunately, Apple, the company with some of the best pen technology and hardware engineering capabilities steadfastly refuses to make a successor to a product which was an excellent ebook reader (and personal digital assistant --- inaugurating the term) --- unfortunately the only pen computing solutions Apple offers are Macs w/ Wacom graphic tablets (I mislike working on one surface and watching what happens on another, and gave up on schlepping a graphics tablet and a laptop around when I got my NCR-3125) or a PowerMac w/ a Wacom Cintiq --- that last is a pretty cool (albeit expensive) solution, but it's uncommon enough not much software specifically takes advantage of it (Alias' Sketchbook was ported to Mac OS X after many requests). Contrast this w/ the situation for Windows Tablet PCs and look at http://www.ambientdesign.com/artrage.html &c.

    Think of it as an extension to the iPod line --- the iPod lets one carry all of one's music (as a backup too) and modify the order it plays in --- the iPod Photo adds all of one's images to that --- how about a further upscale unit to allow one to carry all of one's documents?

    Even if it did nothing but display a .pdf version (why aren't .pdfs as document previews in bundles a standard for apps these days?) and allowed one to do basic annotation and mark up it'd still be fabulously useful (can you say ebooks? importing annotations from Acrobat and applying them as revisions in Word? extending this functionality to support all Cocoa apps?)

    If it's set up to be a Macintosh computer as well, being able to run Mac applications is a huge benison is just icing on the cake, but just basic use (calendaring / scheduling, note-taking, document annotation) in situations where a laptop is inappropriate / inconvenient (meetings, interviews, while walking about), and having the (portable!) equivalent to a Wacom Cintiq whet it's attached to one's Macintosh (look at the program Maxivista for an example of how this could work) is certainly worthwhile.

    And of course, it'd be nice to replace my Newton which I still use for contact management (synch w/ iCal and AddressBook.app), note-taking (port the Newton user interface and Notepad) and of course, reading some ebooks (incl. .html versions --- port Safari).

    William
    (whose Stylistic has music, hundreds of ebooks, a complete graphic design portfolio _and_ all the tools necessary to update and work on said portfolio --- see http://members.aol.com/willadams/portfolio.html --- including a copy of TeX, LyX &c.)
    • why aren't .pdfs as document previews in bundles a standard for apps these days?

      why do .pdfs even exist these days? the latest HTML standards are capable of doing pretty much everything a .pdf can do, and they're viewable by anything running a standard-compliant web browser, my bloody coffee pot has a damned web browser.
      there's nothing more annoying than searching the web only to run into a wall of pdfs that acrobat won't accurately utilize my scroll wheel to read(why the hell is the scroll wheel default

  • I'll even go as far as to say 2008 and 2009 should be good technology years as well. And you heard that from me first.

    *wink*
  • [i]"...as we further approach the 'convergence' asymptote..."[/i] Asymptote is right. You can approach it but never touch it. Why work towards something that you can never acheive? Maufacturers need to pick up on Apple's philosophy of making devices that do one (or two) thing(s) but do them extremely well.
  • If the only cool gadgets coming out in 2005 are new cell phones, then I think 2005 is just sad and pathetic when it comes to new gadgets.
  • A mobile phone that is actually a mini-PC running Linux with a fixed IP address, a permanent connection to the Internet and an affordable, flat-rate subscription. One day, I believe that all mobile phones will do this and that all mobile phone companies will offer this service. After a while there won't be a difference between an ISP and a mobile phone company.

    Now, once I have a phone like this, I'll want something extra for it too: a pair of small, backwards/forwards facing cameras with built-in micropho
    • I love the idea of the glasses with HUDs and microphones. One day, it will be normal to have these features. Several years down the road.
  • Open platforms (Score:3, Insightful)

    by jmorris42 (1458) * <`jmorris' `at' `beau.org'> on Monday January 03, 2005 @02:32PM (#11246332)
    Too often the cell companies design with the "Phone Company" mindset; i.e. they design a totally closed platform that they control so they can extract revenue from you. Yes the gadget can do cool ringtones, take pictures and play games.... at a per use charge for each.

    If it isn't an open platform you can count me out. By open I don't mean it has to run Linux, but if I can't get a devel kit at little (use the pricing and availibility for the official Palm devkit as an example) or no cost it isn't open. If I can't download apps from sourceforge and install them without the vendor's blessing it isn't open. Notice that even WinCE is open by this definition.

    Yes I understand that some parts of a cellphone's firmware must be unchangable for reasons that are obvious to anyone with an understanding of how things work, but the rest should be as open as possible, and standardized across multiple product lines and vendors is a big plus.
  • With no flying car on the list, I'm dissapointed. Nothing to see here.
  • I'd like a phone built into my glasses. It could be voice controled with a heads up display projected onto the inside of the lens.

You can do this in a number of ways. IBM chose to do all of them. Why do you find that funny? -- D. Taylor, Computer Science 350

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