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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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  • 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

  • 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...
  • 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.

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

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 03, 2005 @09:42AM (#11243780)
    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!
  • by ewanrg (446949) * <ewan@grantham.gmail@com> on Monday January 03, 2005 @09:43AM (#11243788) Homepage
    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] :-)

  • Re:Home automation (Score:3, Interesting)

    by kaleco (801384) <greig.marshall2@ ... t e r n e t .com> on Monday January 03, 2005 @09:49AM (#11243816)
    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 ;)
  • 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...
  • 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.

  • by rwa2 (4391) * on Monday January 03, 2005 @11:46AM (#11244679) Homepage Journal
    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:
    • Primary PIM device - all of my other calendars & address books on other computers and group pages would sync off this one.
    • mapping software with bluetooth GPS support, so I can stick the GPS receiver somewhere (on the dashboard, on my shoulder) where it gets reception, and use the actual map in front of me. Mapopolis seems pretty good in this respect, though my wet dream would be something more like Google's Keyhole Earthviewer with remote GPS support (maybe it'll be usable through VNC to a home computer)
    • ssh, with enough keybindings to actually make it usable (amazing how many virtual or real keyboards don't include enough keys of a "standard" 101 key keyboard to do everything you need to in a terminal
    • VNC, preferably through and ssh tunnel
    • Offline browsing with Plucker or something sufficiently plucker-like
    • Online browsing with Avantgo or a full-featured browser
    • Maybe some kind of IM thing, though I haven't really gotten into any of the current crop
    • Would be nice to have some sort of media player, but I don't care all that much
    • So far, I've got my sights set on the next version of the Treo 650 (without a camera, because of work no-camera policies, not that I would miss the camera much anyway). It probably fails on the VNC through SSH thing (unless someone made an integrated secure VNC client already). Also, I should be able to migrate up from my Visor Pro fairly easily, and though I haven't gotten multisync to work yet, I'm pretty happy with using JPilot to sync under Linux (I've never been able to get any of the Win32 tools to restore any of my Visors from backup properly when they get hard reset.)

      I've played a bit with an iPaq h5450 from work, and haven't been too happy with it. Of course, it was running PocketPC 2002, but the touchscreen petered out before I could upgrade it to PocketPC 2003, and it costs $200 to replace (no thank you). I'm currently running GPE 2.5 on it (since xstroke isn't as picky as WinCE and OPIE about the touchscreen not working right), but GPE isn't quite as usable as OPIE. I've even gone through the lengths of installing a Debian ARM distro on a 1GB compactflash so I could run mozilla on it. While all that is interesting, I don't really use it for more than viewing Plucker pages at the moment :P

      PalmOS still seems to have more genuinely useful software than WinCE and even Linux on handhelds at the moment, so I'm not too afraid of going the Treo route... it does break my long-standing "no devices more than $200 in my pocket" rule, but if there's anything "convergence" would do for me, it would be to justify replacing 2-3 $200 devices so I can bend this rule a bit :>

The trouble with opportunity is that it always comes disguised as hard work. -- Herbert V. Prochnow

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