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  1.    #1  
    http://www.zdnet.com/zdnn/stories/ne...kpt=zdhpnews01

    Don't want to be a jerk...especially to those who shelled out $600 bucks for this thing...but I do believe I called this one here:

    http://www.visorcentral.com/page/0-4-73-4-4.htm

    Can you believe that...after all the houpla...bang...she's gone...along with the entire Net Appliance division...which I always thought was going in the wrong direction.

    This is what I mean about not jumping over to the new Palm too quickly...six months from now they could drop the whole thing...you just never know. I use to be a "leap before you look" technophile...but I just have been burned too many times.
    I saw that everyone else had a signature and I felt left out, so here is mine.
  2. #2  
    Don't want to be a jerk...especially to those who shelled out $600 bucks for this thing...but I do believe I called this one here:
    With all due respect, agraham999, I think a LOT of people called this one

    The audrey was one of those "solution looking for a problem" products. It was and is a great piece of design, but it really didn't serve any consumer's core needs and/or wants.

    As a proof of concept, I think it was great...and that is why it is a bit of a bummer that they killed the whole thing. They should never have released the Audrey commercially, but rather, they should have kept it as part of their research division. So few companies are valuing tech research these days, it seems. They all rush half idealized concepts to the market and when they inevitably fail, they just scrap the entire thing.

    It is sad to see the Kerbango go as well. Again, a great piece of design but a product without an audience. Most people that listen to internet radio religiously do so without the need of another 'internet appliance'. Those that don't listen to internet radio don't. A Kerbango wasn't going to change their mind.

    This is an interesting quote:

    "is the latest evidence of a growing trend. Namely, consumers don't want simplified computing devices for surfing the Web, or at least they don't want them yet. "

    There's a lot of truth to that. I think people DO want easier ways to surf the net, but, again, those that DO want that ALREADY use computers...they have no intention of leaving the computer metaphor just to have another internet device.

    Until people realize that they NEED the internet just as they NEED a phone, these internet appliances really don't have much room in the consumer's wish-list.

    There's also the issue that the Audrey was designed only as a dial-up, corded device. That pretty much ruled out the entire tech-saavy consumer audience, as most of them have high-speed and/or wireless connectivity in their house. Had the Audrey been wireless-ethernet compatible AND a bit cheaper, I think it may have been a viable product.

    Now...who has the Audrey on sale now?...
    We're all naked if you turn us inside out.
    -David Byrne
  3. #3  
    The killer product Audrey could have been would have come with a universal 802.11fast (100Mb/s) base station that would connect to the internet either via phone line, DSS, Cable, or wirelessly if another 802.11 network hub was close by. The audrey would speak to the www via this base station.

    The device would have had a nuclear battery, so that it basically never needed new batteries or to be charged.

    You could take it anywhere in your house: On your lap on the sofa, on the kitchen counter, in the workshop/garage, on the bed in the bedroom, out in the garden, etc.. No matter where you needed it, it would have internet access and unlimited power. None of this confined-to-the-desk mentality.

    It would be instant-on. For that matter, the next version of ANY desktop OS should be too. Since getting my instant-on Visor Platinum, it really irks me to have to wait for my desktop to boot. I don't suppose Palm is considering a desktop version of their OS?

    The screen would be full color, auto-adjusting for any light conditions, anti-glare, and HDTV resolution. It would be touch-sensitive, and have a texture that doesn't show fingerprints. It would have a thin tactile keyboard that flips out and covers the lower 1/3 of the screen. When the keyboard is out, the image area automatically condenses to fit in the remaining 2/3 of the screen.

    The back of the device would be bean-bag pillow soft. It would conform to whatever surface it was set on (lap, desktop, deck rail, etc.), and allow you to "prop" the device to a useful viewing angle. The rest of the case would be a soft, easy to hold onto rubber/plastic. Very hard to lose your grip on. Tending not to slip off of anything, even sloping surfaces you might set it on.

    It would weigh no more than a Visor does, but be roughly 9x12 inches rectangular, and no more than 1" thick. It would be impervious to damage from drops, spills, abuse, etc..

    It would be able to receive and show audio/video streamed via the 802.11fast base station. The base station should have audio/video inputs for hooking into your home theater devices. Heck, the base might even have it's own camera device built in. If you're out in the back yard with your Audrey, someone indoors at the base station could "get your attention" by sending you an instant video message. You could see and talk to them if they were at the base station. You could use it as a TV monitor to watch your favorite shows, but while out on the porch sitting on the swing. No sense letting that great screen go to waste.

    The device would have earphone jack(s), but also a focused multi-source speaker system built into it. If you were facing the screen, you could hear it. Anyone behind or offset from the screen image could not. Private audio.

    And the whole thing would sell for $499, base station included.

    I'll take two.

    Dave ;-)
    There is nothing yet made by man that cannot be improved upon.
  4.    #4  
    I'll take it!
    I saw that everyone else had a signature and I felt left out, so here is mine.
  5. #5  
    A few notes: Audrey was able to connect to high speed internet through an optional ethernet adapter (No wireless though).

    Net Appliances will never catch on as long as they're more expensive than a computer. I also don't believe the Audrey was the best form factor, personally I think Netpliance got it right with the thin LCD & the other form factor that will go over big are web pads, but I'm not sure if battery life is there yet.

    I've decided to begin saving up to outfit my home with a wireless network & tons of cheap computers, + X10. Hopefully this summer.
    Matt Nichols
    VigoSpraxPalm@Yahoo.com
  6. #6  
    Net Appliances will never catch on as long as they're more expensive than a computer.
    I agree. One of the big problems is that these companies are trying to market the net appliances as alternatives to owning a computer. People that don't own computers, aren't going to be THAT interested in a net'pliance anyways.

    A net'pliance is a companion to your home computer, and, as you send, as long as they are as much a computer, why would you get a net'pliance.

    Speaking of net'pliances, does anyone know anything about hooking up the PS2 to ethernet? I know when thay originally came out, one of the selling points was the fact that you could use it as a web-tv type device. I finally got a PS2 and would love to be able to take advantage of that feature.
    We're all naked if you turn us inside out.
    -David Byrne
  7. #7  
    Originally posted by agraham999
    This is what I mean about not jumping over to the new Palm too quickly...six months from now they could drop the whole thing...you just never know.

    i hate to nit-pick alan, BUT...

    handspring has introduced new Visors with a different OS version which inturn use modules that aren't supported on older visors.

    Handspring recently introduced a whole new springboard connector and has mentioned that future modules will use this new connector

    Handspring, in interviews, has mentioned on a few occasions that they may build devices with another OS.


    hmmm...i really don't think Palm is the one i'd worry about (considering I couldn't see Palm switching to another OS completely, which at least eliminates 1 of the 3 above).

    Just an observation. I'd be more worried about a company like Handspring 'dropping' the whole thing. Smaller company, not tied to the OS, etc.

    Now back to the Audrey. It wasn't the greatest device in the world, however, for alittle less cost I wouldn't mind having one of these in my family (if i had kids) to help organize and teach the youngsters a few things....but only if it was about half the cost!
    wow, it's been awhile.....things have REALLY changed...why is my Visor Edge still in my hand? Will a Treo fit better?
  8. #8  
    Originally posted by DBrown
    The device would have had a nuclear battery, so that it basically never needed new batteries or to be charged.
    You've been watching too much 60's Batman. (Atomic batteries to power, turbines to speed!)
    "Hey! Check out these cresent-fresh skulls in my salad!"- Sifl & Olly
  9.    #9  
    Hoser,

    I don't mind if you nitpick...as long as you realize you are wrong.

    Just kidding.

    Internet appliances will be back...the problem with Audrey is that it isn't a dumb terminal. When we all have a server in our house...and faster net connections...we'll use them wireless in each room. But dial-up...no way. Tethered to a cord...nope. One person here made a good point...if grandma doesn't want a computer...she doesn't want one of these...yet.


    Hey...I am upset about the Kerbango thing...I did want one of those...how pissy...you buy a company for $80 million...and then tank the product. Argh!

    I'll bet the founders are a little peeved.

    A DSL connection...Kerbango...and you are listening to any radio station in the world.

    Jerks.
    I saw that everyone else had a signature and I felt left out, so here is mine.
  10. #10  
    Originally posted by homer

    Speaking of net'pliances, does anyone know anything about hooking up the PS2 to ethernet? I know when thay originally came out, one of the selling points was the fact that you could use it as a web-tv type device. I finally got a PS2 and would love to be able to take advantage of that feature.
    See that big empty space in the back of your PS2? Thats where the HardDrive/Ethernet combo will go. It would probably have a web browser so you'd get some of the WebTV experience, no integration with shows though.

    Sony is still working on the network to support all this. By summer I think we'll see the third-party analog modems (which are being released in Japan soon) come over here, they plug into the USB ports. Rumour is we'll see Sony start to get their network together near the end of this year, wouldn't be surprised if it launches to compete with X-Box/GameCube. Sega is also maybe helping them with setting up the network, since they have some experience.
    Last edited by Matthew Nichols; 03/22/2001 at 11:15 PM.
    Matt Nichols
    VigoSpraxPalm@Yahoo.com
  11. #11  
    Originally posted by agraham999
    [B]http://www.zdnet.com/zdnn/stories/ne...kpt=zdhpnews01

    Don't want to be a jerk...especially to those who shelled out $600 bucks for this thing...but I do believe I called this one here:

    http://www.visorcentral.com/page/0-4-73-4-4.htm
    /B]
    Actually it seems Yardie called this one.
    http://discussion.visorcentral.com/v...ghlight=audrey

    Thanks for mentioning Audrey, it brings me back to my wishlist hybrid springboard/case that I'd like to design, but I have no problem with someone beating me to it.
    "The Greatest obstacle to discovery is not ignorance -- it is the illusion of knowledge." -- Daniel Borstin
  12. #12  
    Hey...I am upset about the Kerbango thing...I did want one of those...how pissy...you buy a company for $80 million...and then tank the product. Argh!

    I'll bet the founders are a little peeved.
    Yea...I'd be pissed of too if someone bought my product for $80,000,000

    Actually, the Kerbango was cool, but, again, pointless. Anyone that listens to internet radio listens to it on their computer. Why would I buy ANOTHER device to do something my current computer already does?

    Matt:

    You mean that if and when they get their add-on internet thing for the PS2 released, I'd have to use THEIR network? Ugh. There goes that idea, I guess.
    We're all naked if you turn us inside out.
    -David Byrne
  13.    #13  
    Homer,

    Very simple...my house is networked...and I don't have computers in every room. I would like to play these stations upstairs...my computers are downstairs...with the exception of my laptop...which I don't want to listen to music on. I have a wireless setup as well...so I can listen to any MP3 or even any radion station from anywhere in the house...the problems is that my fiance doesn't always want to lsiten to the same thing that I do.

    Kerbango isn't for you.

    However...your arguement about the $80,000,000 isn't fair. I developed a technology that was acquired by a very large company...something I slaved over for a year to get completed...and they bought it...and then buried it. They bought it to keep it from competing with another product they were developing...and they didn't tell me that.

    When you put a lot of work into something like that...and it never sees the light of day...it is very dissapointing. There were a lot of people who worked for Kerbango that probably didn't get rich...they slaved over something cool...and it is dead before it even got a chance.
    I saw that everyone else had a signature and I felt left out, so here is mine.
  14. #14  
    agraham999:

    Very valid points. You are right, it would be nice to have the Kerbango in my house. It WAS a cool appliance...and it probably had a future down the road (when internet radio finally began to sound good).

    Of course, that's further proof that the product was not really conceived for a consumer market. Those that would be interested in a Kerbango would most likely be those with broadband, networked homes. That's a fairly small market to go after by such a large company.

    I do understand that people probably were quite disappointed in not seeing their technology fully realized. That happens all the time, though. That's business. I've been in the very same boat before.
    We're all naked if you turn us inside out.
    -David Byrne
  15. #15  
    I think it's a strait cost thing. If they could have done it for a 100 bucks, there may have been a market. Desktops are getting dirt cheap so I just don't see the point.
    Mark Cambie
  16. #16  
    Originally posted by homer

    You mean that if and when they get their add-on internet thing for the PS2 released, I'd have to use THEIR network? Ugh. There goes that idea, I guess.
    It would probably be like Segas, where when I say they need to setup the "network" I'm reffering to getting game servers & such. Most likely if you go with their ISP you'll get less latency in online games.
    Matt Nichols
    VigoSpraxPalm@Yahoo.com
  17. #17  
    Well, I'm not surprised that the Audrey was a flop. All of these dead IAs have one thing in common...they don't connect to a PC! These devices always try to replace the PC, and they always fail!

    In my opinion, web pads that wirelessly connect to a PC (that acts as a server) will probably succeed. I like the idea of sitting in my living room, browsing the web on my WebPad. That could work.
  18. #18  
    Just remember foo fighter, we're not as rich as you. Price is another problem. I'd rather sit in front of my computer to browse rather than spend $500 to get a webpad that connects to my PC. I think 350-400 is the magic spot, once they can get an IA for that cheap, and one that connects to PC, people will buy.
  19. #19  
    Another thing that kills all these internet access devices is the lack of choice in service provider.. If I already have cable/dsl service or a free work related (and paid for by work) highspeed net connection, I CERTAINLY don't want to pay another $19.95/month (or more) for the privilege to go on the net. I'd like to buy a device that I can decide how to connect to the net with, sure pre-pack and define a default internet service package for novices but give me the choice to override that if I choose.. Another thing about freedom of choice is if the device company folds or the "internet service provider" goes out of business or net service becomes cheaper, I want to be able to switch. I find it insane to pay $500 for a device that could be useless in a few months. The aspect of privacy also comes into this, how do I know my web surfing habits are not being monitor and tracked without my expressed permission (like the way TiVo tracks you,, every press of the remote control, everything you watch or record, it all goes back to HQ without your knowledge - do you even get compensated for that information, NO, is there a privacy option in the TiVo setup screen, no).. That is valuable information, and if anything I want to decide who gets it and how I am compensated for providing that (if I even choose).
    "One of the most important things you learn from the internet is that there is no ‘them’ out there. It’s just an awful lot of ‘us’." -- Douglas Adams
  20. #20  
    Originally posted by b1lanceman
    Just remember foo fighter, we're not as rich as you.
    I'm rich? Damn, that's news to me! And here all this time I've been working my @ss off everyday for nothing, when I could have been lounging around on some beach sipping pineapple chasers. Why does everyone here suddenly think I'm rich? I have to pay bills like everyone else. Geez!

    Price is another problem. I'd rather sit in front of my computer to browse rather than spend $500 to get a webpad that connects to my PC. I think 350-400 is the magic spot, once they can get an IA for that cheap, and one that connects to PC, people will buy.
    I agree, and I wouldn't spend $500 for a webpad either. That's why I don't have one now...even though I'm rich.

    Your right. Once the price starts dipping into the sub-$300 range, we might start seeing broader adoption. For now Internet Appliances are just an emerging technology that hasn't matured yet.
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