View Poll Results: What's the real next step in the evolution of the PDA?

Voters
26. You may not vote on this poll
  • Multimedia

    9 34.62%
  • wireless conectivity

    11 42.31%
  • KISS method (Keep It Simple Stupid) Just stick with Organizing capabilites.

    3 11.54%
  • Other

    3 11.54%
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  1.    #1  
    Since the release of the Palm M500/M505 there was a lot of disappointment over lack of major improvements/innovations. Now there is a lot of debate on what is the true next step for PDA's. PDA's have come a long way since their Organizer only days. They now serve for many purposes today.

    IMHO multimedia is the direction that Palm needs to take very seriously. I'm not saying that the burden the OS with bells and whistles. But there is a growing audience that wants it. Look at the success of the EyeModule, MP3 players for the Visor, TealMovie, GMovie, and the slew of games. Sure they can still make the plain vanilla but I am certain that if device that could handle multimedia well, it would win. PDA's are not just for the corporate types. It will soon be a part of most everyone's lives.

    So my question is what capabilities will allow a device to be called the next generation device and not just a minor tweak.
    Last edited by mikedemo; 06/06/2001 at 11:14 AM.
    -Mikedemo
    It's all about how you spend the money.
  2. #2  
    I'm thinking more along the lines of wireless conectivity. Mulitmedia starts to branch out from the philosophy that made Palm great. If they can add wireless-ness without raping form factor, and if they can increase coverage, and if that wireless connection would also work to communicate with an existing network (including the ability to sync with any computer on that network that has the available software), I think wireless could work beautifully. It's implementation on the handheld needs to be as simple to use as the built-in apps (PQA's are the right idea). Multimedia is too limited unless you can get some serious sound quality at a decent volume and a larger screen without sacrificing battery life.
    -Joshua
    I've decided to become enigmatic.
  3. ubik's Avatar
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    5 Posts
    #3  
    I would not say multimedia as such, but just higher resolution. As an artist, the only thing I am really waiting for is an energy efficient color display with somewhere around 200dpi. If someone would do that, then I could show samples of my work on the device.

    I have no desire to watch movies, or even play games (that is what the GameBoy is for) on my PDA, but being able to carry around at least a viewable copy of my portfolio would be invaluable. Unfortunately, 160 X 160 just doesn't cut it unless you are showing how well you can draw desktop icons.

    The new Cile is almost there, but the color saturation is a little weird, and I would love to see slightly better resolution.
    The goal is to overcome the deliberate nature of the process.
  4.    #4  
    Originally posted by ****-richardson
    I'm thinking more along the lines of wireless connectivity. Multimedia starts to branch out from the philosophy that made Palm great.

    Good point. Maybe I should have said "well thought out Multimedia". I'm not just looking for a gluttony of Audio and Video. I think if it is well thought out, multimedia will flourish on PDA's as it does on the web. Here are some of my ideas.

    1) PDA could be deployed with training materials access on the device directly or wirelessly.

    2) Think about Macromedia Flash running on Palm device. (Which right now they have no plans to develop for palm because of the limitations of Palm OS)Again used wisely it could further enhance the PDA experience. Flash is a powerful tool that generates small files that contain great amounts of interactivity (Macromedia has already developed a Flash Player for the PPC). Wireless devices would love Flash.

    3) Support built in OS to handle standard image file types for example: gif, Jpeg, bmp and maybe pct. Then the OS would handle graphics/photos much better. And don't tell me people don't want the ability to effortlessly store photos of friends, family or colleagues.

    4) Better Audio built in. Common if a Gameboy can have sound and its cheap why can't a Palm have it? I'm not looking for they quality of a SoundBlaster Card but the old style PC speaker sound now is just unacceptable.

    The real next generation device will be a beautiful medium between the Palm and Pocket PC devices. You'll have wireless and true support for audio and video playback.
    -Mikedemo
    It's all about how you spend the money.
  5. #5  
    My vote went for wireless. This is what I think is the next evolutionary step for PDAs. They are already very small and portable so wireless access to the internet or a company network is complementary to its purpose. However, I believe what most people want is multimedia. That is why PocketPC popularity is gaining very rapidly. People want to watch movies, listen to their music, etc. To be honest I'd like to have both.
    -Vincent
  6.    #6  
    I think you can get both. The Visor Phone and a Prism can sort of give you that now. I just want better handling of the multimedia. If Palm ignores it PPC or the new Linux devices will kill them.

    Just look at PCs sold today. You will rarely find them without multimedia capabilites unless they are meant to act as a server of some sort. Would you buy a PC for yourself with decent audio or video capabilities? Probably not.

    Multimedia is what made the web explode. It's what really forced all PC manufactures to make mulimeda a standard.

    I think wireless and multimedia are gonna be joined at the hip.
    -Mikedemo
    It's all about how you spend the money.
  7. #7  
    All of the above!! A PDA with a simple intial presentation, but more power and flexibility for those savvy enough to peel away the layers and get to it.

    Also, I would like a wireless device with no external antenna, like BlackBerry.
    "That IS a Palm III form-factor in my pocket, AND I'm happy to see you...."
  8. #8  
    I voted wireless, but would have rathered "all of the above."
    We spec. re a TV SB a week or 2 back, and the gen. consensus was like: "TV's mutlimedia didn't exactly up the intellect of the world, as it had promised in the 1950s."
    MM is "nice" if you can get it -- but not CRUCIAL. That's why phones outsell PDAs like 100:1 -- they're CRUCIAL. Even a wireless PDA (for most ordinary folks) prob. doesn't compare. If you can get a phone in there, too -- I'll be they'll be interested.
    Nobody's talking about it now, but I bet MS's Stinger is going to be a deadly threat to all. (Esp. if they can dev. a lot of SW quickly.)
    I agree about GIF & JPG (ESP. GIF!!! This is almost SMALL-TIME-MM-PERSONIFIED!!! It's INSANE for this not to be enabled, say, on a Prism!!!).
    BMP spells BLOAT, tho, IMHO.
    Ditto Flash -- I even disable it on desktops that don't have it loaded already; I think people who have Flash-only sites are nuts, cutting their aud. way down. Maybe in a yr. or 2, but not nec. now. PPC is notorious for loading in "ev. but the kitchen sink" whether or not it's useful, so you can't really count that.
    "Great Spirits Have Always Encountered Violent Opposition From Mediocre Minds." -- Albert Einstein
  9. #9  
    If I ever get rich, I'll start up a company that builds custom Palm-OS PDA's.

    The reason, is that JOE CEO may not want to play Mp3's, but may want an M505 with a HandERA screen.
    Jane CEO may want a Grayscale PDA to save battery life, but may want to play Mp3's.
    Janiqua CEO may want to have wireless server access.
    John CEO may want high-res, full color screen, and full multimedia capabilities.
    Jamal CEO may want to run a Desktop OS alongside the Palm OS.
    Jerry CEO may want nothing more than a plain grayscale Palm
    ---

    My point being, is that Handhelds must diversify, yet still be compatible. This is why the Palm OS platform is still far superior to the PPC OS.
    <b><font size=1 color=teal>"Sorry about the whole thing about losing your life savings, but that Palmpilot is property of Enron, so please give it back"
  10. #10  
    Custom PDAs would be very difficult, they don't have components that you can easily slide in out and if they did I'd bet we'd suffer because of size. Handspring looks to have the best solution right now and could do most of what bblue proprosed.

    In my opinion multimedia is the next step, things like bringing your favorite TV show with you or being able to store decent quality photoes. Wireless is a good concept but we won't have a single unified network ever in America & coverage for every one is a very long way away.
    Matt Nichols
    VigoSpraxPalm@Yahoo.com
  11. #11  
    The "next step" in PDA development is user input.

    Multimedia is here now, so is wireless connectivity. Neither one is setting the world on fire. The biggest problem that new user, experienced users and those in between have is input. Some people use Graffiti. Others use the on-screen keyboard. Some people use overlays on the screen. Others tote around a full-size folding keyboard that is still bigger than the PDA itself.

    Input is a mixture of too big, too slow, too inaccurate, and too cumbersome. When somebody comes up with a fast, simple, accurate input method, people will throw away their notebooks.
  12. #12  
    I think that there are a few technologies that are being developed that will revolutionize handhelds, as well as all computing devices. The first is OLED (Organic Light Emitting Diode) technology. There are companies right now perfecting the technology including Pioneer, Kodak and others. This technology deposits LED materials in layers on different surfaces, from glass to flexible mylar (roll up your active matrix display!). The beauty of this is that they can build the pixels (RGB) right on top of one another so a pixel is 1/3 the size of current technology. The OLED is very bright, requiring no backlight. Another area is CPU development. Intel is working on processor technology that is 1000 times faster than current silicon fab processes can deliver and they use a tiny fraction of the power (voice recognition becomes easy with this much processing power). The third is very high speed wireless data. Imagine the possibilites when you have the latest battery technology + Extremely high resolution (low power) OLED displays + Extremely powerful CPU's (that also draw little power) + Cheap high speed wireless access.
  13. #13  
    Originally posted by bradhaak
    The "next step" in PDA development is user input.
    Input is a mixture of too big, too slow, too inaccurate, and too cumbersome. When somebody comes up with a fast, simple, accurate input method, people will throw away their notebooks.
    How about robust voice recognition powered by a 1Ghz StrongARM processor?
  14. #14  
    Originally posted by dshorter


    How about robust voice recognition powered by a 1Ghz StrongARM processor?
    That's one possibility that I would like to see, but I'm not convinced that I want to use VR to input data and formulae into a spreadsheet.
  15. #15  
    I would not say multimedia as such, but just higher resolution. As an artist, the only thing I am really waiting for is an energy efficient color display with somewhere around 200dpi.
    Screen resolution is measured in Pixels per Inch (at lease in the US where we still refuse to acknowledge the metric system), or, PPI. 200 PPI is an EXTREMELY high resolution display. It'd be nice, but unecessary for the majority of the world.

    That said OLED and electronic paper are both promising technologies that may significantly increase the PPI of a monitor.

    Of course, even at very high resolutions, I doubt anyone would be interested in looking at your portfolio on a 3" screen

    Anyways, my vote is for better and more available wireless technologies. Multimedia is 'neat' but not necessarily that useful...as least not until the bandwidth issue is resolved where streaming media may become a bigger draw.
    We're all naked if you turn us inside out.
    -David Byrne
  16. #16  
    Originally posted by bradhaak
    That's one possibility that I would like to see, but I'm not convinced that I want to use VR to input data and formulae into a spreadsheet.
    I think this is a done deal w/'CE 4.0.
    Can't remem. if Stinger uses it, tho.
    The Comdex demo that showcased this tech. about 3 mo. ago was said to be very impressive.
    "Great Spirits Have Always Encountered Violent Opposition From Mediocre Minds." -- Albert Einstein
  17. #17  
    I think Custom built PDA's would still work. I'd be willing to pay slightly more and wait slightly longer for a PDA that would suit my needs like no other.

    Ok, here are 2 other ideas:

    1) Upgradeability: What law out there says that PDA's must be disposable? All I want is a part-time color screen on my VDX, NOT a whole new handheld! I don't know about you, but I'm attached to my Palmpilots! That's why I have not turned around and sold ones like my IIIxe! I think someone should create the ULTIMATE plug-and-play handheld that allows us to upgrade certain components at a time. Like my "VisorScreen" idea. The closest is HandSpring, but they need to take their idea further. It's the same thing as upgrading a computer. (and further advancements could come in say... Form factor!)

    That's why I think HS should provide SOME way to upgrade the OS on our Visors! (What if it had it's own little "Mini" Springboard we could pop in and out??? ooooh )


    2) Integration of Media Creation & Wireless communication.
    This is the final step. To be able to hold a video "chat" wirelessly in the Palm of your hand.

    I also want to see Multimedia EDITING capabilities on my PDA! Come on!!
    <b><font size=1 color=teal>"Sorry about the whole thing about losing your life savings, but that Palmpilot is property of Enron, so please give it back"
  18. ubik's Avatar
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    5 Posts
    #18  
    Originally posted by homer


    Screen resolution is measured in Pixels per Inch (at lease in the US where we still refuse to acknowledge the metric system), or, PPI. 200 PPI is an EXTREMELY high resolution display. It'd be nice, but unecessary for the majority of the world.

    That said OLED and electronic paper are both promising technologies that may significantly increase the PPI of a monitor.
    Pixels are the unit of measurement for traditional CRT displays, and are often used for LCDs, but as I assume that we are probably talking about a non-standard display, I chose the more generic Dots Per Inch, which can be used to describe anything from printers, to scanners, to displays.

    As far as the need for resolution goes, I think more people find resolution important than you might think. The higher the resolution, the cleaner the text will appear, and the quality of text is one of the main complaints I hear about PalmOS devices, and PDAs in general. The new Clie is already running at 128 DPI (or PPI if you prefer).


    Of course, even at very high resolutions, I doubt anyone would be interested in looking at your portfolio on a 3" screen
    You would be surprised to know how many people ask to see what I do in the course of the average day. I am not really talking about replacing what I send to perspective customers, or using this to replace my demo reel, but it would be nice to be able to show my work to satisfy the casual curiosity of the people I meet. I am often in situations where I am talking to someone, and they say "what do you do?" It would be very nice to just whip out my PDA, and say "this" instead of having to explain it to them. It is really one of those picture worth a thousand words kind of things.
    The goal is to overcome the deliberate nature of the process.
  19. #19  
    If by "next step" you mean, what's the new feature that gets me to buy a new PDA, it's higher resolution.

    (BTW, I don't think 200ppi is so outrageous. While you can certainly read text that's written in much lower resolution, 200ppi is easier on the eyes, both consciously and subconsciously.)

    If by "next step" you mean, revolutionary technical step, then I think it's wireless and voice recognition -- definitely in that order.

    ...But the great thing about technology is, something always pops up to surprise you.
    Jeff Meyer

    "And he died like he lived: with his mouth wide open."
  20. #20  
    Ubik:

    My parents still do not understand what I do as a graphic designer. I know what you are saying

    You are right about higher resolution screens. Today, even the top end CRT displays are maybe pushing 133 PPI, but we are no where near 200 PPI or higher...as I agree we should be.

    Processors and hard drives have increased exponetionaly, while screen resolutions have not.

    It's a bummer.
    We're all naked if you turn us inside out.
    -David Byrne
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