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  1. #21  
    In the article, you indicated that "It's neither a smartphone or a PDA, but something else:" ("There is a third business that I've been working on but I'm not going to tell you what it is. It's in mobile computing. It's something different and it's in its early stage. We have three businesses at PalmOne. One you don't even know about, which is just a child. Another is the teenager and the other one is the mature 45-year-old.")

    This idea that the Hawk is definitively NOT a Smartphone has been restated over and over again on TC. I believe Hawkins said that it would be "different". That does NOT mean that it could not in actuality be a variant of the current smartphones in existence.

    I think it is obvious that the "mature 45-year-old" business (i.e., PDA) is being abandoned by Palm, sooner or later. I believe this new product will replace the existing PDA business line, as it will offer all of the features of current PDAs, plus a whole lot more.

    The question is, will it be able to be used as a cell phone? I think if you look closely at the foldable Foleo image ("3A"), it is obvious that that device is meant to be both a cell phone (when folded up), and a UMPC type device when it is unfolded.

    As far as the detachable, expandable display, that may or may not be needed depending on the type and size of screen when the device is unfolded. There is also the possibility of a screen that unrolls, as that type of technology exists now, I believe.

    Personally, I think this device is going to be a marriage between a foldable Nokia-type Treo and a ubersmall UMPC. Perhaps with a detachable, expandable display. But my guess is the latter will be sold as an accessory and not as part of the base device.

    The other possibility will be a mini-projector that would enable you to project the display image onto a wall, desktop, etc. However, I think that is a little far fetched and probably would not work real well due to the degradation of the image when projected.

    A final possibility would be synching the device up to a "virtual display" sunglass/eyeglass-type device, that would look like its full screen to your eyes, even though it's just a tiny 3/4" clip-on-type device to your eyeglass or sunglass. Now that could actually be detachable, AND practically "expandable", however not in the physical sense but in a "virtual" sense.

    I see this device as possibly being a replacement to both the Treo and PDA lines ultimately. It'll be fun to see what he shared at the D Conference!

    Cheers!
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    #22  
    Mike and Dieter--

    Fantastic sleuthwork! It read like a Sherlock Holmes novel in geekspeak! In addition, I think you may be more right than you let on. I am not sure about an expandable display, but either detachable or foldout seems likely. You hit the nail on the head with the comment about how this device will succeed where UMPCs don't. Those points are KEY in creating a device that "Gets It". I am super excited for tomorrow...oops..just wet my pants.
  3. #23  
    I don't think Palm will be that advance to have a device with folding screen. My guess is that it will be like iPhone that does phone functionalities plus act as a video iPOD too. The main difference is that Palm uses Linux kernel so we can watch divx and rmvb movies with add-on decoders. I hope it comes with 4 inch widescreen since I think iPhone 3.5" is just like Palm TX screen size.

    I am not sure if Palm will add WiFi to it since EV-DO rev A is fast enough. I do hope it comes with WiFi tho because I want to stream videos with my home NAS device. This way, I can watch my favor shows in my bath tube.

    I also hope it has a GPS chip in it. I think iPhone made a big mistake without a GPS chip inside.

    No need to have 4GB internal storage space since SD card can go upto 16GB soon.
  4. #24  
    For those of you who may not have seen it, now might be a good time to take a look at the mockup linked to in my signature. I created this way in early 2003. In many respects, I'd be pretty disappointed if this is all that Jeff has up his sleeve tomorrow. Not only did I present this idea back in early 2003, but Nokia had already played with a similar concept with its Communicator years ago, and HTC has come out with a Windows Mobile flavor of this concept fairly recently (the 720). If something along these lines *is* what Jeff shows off tomorrow, you'll have to excuse me if I don't feel tempted to call a lawyer, since I'm sure they would have seen my many plugs for my idea here at Treocentral.

    That said, I'm extremely intrigued and mildly hopeful that Hawkins might have something more interesting up his sleeve. Part of me wonders if the real news tomorrow might be less about the hardware and more about the back-end software. And I'm not talking about some new Linux-based smartphone OS. I'm talking about some Numenta-based AI server-side software. I didn't see any mention of this possibility in the article here or at PIC, which surprises me. After all, isn't that what Hawkins has claimed to have been focusing on for the past few years? They recently demoed a very early bit of the fruits of their labor, and one thing seemed certain: It required real horsepower running on a back-end server, not something that could be squeezed down into a smartphone kernel. So I'm thinking that we're talking about some sort of next-gen Google which combines location-based services, image recognition (fed via the smartphone/wireless PDA's built-in camera), and natural language recognition (think what "Ask Jeeves" claimed to offer early on, but never really did very well).

    Jumping back on the hardware front...here's another idea which the patents discussed in the article here could be hinting at and which, interestingly enough, also align with ideas I've proposed in the past: Separating the PDA/screen and the phone into two separate components. The phone would become a small and dumb terminal/access point, possibly sized like an old pager. Separately there would be large screen and CPU, possibly housed in a more traditional PDA form-factor. See my very, very old article here (and more importantly the discussion that followed in the forums where the idea was fleshed out further):
    http://goodthatway.com/news_arc/?id=68

    Another appealing aspect of this idea is that it frees Palm from the control of the carriers. How so? Well, Palm "simply" has to get them to agree to allow the pager-sized access point be used on their network. The separate PDA/display unit (where the real excitement lies) is back under the control of Palm. They can release software updates as often as they like without having to wait for the carriers to test it for 6 months (and possibly snub the idea of any upgrades at all).

    Anyways, there's my brain dump. I really do hope that we'll be wowed tomorrow.
    Now THIS is the future of smartphones.
  5. #25  
    "foldable display" isn't actually going out on a limb, Sony just unveiled their 2.5" folding display. Perhaps to steal some thunder? Who knows...

    Either way, I do think this device-to-be will be capable of running Palm/ALP and WM. Why limit themselves...
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    #26  
    I can't prove it, but I've been predicting that the ultimate handheld would have a large fold-out screen for a decade now.
  7. PSM
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    #27  
    I feel really stupid, but I just don't see what's so handy about a removable, fold-out display. Yeah, it would be a nice big screen, but I don't think of it as "mobile." That sounds more like a laptop-sized item that can be folded up into a tiny package for travel, but when in use takes up a ton of space, both hands, and/or a desk. To me a mobile device is something I can take out and use when I'm crammed like a sardine on the subway and unable to move my elbows. I guess maybe I'm just assuming this device is supposed to be revolutionary to everyone, when in reality there will be people whose way of working will benefit from it, and those who might be better sticking with another form factor.

    I'm totally willing to be proven wrong tomorrow, but those patent sketches make me think I'd be better off with a Treo.
  8. #28  
    TC eds/mods and contributors, do any of you guys have a pass to tomorrow's event?
    ONE can be spelled as NEO.
    There is no spoon.
  9. #29  
    Well it is like a laptop.
  10. gjlowe's Avatar
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    #30  
    You can see from my enthusiasm from last night I was very excited about the device as described by Dieter and Mike. Unfortunately, the real deal is not close to the ultimate device that we all "covet". Maybe the Treo 1000 will get there. I will read this article every couple of months and pretend what could have been.
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