AT&T Wireless To Launch IXI-Based Messaging Device
Phonescoop lives up to their name with the scoop that AT&T Wireless is getting ready to offer an inexpensive messaging device called the ogo, that will let users send instant messages and emails. While a few other sites have picked up on this story, they’re mostly focusing on what the device most likely competes with (perhaps the Danger Sidekick II), but what’s much more interesting is that this is the first device using the IXI Personal Mobile Gateway we’ve been talking about since 2001, which has been getting a lot more attention over the past year or so. While it’s completely up in the air how well this particular device will do, it will be interesting to see how well the IXI system works, and whether or not the concept catches on at all. For those who haven’t been following this, the Personal Mobile Gateway idea is to make mobile device much more modular, rather than cramming too many features into a single box. One device (in this case, the ogo) acts as the “hub” of the system, and has a cellular connection to the nearest tower just like a regular mobile phone. However, other devices are designed to easily and quickly connect to the hub via Bluetooth and piggyback on its wireless connection to the outside world. While many assumed the hub would be part of the “phone” itself, that doesn’t have to be the case — as evidenced by this messaging device which has no phone. However, by slapping together a simple phone device that only needed a bluetooth connection, it could connect through the messaging device and a simple (cheaper) phone could be offered. Another device could be a music player, or a larger device for surfing the web. The idea is that there are endless possibilities to add in other devices and use the most reasonable device for the pressing need. Of course, many people respond by pointing out that one of the last things they want would be more devices to carry around. Still, with some big names throwing their support behind the IXI PMG concept, it’s worth watching to see how well it’s implemented and whether or not people seem to like it. Derek adds: But the OGO seems to turn the PMG concept upside down…The original idea from IXI was that you would have a button-free box act as the PMG, and connect devices to it with Bluetooth – either headsets, games, laptops, PDAs, or a keypad device like the OGO. Then IXI proposed that the PMG could be integrated into a conventional handset, which means less confusion for consumers familiar with handsets, but still keypads and other accessories could connect. Now, we see that the keypad device – which in all the plans was to be a satellite to the PMG – IS the PMG, and has a GSM radio in it. I think this is a poor implementation of the PMG concept, but was probably necessary since AWE has prioritized competing with the Sidekick over launching a PMG.