The Evolving Wireless Device

from the what-do-people-need? dept

The wireless device world is getting more and more complicated to figure out. One thing is clear: simple paging is going away, quickly. However, do people want everthing-in-one devices like the Handspring's Treo or Danger's Hiptop - or are they happy with their specialized devices for special situations. Palm is betting on the latter with the introduction of their new i705 wireless handheld which doesn't do voice access. RIM is moving in the other direction as they get ready to add voice to their devices. I like the idea of an all-in-one device - but I'm not so sure about the execution. The main problems I see with these combo devices are that (1) they will seem too expensive for someone who is really just focused on one feature and (2) they will do many features poorly and none particularly well. For instance, the Hiptop looks like it will be a very cool device for remotely surfing the web and doing email - but it might not be a very good mobile phone. What sort of tradeoffs are people willing to make?

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  • identicon
    u2604ab, 28 Jan 2002 @ 10:40am

    idea

    Is anyone working on a modular solution? i.e. a compact cellphone that you could add a PDA or GPS module to if you wanted to. That way you wouldn't have so many individual devices clogging your pockets, but you wouldn't have to buy functionality that you didn' t need... And for those that favor the payment-plan technique, you can buy one piece at a time until you have acquired the uber-device.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Brandon, 28 Jan 2002 @ 2:34pm

      Re: idea

      Well, the Handspring Visor devices and the latest Palm devices have expansion slots... but I think the hardest part is still doing both well. For a PDA, you want something in a form factor that is small, but with lots of screen real-estate when you need it. With phones, you want something that you can hold up to your ear for hours and talk into...

      Maybe some blue-tooth enabled device which you could have a remote ear-piece separate from the screen...

      The biggest problem with today's PDAs stem from the size problem: people want something small enough to be easily portable, but yet much larger when they are actually using it. It seems to me that a device like the global from Earth Final Conflict which expands to show the full screen would be the best bet... but screens that are that malleable aren't available yet

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        mhh5, 28 Jan 2002 @ 5:52pm

        Re: idea

        at the risk of turning this into halfbakery.com, I still like the idea of incorporating the bulkier parts of these devices into fashion accessories. Some of the women I know don't care how big their phone is b/c it sits in their purse all the time, so why not make it part of the purse? and make a hands-free earbud thing that can voice-dial reliably? I guess that won't make guys carry purses...
        But maybe if it were lightweight enough, PDA/phones could be embedding in hats...?

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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