Geekspeak: December 17, 2001

By Peter Coffee  |  Posted 2001-12-17 Print this article Print

Another new fold in videoconferencing.

Only 4 by 8 by 1.3 inches, the 10-ounce origami multifunction device combines camera, Web terminal, MP3 player and (with a Bluetooth-linked Mobile Gateway module) videophone capability—just fold it into the shape that suits the task at hand. Shown at Comdex last month by National Semiconductor, the proof-of-concept prototype was co-developed with CoCom International to demonstrate the efficiencies of highly integrated, system-on-a-chip microprocessors.

You can tell that this is more than a mock-up: The 4-inch screen shows me taking its picture. More information on integrated information appliance concepts can be found at

Peter Coffee is Director of Platform Research at, where he serves as a liaison with the developer community to define the opportunity and clarify developers' technical requirements on the company's evolving Apex Platform. Peter previously spent 18 years with eWEEK (formerly PC Week), the national news magazine of enterprise technology practice, where he reviewed software development tools and methods and wrote regular columns on emerging technologies and professional community issues.Before he began writing full-time in 1989, Peter spent eleven years in technical and management positions at Exxon and The Aerospace Corporation, including management of the latter company's first desktop computing planning team and applied research in applications of artificial intelligence techniques. He holds an engineering degree from MIT and an MBA from Pepperdine University, he has held teaching appointments in computer science, business analytics and information systems management at Pepperdine, UCLA, and Chapman College.

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