New Devices, New Applications

By Jim Louderback  |  Posted 2004-02-12 Print this article Print
 What new types of devices will we see using Cobalt [OS 6]? Cook: A couple things that we are envisioning, with the understanding that your mileage may vary.
If you look at some of the stuff were seeing today, like the Tapwave [Inc. Zodiac], a game-centric device that does PDA well; or the Garmin [International Inc. IQ3600], a GPS that does PDA, well see a lot more like that.
In the gaming space we see something thats more than gaming, its a lifestyle-type device. Were seeing a generational shift to a younger audience that wants one device thats both a work device and a play device. Back in enterprise, they wanted more memory and more security. Some of those devices went to Pocket PC. Ill call them highly-vertical applications, where youll see Palm OS Cobalt in those areas [in the future]. Another area, Im hesitant to call them them eBooks or eReaders, but I think that weve learned a lot about what those things can be. Maybe they arent just Readers. [Cook waved around a notepad and a pen.] Maybe Id like something to replace pen and ink. Maybe its not a full-blown Tablet PC though. But now were able to support higher resolution, larger screens and multiple displays. Slotnick: The new Cobalt APIs are much broader. We talk about single- and double-density screens today, or 160-by-160 [pixel resolution], and HVGA [half VGA screens offering 320-by-240 pixels). With Cobalt were talking triple-density and quadruple-density. XGA and SXGA. Click here to read a recent PC Magazine review of Toshibas Pocket PC e805, which offers a 680-by-480-pixel screeen. Cook: The concept is moving away from the standard that it has to be this box-sized screen size [he pointed to a PalmOne Tungsten T3 handheld] and that opens up a whole new type of devices. Another area thats interesting is the information archive device. There are these information hounds that are packrats and that carry a lot of information around with them. Now, I have [with Cobalt] internal memory, processing power, but were missing some kind of glue layer. I dont see a [Apple Computer Inc.] Finder metaphor necessarily, but something like that. I personally think thats just a PDA of today on steroids. Its personal information management that goes way beyond calendar and contact manager. Slotnick: And there would be a Web service out there, where you could sync all that data. Youd be paying someone an awful lot to store all that data on the Web. Cook: Its really changing the concept of the PDA and Smart phone. Its interesting to think of new categories of devices. So when will we see these devices? Slotnick: Licensees are responsible for their own time frames. Its typically on the order of six to nine months [after the OS ships] for devices to come out. So summer time is not unreasonable, because the OS shipped in December. Next Page: PalmSource-Powered Consumer Devices?

With more than 20 years experience in consulting, technology, computers and media, Jim Louderback has pioneered many significant new innovations.

While building computer systems for Fortune 100 companies in the '80s, Jim developed innovative client-server computing models, implementing some of the first successful LAN-based client-server systems. He also created a highly successful iterative development methodology uniquely suited to this new systems architecture.

As Lab Director at PC Week, Jim developed and refined the product review as an essential news story. He expanded the lab to California, and created significant competitive advantage for the leading IT weekly.

When he became editor-in-chief of Windows Sources in 1995, he inherited a magazine teetering on the brink of failure. In six short months, he turned the publication into a money-maker, by refocusing it entirely on the new Windows 95. Newsstand sales tripled, and his magazine won industry awards for excellence of design and content.

In 1997, Jim launched TechTV's content, creating and nurturing a highly successful mix of help, product information, news and entertainment. He appeared in numerous segments on the network, and hosted the enormously popular Fresh Gear show for three years.

In 1999, he developed the 'Best of CES' awards program in partnership with CEA, the parent company of the CES trade show. This innovative program, where new products were judged directly on the trade show floor, was a resounding success, and continues today.

In 2000, Jim began developing, a daily, live, 8 hour TechTV news program called TechLive. Called 'the CNBC of Technology,' TechLive delivered a daily day-long dose of market news, product information, technology reporting and CEO interviews. After its highly successful launch in April of 2001, Jim managed the entire organization, along with setting editorial direction for the balance of TechTV.

In the summer or 2002, Jim joined Ziff Davis Media to be Editor-In-Chief and Vice President of Media Properties, including, Microsoft Watch, and the websites for PC Magazine, eWeek and ZDM's gaming publications.


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