New Devices, New Applications
eWEEK.com: 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.
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.
eWEEK.com: 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.
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If you look at some of the stuff were seeing today, like the