Wednesday, March 26, 2003

Biofuel cell can run your PDA on vodka

Researchers at Saint Louis University has developed a new type of biofuel cell that can run on alcohol, including drinks like vodka and gin. It can replace rechargeable batteries in all kinds of appliances, and recharge instantly with a few milliliters of alcohol. "Bartender, gin for me and my smartphone please."

Tuesday, March 25, 2003

New iPAQs will introduce new PocketPC OS?

HP has gotten FCC approval for a new iPAQ H2200 series, of which one model will come with integrated Bluetooth. The new iPAQs will have both CF and SDIO cardslots (IO means it takes a growing number of expansion and networking cards, not just SD memory) and transreflective TFT screen. Rumors says that the machine will be introduced with a new version of the PocketPC OS this summer, Pocket PC 2003 (built on WinCE 4.2 with .NET runtime).

Talk to the dancing robot

The AIBO dog was just the start for Sony. The new improved "Small Biped Entertainment Robot" is a small walking robot that can talk with you and entertain you with song, dance or theater performances...

Nokia with Wi-Fi cellphones

Like Mitsubishi (see blog post 18/3) Nokia is planning to introduce cellphones with built in 802.11b wireless LAN support and the ability to roam between GPRS and Wi-Fi zones.

A new blue laser standard proposal

A Taiwan consortium has developed and submitted to DVD Forum a new contender for becoming the next generation high-definition DVD standard based on blue laser technology. Called Blue-HD-DVD-1 and Blue-HD-DVD-2 the specification has 17 or 27 GB capacity, and will come in ROM and rewritable versions. They claim advantage over competing Blu-ray and Advanced Optical Disk (AOD) formats in among other things a better compression technology that gives 5 hours of HDTV (MPEG-2 requires 15 GB for 2 hours) and playback of several programs at once.

Friday, March 21, 2003

Intel Robots and Mechanical Men Inc?

What is the next big thing for a company like Intel? They are researching robotics, biology and nanotechnology...

Thursday, March 20, 2003

20 inch OLED display

IDTech is claiming a breakthrough in OLED technology and production costs with a 20 inch prototype (1280 x 768) that will be demonstrated on SID 2003 in May.

Wednesday, March 19, 2003

Windows XP palmtop

Want a full fledged PC in your hand? Sony Vaio PCG-U101 (Babelfish-translated :) is a handheld Windows XP PC with built in Wi-Fi and 7.1 inch XGA screen (1024x768). It weighs 880 gram, is 178 x 139 x 34 mm and has 5.5 hours battery time (13.5 with extra battery). But Japan only for now...

Tuesday, March 18, 2003

Tri-Wireless PDA Concept Design

Texas Instrument WANDA (Wireless Any-Network Digital Assistant) is a PocketPC hardware reference design offered to OEMs that includes integrated support for GSM/GPRS, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, for simultaneous voice calls, wireless web access and personal area networking.

Mobile phone with Wi-Fi and voice over IP

Mitsubishi demonstrated on CeBIT an interesting Symbian concept phone. Besides large flipover colour screen (QVGA), megapixel camera and memory stick duo slot, the most interesting part is that it has wireless LAN (Wi-Fi), and can do voice over IP through the Wi-Fi connection. Telephone users using Wi-Fi hotspots for both data services and voice calls can be an interesting challenge for the cellular carriers...

More on 3D display

More detail, new products and new members, are available from the newly formed group that want to promote 3D displays. One of the founding members, Sanyo, will this month start sampling of a 20 inch LCD and 50 inch plasma display said to give 3D depth to multiple viewers without the need for special glasses. Another founding member, Sharp, says 15 inch LCD 3D screen will be available in the stores before the end of this year. The groups homepage (Babelfish-translated :)

Sunday, March 16, 2003

Motorola Symbian 3G phone

The coming Motorola A920 Communicator is a 3G/UMTS and tri-band GSM/GPRS phone with GPS, camera (still and video), handwriting recognition and SD card for expansion. The platform is Symbian with UIQ (same as Sony Ericsson P800).

Friday, March 14, 2003

New ultra-small MiniSD cards

ScanDisk has introduced memory cards based on the new MiniSD ultra-small form factor. With a size of 21,5 x 20 x 1,4 mm the cards volume is 602 mm3, compared to 1612 mm3 for ordinary SD Cards. The new format targets advanced phones with camera, MP3, games etc. The cards are demonstrated at CeBIT, are ready for sale this month and will this year come with capacity up to 256 MB. With an adapter they will fit in ordinary SD slots.

Thursday, March 13, 2003

GPRS watch-phone with bluetooth and OLED

A lot of news from CeBIT this week: Samsung has shown the worlds first wristwatch GPRS phone, with OLED colour screen, bluetooth, voice activated dialing, wap and polyphonic ring tones. 90 minutes talk time and 80 hours standby. For sale in Europe Q4 this year.

Wednesday, March 12, 2003

Worlds largest LCD TV: 54 inch

On CeBIT Samsung is showing the worlds largest LCD TV, a 54 inch HDTV unit with 1920x1080 resolution, 800:1 contrast and 170 degrees viewing angel. Ready for sale later this year. There seems to be interesting progress in LCD TVs.

Connect PC and TV with Wi-Fi

BenQ's WM1000 Wireless Media Adapter is designed to stream DVD-quality MPEG4 video and MP3 music over an 802.11b wireless LAN connection, connecting PC content with playback on TV and stereo. Or the other way around.

Will military 'sneaky waves' replace Bluetooth?

Bluetooth certainly has a more catching name, but the new IEEE 802.15.3a standard for Wireless Personal Area Networks (WPAN), coming up this june, could use military ultra wideband technology that is cheaper, less power hungry and 100 times faster than Bluetooth.

Wearable Bluetooth networked devices

Motorola and Frog Design has developed the "Offspring" concept design, an entire family of modular wearable devices that share information with other devices in a personal Bluetooth network, with shared connection to a public wireless network and Internet. Motorola is preparing for user testing and plans to bring a product based on the design to market within two years. Another similar concept is Ixi Personal Mobile Gateway.

Tuesday, March 11, 2003

DVB-X spec to deliver TV on cell phones

The Digital Video Broadcast Group has unveiled it's "secret plan" to marry the cell phone network infrastructure and digital TV broadcasting, with new DVB-X specifications for one-to-many broadcasting of music, film and other multimedia content to large audiences via mobile handsets.

Monday, March 10, 2003

Tomorrow's 5g cell phone

Interesting interview with DARPA scientist and his thoughts about cognitive radio - next generation cell phone services with self-learning personal assistant in your phone. More mobile visions: HP tests mobile unit as personal navigation tool.

Sunday, March 09, 2003

New FeRAM technology can boost mobile units

Hynix Semiconductor has started commercial sampling of new ferroelectric RAMs (FeRAM). A non-volatile RAM technology that combines the capacity of DRAM, the speed of SRAM, and the data retention capabilities of flash memory with lower power consumption. They expects rapid adoption in PDAs, mobile phones, mobile gaming devices, etc. More about FeRAM here.

Saturday, March 08, 2003

Silicon doubling battery life

Researchers have found that adding silicon to graphite anodes in ordinary lithium-ion batteries can double the battery capacity.

Friday, March 07, 2003

The Terror-o-meter

ok, it's Friday and it certainly is a gadget: The Terror-o-meter is a Internet connected device that constantly measures the worlds state of terror by analyzing keywords in world news feeds.

54 mbps 802.11g Wi-Fi delivers

PC Worlds verdict on the first crop of 802.11g WLAN products is in: they are fast, affordable, and work with popular 802.11b gear. But Gartner warns against buying early uncertified 802.11g gear.

The Everywhere Display

On CeBIT next week IBM will show it's Everywhere Display. A research project that aims to project a touch screen on every surface in a room. From a projector a mirror is used to direct the image where you want it around the room, processed for perspective correction. A video camera detects hand/body activity for interaction with the image.

Thursday, March 06, 2003

Micro audio/video recorder/player

The Panasonic SV-AV10 is a very small and light portable device that can record and play back audio, still pictures and video. For all-in-one multimedia on the go. It uses SD Cards as storage medium, and has VGA-resolution, MPEG4/2, 2x zoom and USB. More info and pictures here.

Wednesday, March 05, 2003

First fuel cell notebook PC

Toshiba has started demonstrating the worlds first prototype of a fuel cell driven notebook PC, which will be shown at the CeBIT exhibition this month. The prototype has 5 hour of operation on a single replaceable methanol cartridge, but Toshiba aims to double this and further shrink the size before commercial availability next year. More about fuel cells.

Group will push 3D displays

Several Japanese companies have formed a consortium that will promote development of technology and applications for 3D displays. Not much facts yet, but interesting implications.

Tuesday, March 04, 2003

Commercial OLED production started

Sanyo and Kodak has started the first commercial production of an active matrix colour OLED display (se blog date 26/2). The first product is a 2,2 inch panel used in a new Kodak digital camera available next month.

4 GB CompactFlash memory cards

Lexar Media has announced two new CompactFlash memory cards that brings CF capacity up to 2 GB and 4 GB! And they should be available in stores this month. Now you can have movies on your PDA.

First Blu-ray recorder

Next month Sony will start selling BDZ-S77, the first Blu-ray consumer video recorder. Using blue laser technology with shorter wavelength the disc has a capacity of 23-27 GB. Using MPEG-2 for recording the 23 GB disc has room for two hours HDTV, four hours standard digital broadcasting or 16 hours analog broadcasting quality. But for now it's only for the Japanese market.

Monday, March 03, 2003

More Smartphones coming

Mitac has jumped on the MS SmartPhone 2002 bandwagon with MIO 8380, a sleek clamshell device with all the bells and whistles (triband GPRS, camera, colour screen, MMS, MPEG-4 en/de-coder for video, integrated SD card slot and MS-apps like Messenger, Pocket IE, mediaplayer, mail etc.). And the first MS SmartPhone maker HTC has announced the new and improved Smart Amazing Phone (no kidding..)