A Reporter’s Notebook from CES — Day 2

by Reads (6,962)

Editor’s Note: The Consumer Electronics Show is going now in Las Vegas, and Brighthand’s Antoine Wright was there.

He filed this report based on his experiences during the second day of the show. His report from the first day can be found in this article.

Palm

Palm has an interesting presence at CES. While it does not have a booth per say, it has several mini-booths and spot areas. It is quite interesting, as there was a way to see Palm almost everywhere.

In one area, basically a relaxing, Wi-Fi zone, Palm representatives talk about all of their company’s devices, and there are plenty of people giving hands-on demonstrations.

In the Microsoft area there is a Palm mini-booth where the Treo 750 is the topic. Many people come there asking when this device will be available (despite the fact that it’s available now), and what could be downloaded to it.

All in all, it is not a loud one stop thing for Palm, but it capitalizes on the small size and mobility of those at CES to be seen in a lot of areas.

Samsung

Samsung has one statement that pretty much fits every one of its products at CES: world’s best.

In the smartphone category, Samsung is surely aiming for this goal with the recent BlackJack release. Certainly many BlackJack devices were in attendance at CES.

Samsung i760
(view large image)

This company also had another smartphone on display. Samsung had no specifications (nor a carrier) ready for the i760, but this device is quite similar to the HTC models that have a slide-out keyboard.

Where the i760 is different is that, while it has a numeric keypad on the front, and then a thumboard which slides out the side, it is much thinner than any of the comparable HTC models.

It is a slick device and the keys on both the front and the slider were easy to type on.

Sony-Ericsson

The Sony Ericsson booth was small (probably due to its small U.S. lineup) but nonetheless impressive.

Still, the booth is big enough to show all the recently released Walkman phones, including the Symbian OS-based W950. This is essentially a music player that thinks it’s a phone, but has the guts of a PDA lurking in there (see picture below).

(view large image)

With 4 GB of memory and some nice play controls that light up when the music player is active, the W950 looks to be a winner, despite the $500 price tag.

The other Sony Ericsson smartphone on display was the M600. Like the W950, this is a UIQ, touchscreen-based device (stylus included) running the Symbian OS. However, its distinctive feature is its keyboard that has a toggle-like feature, where if you go to the left you get one letter, and to the right you get another. This seemed to work well in the short time that I had with this smartphone.

OpenMoko

OpenMoko has the first Linux mobile device that I saw at CES. This company is there to talk about an upcoming Linux phone and platform being developed on — and with — Linux.

Despite not having a working demo device on hand, the representative of OpenMoko has have plenty to say about the development of OpenMoko and what it means for the mobile Linux industry.

The hardware features of this demo phone include:

  • 2.8-inch VGA TFT touchscreen
  • 266 MHz Samsung processor
  • Assisted GPS
  • Quad-band GSM and GPRS, but not EDGE or UMTS
  • microSD memory expansion slot
  • 2.5 mm audio jack
  • 1200 mAh battery
  • 128 MB RAM
  • 64 MB Storage
  • Bluetooth

The OpenMoko platform is geared initially to developers and users who want a Linux solution on their mobile phone. According to the representative, it will be possible to run many Gnome applications on the OpenMoko phone; however, some applications will have to be adapted for touchscreen input.

This phone is expected to be released in three months directly from OpenMoko for $350 (unlocked).

TeleNav

TeleNav representatives were present at a lunch event at CES. They were there to talk about their company’s GPS navigation solution that works with mobile phones and their cellular-wireless connections.

Maps are streamed from the TeleNav servers to your phone, and with the assistance of TeleNav’s GPS accessory (unless the device already has GPS built-in), allowing you to get to just about anywhere.

TeleNav is available now as a subscription service from Sprint, Cingular, and other carriers.

Handmark

Handmark was on the scene at CES to talk about Pocket Express and its many software titles for sale in both retail and online outlets.

Company reps spoke about making some more content offerings within Pocket Express, with possibly some exclusive content. There was no comment given when asked about the integration of rich media (video, audio) to the package.

Kingston CardsKingston

With memory cards getting smaller and smaller, I went to one of the authorities on memory in mobile devices to ask what is next. Kingston had in their display SD, SDHC, Mini-SD, and Micro-SD cards. Interestingly enough, they mentioned that Mini-SDHC cards are coming down the pipe.

TalkPlus

TalkPlus was another company that I got to talk with right before lunch. Its representatives were there to talk about their company’s solution which will let anyone with a GSM phone have multiple phone numbers served to their handset without having to switch SIM cards. This solution is based on a downloadable software application (Java or Brew) that connects to a server to do the switching for you.

TalkPlus lets users have an unlimited number of phone numbers served to one device. The application uses a 30bye connection to an IP system and then the rest of the process takes place on the voice channel. The representative that I spoke to said that this solution was liked by the carriers as well as governments and some vertical industries.

TalkPlus is available now for downloading from http://www.talkplus.com

Sennheiser

I learned the last time I was at CES that it’s not only the device that matters, but how you are listening to what you have put on it. The folks at Sennheiser demonstrated to me a few of their newer and more popular headsets designed for comfort and usability. However, missing from it was any Bluetooth headsets.

Aliph

Aliph makes the recently released — and much talked about — Jawbone Bluetooth wireless headset. Brighthand will have a review on this headset in the next few weeks.

Control Think

A mini-booth in the Microsoft area was Control Think. This company has an innovative solution where you can control aspects of your home (such as lights and the thermostat) via any device that could connect to the Internet. While this seemed something best suited for laptops and desktops, the representatives said that a mobile device would have no problem accessing the web-based control panel.

 

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