PDA News – SD WiFi cards, Socket patents, Sony price cut

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SD WiFi cards reviewed, released

They may still feel like vaporware, but they’re out there. WiFi Planet got a hold of Sandisk’s WiFi SDIO card and gave it a test drive. (Interestingly, under ‘compatible devices’, they list the ‘Dell X3’. Unless they know something we don’t, I suspect it’s a mistake.)


Meanwhile, Socket is preparing their card for release on August 31st. MobilePlanet is already taking pre-orders at $150, $20 more than the Sandisk card.



Socket patents memory & connectivity in one card?

Socket has gotten a U.S. patent for combining memory and communication connectivity on one card. From the press release:

[Socket] today announced the  award of a second U.S. Patent, 6,559,147, covering Socket’s design for combination connectivity and  removable memory expansion solutions. The Company was awarded U.S. patent 6,353,870 in March 2002. The  patents are applicable to mobile devices that combine removable memory in a removable input/output device  including plug-in cards, plug-on modules, sleeves and jackets for handheld computers and other mobile  devices. Socket has already implemented this technology in a proprietary CompactFlash and PC Card interface  ASIC chip, which is available for sale. Socket also plans to license this technology.

In other words, if you want to put memory on a communication card, Socket is now the 800-pound gorilla and you must buy technology from them. I’m not sure, since it’s hard to read past the PR-speak, but this may apply to only Socket’s method, or to all combination cards. If it’s the latter, this is probably bad for us in the sense that now anyone who wants to build a combo card has to pay whatever Socket wants as a license fee. Thus, fewer manufacturers offering combo cards, less competition, higher prices, and less choice.


Sony cuts price on NX70V

Sony has cut it’s price on the aging NX70V. Given that the NX70 has already been replaced by a more advanced model, this is likely a prelude to it’s final discontinuation.


Bluetooth digital camera

It’s not quite a PDA, but it’s kind of cool. The new Concord Eye-Q is the first digital camera to feature Bluetooth. This means that you can send pictures from it to any Bluetooth-equipped laptop, desktop, or handheld. Imagine for a moment, dumping pictures straight from your camera to your PocketPC without swapping cards. Even without the linkup idea, it’s nice to see that Bluetooth is still chugging along, though it could chug faster for my taste.




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