Sony has announced yet another product at CES. This one is a bit of a head-scratcher for us, though. The Dash Internet Viewer is a sort of touchscreen widget station. Think Chumby, but with a larger (and frankly, beautiful) 7 inch screen and sleeker design. As it turns out, that’s exactly what it is; the Dash runs the Chumby OS.
Sony is pushing the app angle hard, because well, isn’t everyone? The Chumby OS already has over 1000 apps available, and Sony will be making some new ones of its own. The Dash will have Wi-Fi so you can use it to pull down data for those data-hungry apps. There is no internal battery, so don’t confuse this with a tablet device as some already have. Is this something you need? If so, the Dash will be shipping in April for $199.
It seems the world of computer hardware is becoming just a tad pervy of late. All the new hardware being released wants you to touch it. A good example is HP’s new Mini 5102 netbook, which comes with a touchscreen option.
HP’s CES announcement follows one by Leonovo for its first touchscreen, the Lenovo C310 desktop, and Dell’s Latitude 2100 netbook, introduced last May. The Mini 5102 will feature an Intel Atom N450 processor, a 10.1-inch LED display (either WSVGA or HD), a webcam, and face-recognition (let's hope the bugs on that are now worked out). Options include Broadcom HD video (allowing 720p and 1080p HD playback), and a carrying handle. Price is set at $399, and it will be available this month in black,blue or red.
The Mini 5102’s touchscreen will be capactive, same as on the iPhone and iPod Touch. But, it won’t have much to do at first, as there’s little software yet available to take advantage of touch technology. The touchscreen version will cost an additional $50.
Also in HP’s announcement, the TouchSmart tm2, and update to the tx2, a convertible notebook that doubles as a tablet. The TouchSmart will be in stores January 17, with a price of $949.
Touchscreen digital cameras are all the rage (just ask any teenage girl who's seen Ashton Kutcher pimping a Nikon Coolpix), and while that isn't new territory for Samsung, the company's upcoming CL80 boasts a few new tricks.
Electronista describes the CL80 as "Samusng's first real connected camera," which points to the model's Wi-Fi connectivity to upload photos to Facebook, Flickr, Photobox, and Picasa without having to sync up with a PC.
The CL80 will also sport a 3.7-inch AMOLED touchscreen display with haptic feedback, a 14MP sensor, a 7X wide-angle lens, and hardware image stabilization. And of course it will come ready to take H.264 videos at up to 720p.
No word yet on price or a projected release date, both of which are likely to be revealed during CES next month.
Thanks in part to native support in Windows 7 and falling LCD panel pricing (price fixing allegations notwithstanding), the time is right for touch technology to really take off on the desktop. Enter Chunghwa Picture Tubes (CPT), the Taiwan-based panel maker who just launched a 21.5-inch projected capacitive touch panel.
Details remain pretty sparse, but according to Wolf Chen, VP of CPT, the 21-5-inched panel is currently being validated by clients. But that's not all the company has been up to. CPT said it has also started shipping 10.1-inch projective capacitive touch panels and 3D panels.
The company isn't putting all its eggs into one capacitive basket, however, and is also developing touch panels using two other technologies, including optical touch and in-cell photo sensing. Panels built around these two technologies will start shipping in early 2010, the company says.
If you thought Apple's iPhone and Motorola's Droid were slick, wait until you see what the smartphones of tomorrow might be capable of. That is, if Synaptics' FuseTM concept take off.
FuseTM is a collaborative mobile phone concept that integrates "for the first time" multiple interface technologies, including 3D graphics, capacitive multitouch, haptic feedback, and force, grip, and proximity sensing, Synaptics says.
Some of the technological tricks the company envisions is grip sensing by way of capacitive touch sensors on the sides of the phone, which would streamline certain controls such as pan and scroll; 2D navigation from the back of the phone, which Synaptics says enables single-handed control without blocking the display; and 3D graphics with haptic effects.
"Consumers have many options when it comes to choosing a smartphone, and though many phones are loaded with applications to simplify one's life, they often accomplish just the opposite," said William Stofega, research manager for mobile device technology and trends at IDC. "Synaptics partnering with innovative industry leaders to deliver an intelligent concept device that has the consumers' lifestyles in mind will help showcase the true potential of the smartphone."
You can view a short YouTube video demonstration of the Fuse concept here.
If even the concept for a product exists, a modder out there will try and build it. That’s what’s happened with the vaporware Microsoft Courier. A wily user has managed to ditch the keyboard and attach a USB touchscreen display to his Dell Mini 9. The USB powered display is used for typing and writing on, and the original Dell Mini display is used for reading.
Windows 7 makes the whole affair moderately useful with its integrated handwriting and voice recognition. The mod is still unpolished and incomplete though. There’s not really a hinge attaching the two halves at this time. But still, you don’t see Microsoft showing an actual Courier around.
Print publications have really been taking it on the chin as of late, but Time Inc thinks they have just the idea to pull profits out of their current slump. The publisher of such magazines as Sports Illustrated, and Entertainment Weekly is working on an electronic magazine format for tablets. The goal is to make the experience fluid and practical enough that people might actually want to buy it.
The demo appears to take advantage of the tablet form factor. Stories are shown in full screen, and extra materials, like video or slideshows, can be integrated with the main story. There also appears to be some gesture support for flipping through virtual pages. All the content can be updated in real time if the device has an internet connection.
It seems obvious that this format is poised to take advantage of a possible upcoming Apple Tablet. All that remains is for that product (or others like it) to actually exist in significant numbers.Assuming you owned some sort of tablet, would you be interested in this sort of magazine format?
Color us a little confused by this one. Sony has been showing off a surface computer of sorts. The system was constructed with Atracsys and utilizes a camera to track the locations of your fingers, meaning you don’t have to physically touch anything. For some reason, it’s being shown off on a table top… that you touch.
Sony/ Atracsys also showed how the camera system can track facial movements and even calculate mood. The point seems to be that you could interact with a computer without actually touching it. This would be invaluable in an operating room, for example, where sterility must be maintained. Sort of like Natal on the Xbox, apparently. Despite what they’re saying the camera tracking is capable of, Sony is making it look like a glorified Microsoft Surface. Check out the story link above to see the demo video.
Sony Ericsson today published the specs and a video of the Xperia X10, its debut Android smartphone, which was hitherto known by its code name “Rachel”. It can be expected to be a guaranteed fixture on the list of the most powerful Android phones by the virtue of its 1GHz Snapdragon processor.
As for the software, the X10 will run Android 1.6 Donut. In addition to apps found on the Android Marketplace, apps for this phone will also be available through Sony Ericsson’s PlayNow arena service. The X10 will feature a 4-inch TFT touchscreen, an 8MP camera with LED flash, WiFi, A-GPS and 3G. The company is expected to release the X10 in the first quarter of 2010.
Almost as a side note, HP today announced its new Compaq L2105tm touchscreen monitor, dedicating just a few lines to promoting the display in a press release which covered several items.
The 21.5-inch, 1080p display sports a multitouch panel with one finger scrolling and two finger mousing capabilities.. But if you prefer to roll with a stylus, you'll find one jammed conveniently into the side of the monitor. You can even use a gloved finger, says DisplayBlog.com, who points out that the two cameras, infrared light, sensor, and reflective film create a rugged light field capable of detecting just about any type of object.
There was a little bit of marketing glitz on HP's part. According to the OEM, this is the world's first Windows 7 certified monitor, which you means you can plug it in groove to your newly acquired copy of the just-released OS.