OpenPeak is trying to spruce up the bland world of home or VOIP phones with its OpenFrame phone range. The company announced that its OpenFrame IP Media Phone is now ready for production. Service providers are expected to begin supporting the phone in Q1 2009.
It is certainly not a generic home phone as it deploys the Intel Atom processor. The touchscreen phone will provide a rich media experience along with voice and data services. OpenPeak believes that the phone will present new revenue opportunities to VOIP service providers. We will have to wait for a while to learn about its fate.
Since netbooks deploy quaint technology as compared to their full-blown cousins, it can be difficult to believe that they are actually aimed at the future. But that is exactly what Rob Enderle, principal analyst at the Enderle group, thinks. His reasoning is that netbooks would be more practical and fun when WiMax becomes ubiquitous in the near future. A netbook quickly transforms into a worthless, nondescript device once you have no internet access to breathe life into it. Rob Enderle’s point about netbooks being useless without internet might appear to be a mere reiteration of the obvious, but it is actually a very insightful observation.
The abandoned remains of EarthLink’s ambitious free WiFi service are scattered across various U.S cities. Many of the WiFi networks that EarthLink founded have been rescued by private investors and saved from their inevitable demise. The latest savior happens to be Google, which has decided to run the WiFi network in Milpitas. It has joined hands with I-Net Solutions and a few others to save the network. There will be no access fee unlike the time when EarthLink ran this particular network . The Milpitas network didn't figure on EarthLink's list of free WiFi networks.
In between the ultra-high frequency television channels sits a spectrum of TV "white space," and as U.S. broadcasters transition from analog to digital transmission in time to meet the Federal Trade Commission's February 2009 deadline, these vacant bands are becoming a point of contention.
Google, Motorola, Microsoft, Philips, and others envision these vacant bands being used for universal wireless internet, and to plead its case to the FCC (and apply some pressure), Google has setup a website called FreeTheAirwaves.com with a four minute YouTube video outlining why opening up the spectrum would be a good thing.
But not everyone is in agreement with Google and Co.'s semi-Utopian vision. According to audio industry professionals, opening up the spectrum could be disastrous. Why? Because wireless audio equipment could suddenly find itself facing significant interference from electronic devices searching for wireless connectivity.
"The radio frequency environment is going to become more crowded and more difficult to use," says Mike Torlone, director of marketing services at AKG Acoustics, a division of audio-equipment manufacturer Harman International.
The fear is that everything from celebrity concerts to the local church sermon could potentially be affected, but Google thinks there are ways around the problem, such as using a geolocation database to ensure no white space device could transmit without first getting the all-clear from the database.
What's your take? Should the FCC open up the spectrum, or will doing so cause more problems than it purports to solve?
With the emergence of eSATA combined with Firewire still sticking around, competition remains stiff for USB to stay on top of its game. Helping it do that, NEC this week expanded its wireless USB devices lineup with the introduction of the uPD720171 wireless USB host controller. The new controller ups the ante over NEC's previous model with higher throughput and higher performance.
"As the consumer appetite for wireless connectivity increases, the industry is requiring reliable, standardized interface solutions that can transmit data at speeds equivalent to wired USB connections," said Yoshiyuki Tomoda, Group Manager, SoC Systems Division, NEC. "By providing these performance levels, our new uPD720171 host controller is helping bring the industry closer to mainstream adoption of advanced wireless technologies."
NEC claims the new host controller supports data transfer rates of up to 480 Mbps within a maximum range of three meters, along with up to 32 connections to physical wireless USB compliant devices. Pricing and availability are yet to be determined.
Archos has divulged details of three new Internet Media Tablets, Archos 5, Archos 5G and Archos 7. The Archos IMTs run on the TI ARM Cortex microprocessor and offer WiFi and 3.5G HSDPA connectivity. Only the Archos 5G has inbuilt 3.5G connectivity and users will have to buy additional plug-ins for using 3.5G on other two tablets.
The Archos internet tablets offers 5 to 7 inch touch-screens and up to 320GB of storage. There are a lot of plug-ins and accessories like the high-definition video plug-in that offers 720p video playback. Throw in the DVR peripheral, the Archos turns into a digital video recorder and, additionally, it lets users browse the internet on their TV using a remote control. The DVR accessory even lets users beam live TV to a wide gamut of devices using WiFi – a portable media center of sorts.
The Archos 5 goes on sale sometime in September and will be available in three versions, 60GB ($349.99), 120GB (399.99) and 250GB ($449.99). The Archos 7 and Archos 5G internet tablets will be available in October and early 2009 respectively.
Coming this fall, Sony will unveil its first WHDI device, the DMX-WL1T. If you haven't been following, WHDI is a new technology co-developed by Amimon, Hitachi, Motorola, Samsung, Sharp, and Sony that provides a high-quality, uncompressed wireless link for transmitting video data rates of up to 3Gbps between an HD source and an HDTV.
Giving the device widespread flexibility, Sony's DMX-WL1T will come equipped with four HDMI inputs, one component input, one digital audio input, and a stereo analog input. The two-piece system will transmit uncompressed 1080i video and audio, but according to Sony Insider, HD content will likely only stream to a Sony DMex compatible Bravia HDTV.
Concrete details have yet to emerge, but it looks as though the WHDI device will offer a range of up to 100 feet and possibly more. Three IR Blaster ports also suggest that users will be able to control other third-party devices. Sony is expected to officially announce the DMX-WL1T later this month at the IFA conference in Berlin. Until then, it's all speculation, including pricing and availability.
The net is no place for slowpokes and Netgear hopes to nudge home networks into 802.11n territory with its Wireless-N Upgrade Kit (WNEB3100). For MSRP $149 (cheaper online), the kit comes with Netgear's 5GHz Wireless-N HD Access Point (WNHDE111) and the company's RangeMax DualBand Wireless-N Adapter (WNDA3100). When plugged into an existing router or gateway, the kit gives surfers an easy upgrade path to a speedy dual-band Wireless-N network which any Wi-Fi compliant computer or device can then tap into.
“The Wireless-N Upgrade kit enables customers with existing gateways and routers from their ISPs to easily add the performance benefits of 5GHz Wireless-N to their networks by simply connecting the kit to their existing wireless equipment, eliminating the need to re-wire, reconfigure or replace any existing equipment,” explained Som Pal Choudhury, Senior Product Line Manager for Advanced Wireless at Netgear.
The Access Point can also serve duty as a standalone bridge for connecting game consoles, media receivers, and other similar devices, and supports a wireless 'ad-hoc' mode for multicast point-to-multi-point high definition video streaming and wireless LAN peer-to-peer gaming. And because it comes equipped with automatic Quality of Service (QOS), Netgear claims gaming and movie watching will be lag- and jitter-free.
Forget that whole Microsoft Sync thing, satellite radio, GPS, mobile phone convos, quick one-handed SMS chats, shaving (or eyeliner application) and Wiggles DVDs (for the kids, of course....). Chrysler's taking it to a whole 'notha level of distraction with its 2009 lineup. With a more than 19% dip in sales last year, the U.S. automaker is looking for something to get buyers' attention. So they're putting in a wireless router (on top of a 600-800 kb/sec cellular data stream).
It's pretty much like the rollouts on planes and trains, but now, automobile drivers (and passengers) can stay logged on to WoW, get in a round of UT3 deathmatch approaching the tolls, snipe that winning bid on Ebay, and finish that torrent as you pull into the driveway. And don't worry, the driver in the Corolla up your tailpipe actually doesn't have road rage. Dude's just leeching your Wifi.
Not all systems are go, but starting today, many of American Airlines' flights are Gogo equipped, the new service offering in-flight wireless internet access while traveling above the clouds. All 15 of American's Boeing 767-200 jets traveling from JFK airport in New York to destinations in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Miami are up and running free of charge to passengers, with pricing set for $12.95 (flights over three hours) and $9.95 (flights under three hours) once the service officially launches in a couple of weeks. Using a version of EVDO Rev A technology, Gogo equipped jets will communicate with a network of 92 cell phone towers nationwide. If the rollout goes smoothly, American Airlines indicated it would expand the service throughout its fleet.