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Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Tomorrow is faster than you think


Even Crave, CNET's blog about technology, isn't fast enough to keep up with the pace of innovation. Here's a post from Monday (emphasis added):

If there were no buttons on your cell phone, imagine how big the screen could be...

Synaptics is doing just that with its Onyx phone (below), a new concept in cell phone technology. Shaped like a remote, it's a bar-style phone that would integrate GPS, music, teleconferencing and calendar events.

But the coolest part is the screen, which takes up nearly the whole handset. Synaptics calls it ClearPad, a thin, high-resolution touch screen based on the company's proprietary sensing technology. With it, there would be no need for buttons to input information. Information can be entered into the Onyx concept phone with two fingers, or via text entry.

Unfortunately, no company is planning on releasing this phone anytime soon, but the Onyx is out there and could be an indicator of what's to come in the design of mobile handsets.
On Tuesday, Steve Jobs confirmed that "not anytime soon" is this coming June. Apple will release the iPhone (above) this summer, and I have to say that it looks revolutionary even for Apple. The iPhone seems remarkably similar in concept to the Onyx, although on first glance it looks better implemented.

The iPhone has been rumored for weeks, but I honestly didn't think it would be this significant a leap forward in technology. I have to confess that I don't care for the iPod's proprietary format that won't allow the use of subscription music services, so I don't know if I'll be an early adopter. I'll probably hold out to see if Palm or anyone else building for the Palm OS can develop a comparable alternative, but I'm sold so far on this new interface.

I think it's wild to see Crave highlight what appeared to be a distant technology on one day, only to see a similar (and possibly better) innovation launch the following day. Things are moving fast around here, and they aren't slowing down anytime soon.




2 comments:

Mindy said...

I love the touch screen phones. Currently, I use a Treo650 and love it. I really like the look of the iPhone; but, don't see myself getting one just yet.

Rob Robinson said...

I have a 650 and love it, too. I do worry about breaking the touchscreen, though, so I hope someday they can find a way to make it sturdier. I dropped my 600 twice, and it wasn't pretty.

I love the look of the iPhone, but like you I'll probably hold out a while. I'd rather have a Palm interface, too.