Please help me, I need your votes badly!

vbimport

#1

For one of the courses on the university we have to develop a device that fits the description “portable storage container”. After debating for a few weeks (with other group members and the proffessors), we came up with a device.

As I need to know if such a device is wanted, I want you to fill in this poll for me.

The device:
The device will be about the size of the PDA, a little bit thicker maybe. It’s equipped with a harddrive (different sizes), a 2,5" TFT screen, a set of speakers, a memorycard slot and some communication standards (depends on the model). The device will be controlled with a set of buttons.

The main functionalities of the device are:

  • storing data on the local harddrive (secure storage is possible with special software)
  • listening to audio (mp3, wav, aac, ogg etc) through the built-in speakers, headphones (wireless with bluetooth or wired) and line out
  • watching video (mpeg1,2, divx, xvid, 3ivx etc) on the TFT screen or through the video out
  • image tank (copy the contents of a memory card to the internal harddrive)
  • watch pictures / documents

Technical possibilities

  • USB (standard), InfraRed (standard), Bluetooth (optional), WiFi (optional)
  • any 2,5" IDE harddisk (40Gb is standard for the base version)
  • pluggable memory card slot (modules: CF, MMC, XdCard, SmartMedia, MemoryStick)
  • looks can be changed with express-on covers
  • all software is fully upgradable, the device runs on embedded Linux so lots of software for free!
  • some hardware is pluggable, so there are some upgrades available
  • the device will come with a good battery (Li with 1000mAh or so)

The prices:
The base version will cost €/$ 500 and have a 40Gb harddrive, USB and InfraRed and one memory card module (what module can be chosen when buying)

The plus version will cost €/$600 and have a 60Gb harddrive, USB, InfraRed, Bluetooth and WiFi, one memory card module and a set of headphones.

The executive version will cost €/$700 and have a 80Gb harddrive, USB, InfraRed, Bluetooth and Wifi, one memory card module, a bluetooth headset and 2 batteries

Now here’s the question: would you be interested in such a device? Here in the Netherlands, the base product costs about the same as an IPod with the same amount of harddrive space or a good PDA. This is not a replacement for the PDA (yet), but it can do some things a PDA can, can do what any MP3 player can, can play all video formats, can even record audio, can work as an image tank and so on…

Well…?


#2

I like the idea. Sort of a palm sized notebook.

Some thoughts though if I may.

You said watch pictures/ documents. With the documents is there no way to edit them. You havn’t mentioned a keyboard/ stylus pen thing. I suppose it could be done with speech to text though.

Would the hard drive be able to be upgraded after time. Ie. Is the O/S installed on it? If so how do you get the O/S onto the new drive?

I like the ideas of the covers. Personalise it to what you want.

Linux for the O/S. Most people know and use Microsoft. Its a fact. Would they want to/ know how to use Linux. Can it be connected to a PC for easy data transfer via USB. This would mean having an IN port for USB. (Different connections on the ends of USB cables)

It’s a good idea. I have been looking at Nomad Jukebox Zens for music and data storage. This would be able to play vids and act like a PC at the same time.


#3

Sure, thoughts are always welcome :slight_smile:

You said watch pictures/ documents. With the documents is there no way to edit them. You havn’t mentioned a keyboard/ stylus pen thing. I suppose it could be done with speech to text though.

Actually, we’re still thinking of what to do here. For basic navigation, buttons suffice. If we want to do more, we should think of a bluetooth minikeyboard and/or pen or so.

Would the hard drive be able to be upgraded after time. Ie. Is the O/S installed on it? If so how do you get the O/S onto the new drive?

This can be done in any store that sells the HDDs for the device.

Linux for the O/S. Most people know and use Microsoft. Its a fact. Would they want to/ know how to use Linux. Can it be connected to a PC for easy data transfer via USB. This would mean having an IN port for USB. (Different connections on the ends of USB cables)

The Linux version will be adapted to a very simpe operatable OS, no hassling around!
USB will indeed be used for fast and easy data transfers.


#4

Sounds interesting. Probably not something I’d buy, but definately pushes the envelope for innovation. Tons of features.

Keep on that though. There’s always somebody who has the money to spend on cool gadgets like that. And if anyone were to sponsor something like that, I’d have to put my money on Sony or Phillips.


#5

Originally posted by conveyer
I’d have to put my money on Sony

the psp is kind of like this, but less productive / more gaming oriented.

open source drivers? then i’d be very interested. would definitely spice up the customizing. as it is, im poor.


#6

hmm, sounds like a PDA/Sony Vaio with a big hard drive running *nix (minus the web features).

somehow it doesn’t sound extremely innovative, but definitely an improvement over a PDA.

of course, with a USB (is that v1.1 or v2?) connection you could hook up an external CD/DVD reader/writer to upgrade the OS or software.

the focus of the device is certainly geared towards media storage/functionality, but I think that the general user wouldn’t be too inclined to an (expensive) *nix product that’s akin to a Vaio on steroids.

I mean no offense, just saying what I think. I may be mistaken. :wink:


#7

@nexus: no offense taken :bigsmile:… I mean… the more comment the better eh?


#8

Originally posted by nEXusJ
of course, with a USB (is that v1.1 or v2?) connection you could hook up an external CD/DVD reader/writer to upgrade the OS or software.

or wifi it to an existing network and upgrade from there.

//random thought - wouldnt one of these with wifi be awesome in a museum (with an appropriate db in the background). walk up to an exhibit, and it cues the machine to bring up info about what you are looking at. maybe some video.


#9

Sounds like a hyped up mp3 player, or rather a mini laptop with somewhat less functionality than a laptop.

Honestly, I think Internet capabilities would push this by far, and personally I think as it stands now it would appeal more to a business person.

My vote is that I wouldn’t mind such a toy, but I like all new toys on the market.:stuck_out_tongue:


#10

I’m not going to pay $500 for something like that. I can spend the same amount and come up with a semi-portable computer system which can do the same and more.
Except for the monitor of course.


#11

Originally posted by xtacydima
[B]Sounds like a hyped up mp3 player, or rather a mini laptop with somewhat less functionality than a laptop.

Honestly, I think Internet capabilities would push this by far, and personally I think as it stands now it would appeal more to a business person.

My vote is that I wouldn’t mind such a toy, but I like all new toys on the market.:stuck_out_tongue: [/B]

business person? what on earth would they need 40GB+ storage for?

unless they were a film professional or something…

and then adding the Internet capabilities would make it just a Sony Vaio with a small screen.

maybe if you got rid of the playback and fancy features, and brought the price down, it’d be more appealing as what it was meant for: a storage device.

like a PDA-sized 40GB+ hard drive with a simple B&W LCD that has a list of whats inside (like some MP3 players) and the file details (size, encoder, etc.). also keep the USB and wifi and all other inputs. that would make a product with a hopefully more realistic price (for what it’s meant to do) and make it a good solid basic product.

just more ideas. :wink:


#12

Too expensive. For me, it would also have to replace my pda and even then it’s too expensive. Maybe a palm-sized plus tablet pc with an easy way to move stuff back and forth to the desktop and enough oomph to survive on its own.


#13

I leave the house with a laptop, pda, cellphone, Garmin GPS with 2-way radio and a AM FM transistor radio to listen to talk radio. Got anything for me?:wink: :wink: :wink: :wink:


#14

Too expensive!


#15

Originally posted by Dee-ehn
[B]For one of the courses on the university we have to develop a device that fits the description “portable storage container”. After debating for a few weeks (with other group members and the proffessors), we came up with a device.

As I need to know if such a device is wanted, I want you to fill in this poll for me.

The device:
The device will be about the size of the PDA, a little bit thicker maybe. It’s equipped with a harddrive (different sizes), a 2,5" TFT screen, a set of speakers, a memorycard slot and some communication standards (depends on the model). The device will be controlled with a set of buttons.

The main functionalities of the device are:

  • storing data on the local harddrive (secure storage is possible with special software)
  • listening to audio (mp3, wav, aac, ogg etc) through the built-in speakers, headphones (wireless with bluetooth or wired) and line out
  • watching video (mpeg1,2, divx, xvid, 3ivx etc) on the TFT screen or through the video out
  • image tank (copy the contents of a memory card to the internal harddrive)
  • watch pictures / documents

Technical possibilities

  • USB (standard), InfraRed (standard), Bluetooth (optional), WiFi (optional)
  • any 2,5" IDE harddisk (40Gb is standard for the base version)
  • pluggable memory card slot (modules: CF, MMC, XdCard, SmartMedia, MemoryStick)
  • looks can be changed with express-on covers
  • all software is fully upgradable, the device runs on embedded Linux so lots of software for free!
  • some hardware is pluggable, so there are some upgrades available
  • the device will come with a good battery (Li with 1000mAh or so)

The prices:
The base version will cost €/$ 500 and have a 40Gb harddrive, USB and InfraRed and one memory card module (what module can be chosen when buying)

The plus version will cost €/$600 and have a 60Gb harddrive, USB, InfraRed, Bluetooth and WiFi, one memory card module and a set of headphones.

The executive version will cost €/$700 and have a 80Gb harddrive, USB, InfraRed, Bluetooth and Wifi, one memory card module, a bluetooth headset and 2 batteries

Well…? [/B]

Methinks Bluetooth should be default as well. Much better marketting for bluetooth and usability compared to Infrared.

I know Li-Ion batteries are great and all, but 1000maH is a little low. is their an optional battery input (2.4/3V socket) + 2.4/3V battery pack so we can have a pair of rechargeable 2100maH AA 1.2V batteries to power it?

Ditch the pair of speakers. On a portable device, sound is usually crap anyway, just have combined mono output to a single speaker, and a 3.5mm stereo socket for earphones. If it can interface to a bluetooth earpiece, even better.

SD/MMC + CF are definite for the standard model.
Others should probably be provided thru another (cheap) device. provide suitable input socket for this reason. CF is dirt cheap memory and incredibly popular.

Maybe a one touch button to transfer all files in the removable card (CF/SD) to a directory on the HD - For photography, people just want to clear their card quick so they can keep snapping pics.

Said button should also attempt to establish bluetooth/USB connection and dump said files to the network connection if no removable card is detected.

However, I doubt this thing can go after the PDA market without handwriting recognition, etc.

The price may need to come down. And/or be marketted differently as the storage container (as stated) with extras.

Don’t get sidetracked too much. Should be easy to get data in and out with minimum fuss. Mp3 playing is just a bonus.


#16

As an after 5+ years of being a Palm user (the PDA, that is) I just bought an IPAQ. I love this little thing. I find the 802.11b connectivity very useful so you might throw that in too, thoughg would be even better. Software should include a browser.


#17

I think you have some competition from Archos

OK, pricing may be different, and your offering is Bluetooth and WiFi enabled which the Archos range doesn’t have - yet.