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BBC: 2005 Looking Good for Gadgets

michael posted more than 9 years ago | from the brilliant-deductive-work dept.

Handhelds 149

wiggles writes "The BBC says, 'The relentless pace of development in the hi-tech world and rampant competition in many of its sectors, particularly among mobile phone firms, all suggests that 2005 is going to be a very good year.' They talk about that (overused?) buzzword 'convergence' and the implications for gadgets in 2005 as we further approach the 'convergence' asymptote. So what 2005 gadgets are Slashdotters looking forward to?" I'm forecasting that 2006 and 2007 are ALSO looking good for gadgets. You heard it here first...

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iPhone (3, Insightful)

choas (102419) | more than 9 years ago | (#11243729)

I will need to get my hands on an Apple iPhone (or whatever they will call it)

Home automation (4, Interesting)

ccmay (116316) | more than 9 years ago | (#11243731)

I'm building a house and hoping to be out on the bleeding edge of home automation. There is some very cool IP-based stuff coming out.

Control4 [control4.com] looks especially interesting.


Re:Home automation (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11243780)

have a look at AMX [amx.com] stuff..not cheap, but very reliable, and the programming backend is a lot more powerful than competitors like crestron!

Re:Home automation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11243891)

lay out a star network of ethernet cables to the locations you want control, put the main controller at the hub of the star, from there on, it's a simple matter of addressing the devices you connect to the network and then calling them from within your program (situated in the controller) from the interfaces onwards, it's a matter of IR, RS232 or relay to control any external devices connected to your peripheral slaves. (most codes come with the programming software, but if they aren't there, you can capture IR as well as write your own RS232/ TCPIP commands...like I said before, very powerful!

Re:Home automation (2, Interesting)

kaleco (801384) | more than 9 years ago | (#11243816)

In that case, I'd recommend making the house extensible rather than bleeding-edge with today's technology. Make sure that cable routes throuout the house are easily accessible as well as concealed so that when you decide to tweak something you are able to do so quickly and and painlessly. Oh, and make sure to document the project. I'm sure I speak for most of us when I say it sounds like an interesting thing to do ;)

what's especially interesting? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11243888)

how flash-in-the-pan is this?

"We are in the process of building an online dealer locator tool to help you find the dealer nearest you. Please check back in a couple of weeks for this feature"

what's the interesting part again?

Re:Home automation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11243898)

Building a house?

You must be in management, to both have a job and be able to afford that. Congrats!

Re:Home automation (0)

koi88 (640490) | more than 9 years ago | (#11243939)

I'm building a house and hoping to be out on the bleeding edge of home automation. There is some very cool IP-based stuff coming out.

When we get your IP number, you'll be slashdotted.
All your house are belong to us.

I like the Red Swingline stapler graphic... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11243737)

OH yes.. a red swingline!

useless gagets. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11243744)

Do you really need a cellphone that takes photos, emails, voice, and now video? Do you really need a MP3 players that play 10,000 songs? do you need to carry a PDA?

These are useless gagets that's awaste of money. How about the industry coming up with better drugs and treatments for diseases instead of these 100s of billion of dollars on new useless overpriced gagets.... sure, now we wait for PS3/Xbox2, that'll produce cheap cartoons to entertain us.

Re:useless gagets. (1, Insightful)

over_exposed (623791) | more than 9 years ago | (#11243792)

Do I need a cellphone that takes photos, does e-mail, records my voice and takes video? Nah... Would I rather carry one cell phone that does such things instead of cellphone, a digital camera (video and/or still), laptop and mp3 voice recorder (or tape recorder)? Hell right.

I know the quality of the camera/video isn't comparable to what I would get out of a "real" digicam, but hell, it will get better over time. They may be "useless gadgets" for some of us who don't use a camera or voice recorder on a daily basis, but there is *always* a market for the latest and greatest. Even if there isn't a market for a new toy like this when they conceive it, the clever folks in marketing will *create* a market for it before it's released.

If it has flashy lights, uses a battery, and can be used as a tool for productivity -or- a distraction from the real world, you'd better believe it will get made and it will sell.

Re:useless gagets. (3, Insightful)

MathFox (686808) | more than 9 years ago | (#11243820)

Do you really need a cellphone that takes photos, emails, voice, and now video? Do you really need a MP3 players that play 10,000 songs? do you need to carry a PDA?
I don't need to carry my PDA; but I'ld hate to go back to carrying a dead tree agenda. There are a lot of experimental gadgets coming on the market now. The bad designs will die; some good designs will remain and be improved upon. I can not predict how our personal electronic tools will look like in 10-20 years. I know that some of the current designs will seem hilarious then. I don't see electrical engineers develop drugs. Good communication can save lifes too: Imagine that information about the reach of the latest tsunami had to be distributed by pigeons.

Re:useless gagets. (1)

Analogy Man (601298) | more than 9 years ago | (#11243875)

There are a lot of experimental gadgets coming on the market now. The bad designs will die; some good designs will remain and be improved upon.

I think it is generally the same population exchanging one generation of gadget for the next. I know some that have been through 5 or 6 generations of PDA's. The combination of small and useful is an extremely difficult dicotomy to overcome with a friendly interface. Some products like the ipod have been "killer apps" because they penetrated a new market and have a simple interface.

Re:useless gagets. (1)

CrackedButter (646746) | more than 9 years ago | (#11243941)

Here are some mpegs. One of them being a 1cm thick electronic pad (I liked it). (named SONY 2) This was in the SONY building in Tokyo last September. I wish I had no Karma because everybody is going to see this thing! Remember to remove the space made by the slashdot comment system.
http://homepage.mac.com/crackedbutter/FileSharin g42.html

Re:useless gagets. (4, Insightful)

CrankyFool (680025) | more than 9 years ago | (#11243835)

Once when I was responsible for infrastructure for a major company, my boss the CIO said to me "OK, people are talking about how they'd like the servers to be faster. This is good, because they're no longer saying they'd like the servers to stay up -- they just assume they will."

I don't need a cellphone that takes pictures and plays MP3s, but I'm looking for one; and I don't need an iPod that can store 40Gb of music, but it sure is nice not to have to worry about what to transfer over to the iPod and just put _everything_ there so I can access it.

It's natural, when what we actually _need_ is taken care of, to start looking at the next step -- the things we'd really, really like.

The truth is (well, the truth filtered through my liberal biases) that people need to feel secure in their person, that they need to have a way to make sure they'll have food on their table tomorrow, and a way to exercise a certain sense of autonomy. A roof over their head would be nice too.

While in much of the world the above can't be taken for granted, most of us who read Slashdot already have this. We're probably not going to get shot in the street; we probably don't have to worry about being able to afford a loaf of bread tomorrow. So we start looking at the next, more optional stuff. That's OK -- there's nothing wrong with wanting more out of life than the bare necessities -- as long as we don't confuse "Man, I'd really like to be able to play 'Baby One More Time' as my ringtone" with a need :)

Re:useless gagets. (1)

mshiltonj (220311) | more than 9 years ago | (#11244073)

While in much of the world the above can't be taken for granted, most of us who read Slashdot already have this. We're probably not going to get shot in the street;

True, but wedgies, swirlies, and getting stuffed into lockers are dangers we face everyday.

Re:useless gagets. (1)

asliarun (636603) | more than 9 years ago | (#11244395)

Very true.

To add, I've noticed that of late, most issues or point of views have become polarized. Today, you're either a techno-freak or a luddite. You're either expected to own or at least want a plasma television, a TiVo, a VOIP/cell/PDA phone or you don't even believe in electricity. Heck, it even extends to other things. You're either a Bush lover or a Bush hater. However, i digress.

Like you said, a lot of us are confusing a "good to have" technical gadget with a need. While there's nothing wrong with owning or desiring the latest gadgets, we also need to put things in perspective. The twist here is that technology is rapidly evolving at such a rate that a lot of it is now taken for granted. We've almost become dependant on it. People today, including myself, have very real email withdrawl symptoms if say the network goes down for an hour. Perhaps, this is the reason why so many of us are confusing a desirable ringtone or mobile internet access as a need. Perhaps, the solution to "snap" out of it is to keep reminding ourselves to put things in perspective.

Treo 650 for a non-Sprint network (1)

xanderwilson (662093) | more than 9 years ago | (#11243747)

I'm hoping/betting the reception issues have more to do with Sprint than the cell phone itself, and I'd really like to ditch either my Palm or my phone.


DAB (3, Interesting)

spectrokid (660550) | more than 9 years ago | (#11243752)

A new car stereo with DAB and MP3 for those long drives to work. My wife got a new phone with camera and kitchen sink. We are three weeks later and she still has to place her first usefull phonecall...

Re:DAB (1)

CdBee (742846) | more than 9 years ago | (#11243801)

really, we need home radios that have wifi-to-router implemented as well. I am fed up of needing different gadgets to listen to DAB, Mp3, Online radio and conventional FM.

A USB slot to record live radio onto a memory key would be useful too, although I'd settle for internal caching if it had a big enough hard drive.

Watches that communicate with one another (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11243753)

The rumor is out there [spotstop.com]...

No, thanks. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11243851)

Microsoft is behind the SPOT watches, so you know what that means-- where there's a cool feature, there's a poor implementation with security holes just waiting to be maliciously exploited.

Do you really want to have to buy antivirus software for your watch? I sure don't.

A simple request... (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11243760)

I'm looking forward to a PDA that has decent battery life, costs less than $150, has good software and a decent OS installed on it, accepts compact flash cards, is well-supported, is light and thin, and syncs with my Linux machine without having to use duct tape and an extensive knowledge of kernel operations.

If there actually is a PDA out there for lazy farts like me, then I'd be grateful for the tip. If there is no such animal, then I hope some company stops focussing on cramming multimedia stuff into a smaller and smaller box and listens to lazy farts like me who just want a good basic PDA and are Linux users.

Re:A simple request... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11244075)

I'm still waiting for a PDA with decent storage (4GB+, why not 20) that's universal storage compliant, and has a short USB cable build-in.

I hate to mess around with storage cards, memorysticks and cardreaders when I'm having my PDA around with me all the time. Why one needs to install that buggy ActiveStync all the time is still a mistery to me.

And if possible it should very easily hibernate to disk and restore itself when power goes down, without going through any backup/restore stuff.


Gadget of 1999 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11244127)

Time to crawl from under that stone man... You're talking about a gadget that was launched in 1999(!); the TRGPro. A PalmOS based unit that has good battery life, heaps of good software, is well supported, is light and thin is well supported (incl. Linux) and includes a CF slot (dude, that's soooo 90's !). I'm sure you can pick one up for below 50$.
This is 2005 dude, wake up and smell the coffee... ;)

Convergence (3, Funny)

CleverNickedName (644160) | more than 9 years ago | (#11243763)

convergence (kn-vûrjns) n.
1. The act, condition, quality, or fact of converging.
2. Mathematics. The property or manner of approaching a limit, such as a point, line, function, or value.
3. The act of putting a clock on an existing gadget.

Re:Convergence (1)

supergiovane (606385) | more than 9 years ago | (#11243861)

4. The act of labelling said overpriced clock "Windows Time Reminder Edition" and marketing it as the center of the digital home.

Re:Convergence (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11243867)

3. The act of putting a clock on an existing gadget.

Being the "act" of something implies that it is a verb, not a noun.

Pretty good news but (2, Insightful)

stanley_caiww (547410) | more than 9 years ago | (#11243771)

the toys are so expensive and complex. Do you guys really think they will make our life easier?

MOD PARENT UP! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11243899)

He obviously subscribes to this philosophy because he ... um ... posted it exactly 10 minutes after the story was posted so yeah, he makes his life simpler with expensive gadgets like computers and internet service and slashdot.....

Re:Pretty good news but (1)

Timesprout (579035) | more than 9 years ago | (#11243946)

Of course they will. I am getting on one of these [vertu.com] because I feel 20K stg is a small price to pay for the comfort of knowing I have a crystal display cover which is scratch proof. Finally I can sleep at night.

WiFi phone (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11243776)

I am getting one of the new wireless VoIP phones. A friend of mine has one and it is absolutely awesome. As long as you live in the city or an areas where there are many access points it is the best phone you can imagine. Crystal clear calls worldwide with no noticeable delay at minimal bandwith consumption and no cost. WiFi phones rock!

Re:WiFi phone (2, Informative)

ZakMcCracken (753422) | more than 9 years ago | (#11243877)

Crystal clear calls... until there are 6 of you making calls at the hotspot! There are a lot of scalability problems with VoWiFi (concurrent users competing for bandwidth "collide" all the time, huge overhead for small packets, no call admission control...)

But vendors are clever: since the overhead is huge for small packets, they might as well use a high-quality 32 kbps codecs in there; so when you're trying out their solution with just one or two phones, you think "wow, the quality is better than any phone I ever tried! I can't believe there's so much crap said about VoWiFi..."

But just wait until more of these phones make calls at the same location, along with PCs downloading data, and no call admission control to "queue" users. You'll be happy to have your cellular phone then....

Re:WiFi phone (1)

frodo from middle ea (602941) | more than 9 years ago | (#11244568)

I am already using this since last 2 years in bombay india.

Wireless VoIP Phone [relianceinfo.com].

USofA really needs to pick up pace as far as mobile tech. is concerned. But will the baby bells controlling so much of the telephony market, I don't see that happening.

Camera/Binoculars that know what I'm looking at (3, Interesting)

ewanrg (446949) | more than 9 years ago | (#11243788)

I travel a fair bit for work, and I would LOVE a Camera or Binoculars that could tell me what I'm looking at. IOW, if I pull up the Binoculars from my window seat on the plane (yes, I'm amused easily), it would be great to tell what city or natural feature I'm currently speeding past.

For the camera, it would be nice if it told me in a little overlay, and if it stored the info in the EXIF header to make it easier to categorize pictures.


Other wierd ideas like this on my blog [blogspot.com] :-)

Re:Camera/Binoculars that know what I'm looking at (1)

kaleco (801384) | more than 9 years ago | (#11243842)

Very interesting. Perhaps by combining a GPS reading and knowing how far the object is from the binoculars, it could consult a database of natural features documented in that area. The Database could be as simple as a file on a SD card or something...

Re:Camera/Binoculars that know what I'm looking at (1)

d_strand (674412) | more than 9 years ago | (#11243909)

People are working on exactly what you're asking for. The field is often called "Augmented Reality" [howstuffworks.com]. There are numerous problems though, and the prototypes that works decently are expensive 20-kg packpacks.

GPS is not the end-all solution unfortunately, since:
1) It works really crappy indoors
2) You need some way of knowing exactly which direction the user is facing. Compases are easily confused so you need gyros. Good gyros are expensive and big.

... but it is a really cool field of research.

The Perfect Phone (4, Insightful)

global_diffusion (540737) | more than 9 years ago | (#11243790)

I want the phone I used to have. I bought this Nokia 8600 (8200?) in the year 2000. It was excellent. It was tiny, got great reception and had amazing voice quality. I paid around $150 for it, and it was worth every penny.

I dropped it once and it stopped working. When I went looking for a new phone, I discovered that Nokia had discontinued the 8600 and the only options for new phones were these large monstrosities with cameras, video games, color screens and picture messaging. Absolutely horrible.

Now, don't get me wrong, I'm looking forward to the days of wearable computers, but when it comes to a cellphone, all I want is a phone that is small and has good voice quality. The 8200 was the perfect phone. I have no idea why it was discontinued, but all the cell phone makers are playing the same game -- gadgets, gadgets, gadgets. I don't want crazy features, I want something that does its job well, not 15 jobs poorly.

Here's to hoping that in 2005 cell phone makers will go back to producing good cell phones, and not try to include a camera and an atari emulator on every model!

Re:The Perfect Phone (1)

tcdk (173945) | more than 9 years ago | (#11243858)

When I switched company half a year ago, I was offerede any phone I wanted by the new company, so I went hunting... I ended up with a siemens S55 [siemens-mobile.com]. The S55 was the lightest phone with the features I wanted (bluetooth and gprs). Can't get any games to work on it, the colors on the screen are kind of off and it's kind of lo-res, no camera, but it's light and small and it was easy to get my T|T3 to connect to the internet over bluetooth and gprs (it was even easier with my new Axim x50v).

Oh, and it's cheap.

Re:The Perfect Phone (1)

global_diffusion (540737) | more than 9 years ago | (#11243886)

I found my old phone. It was an 8210 [nokia.com] (the American version). In grey. Totally sweet.

Re:The Perfect Phone (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11244514)

If you are looking for a nokia with decent battery life and no useless crap try the Nokia 1100. It is cheap, and has everything most people need. Without colour screen, polyphonic ringtones etc, the battery lasts for weeks.

There is a real need for non-camera phones (4, Insightful)

sczimme (603413) | more than 9 years ago | (#11243937)

Here's to hoping that in 2005 cell phone makers will go back to producing good cell phones, and not try to include a camera and an atari emulator on every model!

I travel quite a bit to customer sites, and many of them - particularly organizations with very valuable intellectual property (e.g. trade secrets) - explicitly prohibit cameras of any kind. It is my hope that the major mobile phone vendors recognize the need for nicely-featured phones without cameras for use by consultants and other people working in these facilities.

Re:There is a real need for non-camera phones (1)

Xugumad (39311) | more than 9 years ago | (#11244029)

I'm also just fed up with paying for a camera on my phone. The images are next to unusable (I can generally tell the subject is human, and can determine gender and hair colour on a good day). Even the phones with good cameras are around 1 megapixel, and I'm really looking for 3-4 megapixels.

Re:There is a real need for non-camera phones (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11244053)

That's the rationale Nokia mentions when asked why the new 9300 has no camera on it. I would personally prefer to have the camera, though...


Re:There is a real need for non-camera phones (1)

gad_zuki! (70830) | more than 9 years ago | (#11244231)

palmone is doing this. I'm on my new 650 treo right now, and soon they will be releasing a camera free version for the very reason you mentioned, not to mention for courthouses. as far as I'm concerned the 650 is the killer gizmo of 2005. getting rid of my sidekick felt good. real good.

Re:There is a real need for non-camera phones (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11244673)

I'm still waiting for mine to ship. Its been 5 weeks now. Got one of the coupons from the Palm One Road Show for $300 off. Whats the one thing you had to work around on the 650 (besides memory). Is the call quality as terrible as some make it sound on the boards? What app can you not live without?

Re:There is a real need for non-camera phones (1)

lovebyte (81275) | more than 9 years ago | (#11244802)

They will have to make phones without cameras, otherwise how would you make phone calls from Saudi Arabia [bbc.co.uk] ?

Re:The Perfect Phone - Suggested Replacement (1)

RPI Geek (640282) | more than 9 years ago | (#11243950)

I've had my Samsung SGH-x427 [mobiledia.com] for about 6 months now, and it's the best cellphone I've ever used. It's cheap and light, and I can go about a week without charging it.

It also doesn't have all those features that you don't like, which is one of the reasons that I got it. I love that I can fit it in the leg pocket of my jeans or the breast pocket of my coat, and it's very sturdy - I've dropped it a bunch of times and it hasn't yet skipped a beat.

Re:The Perfect Phone (3, Informative)

perky (106880) | more than 9 years ago | (#11244104)

Things I want on a phone:
1. Small
2. Lots of space for contacts
3. Synch with Outlook
4. Some flash memory with a USB socket, like a USB memory stick
5. Well designed UI
6. Good audio quality
7. Shold look recognisably like a phone
8. Predictive text

Things I don't want on a phone:
1. Camera
2. Video camera
3. Games
4. Audio recorder
5. mini qwerty keyboard
6. flashlight
7. GPS
8. Compass
9. Microsoft Office
10. A meda player

Things that are acceptable as long as they don't get in the way:

2. Some kind of WAP/internet thing
3. Bluetooth
4. a Java runtime

Incidentally, I had the same phone as you until it broke. subsequent models have been larger and less easy to use.

Also, with reference to "must look like a phone", when Nokia released the 6230 last year, almost everyone I know bought one within 2 months. This was because it didn't look like it was designed by a 12 year old like the previous two years output.

Re:The Perfect Phone (2, Insightful)

bhima (46039) | more than 9 years ago | (#11244306)

My Girlfriend has this phone that is TINY. I find it almost impossible to use. And I really don't get this incredible shrinking phone thing. The distance from my mouth to my ear is still the same as is the size of my hands. What good is a phone I can't dial?

Re:The Perfect Gadget (2, Interesting)

rwa2 (4391) | more than 9 years ago | (#11244679)

I'm obviously a bit different from you, but here's what I've been looking for:
  • Large, hi-res color display
  • big but slim
  • touchscreen & navigation buttons
  • GSM / GPRS worldphone
  • Synch with Multisync
  • IR / Bluetooth. Don't really care much about Wifi, I can set up a bridge with my laptop if I really want to extend Wifi for some reason.
  • Removable storage (SD / MMC)
  • No camera
  • No antenna "stub" - they're not really necessary for good reception, other than to make the device look like a phone
  • Primary PIM device - all of my other calendars & address books on other computers and group pages would sync off this one.
  • mapping software with bluetooth GPS support, so I can stick the GPS receiver somewhere (on the dashboard, on my shoulder) where it gets reception, and use the actual map in front of me. Mapopolis seems pretty good in this respect, though my wet dream would be something more like Google's Keyhole Earthviewer with remote GPS support (maybe it'll be usable through VNC to a home computer)
  • ssh, with enough keybindings to actually make it usable (amazing how many virtual or real keyboards don't include enough keys of a "standard" 101 key keyboard to do everything you need to in a terminal
  • VNC, preferably through and ssh tunnel
  • Offline browsing with Plucker or something sufficiently plucker-like
  • Online browsing with Avantgo or a full-featured browser
  • Maybe some kind of IM thing, though I haven't really gotten into any of the current crop
  • Would be nice to have some sort of media player, but I don't care all that much
  • So far, I've got my sights set on the next version of the Treo 650 (without a camera, because of work no-camera policies, not that I would miss the camera much anyway). It probably fails on the VNC through SSH thing (unless someone made an integrated secure VNC client already). Also, I should be able to migrate up from my Visor Pro fairly easily, and though I haven't gotten multisync to work yet, I'm pretty happy with using JPilot to sync under Linux (I've never been able to get any of the Win32 tools to restore any of my Visors from backup properly when they get hard reset.)

    I've played a bit with an iPaq h5450 from work, and haven't been too happy with it. Of course, it was running PocketPC 2002, but the touchscreen petered out before I could upgrade it to PocketPC 2003, and it costs $200 to replace (no thank you). I'm currently running GPE 2.5 on it (since xstroke isn't as picky as WinCE and OPIE about the touchscreen not working right), but GPE isn't quite as usable as OPIE. I've even gone through the lengths of installing a Debian ARM distro on a 1GB compactflash so I could run mozilla on it. While all that is interesting, I don't really use it for more than viewing Plucker pages at the moment :P

    PalmOS still seems to have more genuinely useful software than WinCE and even Linux on handhelds at the moment, so I'm not too afraid of going the Treo route... it does break my long-standing "no devices more than $200 in my pocket" rule, but if there's anything "convergence" would do for me, it would be to justify replacing 2-3 $200 devices so I can bend this rule a bit :>

FP (-1, Troll)

laejoh (648921) | more than 9 years ago | (#11243812)


Re:FP (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11243822)

*sung to the tune of "Lump" by The Presidents of the United States of America*


mod 04 (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11243813)

fucking numbers, play area Try 8ot distribution. As she Had no fear people's faces is

It's not really a "gadget", but... (3, Interesting)

PornMaster (749461) | more than 9 years ago | (#11243819)

I'd like to see a reasonably priced mini-ITX system with actual horsepower...

Re:It's not really a "gadget", but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11244204)

I'd like to see nano-itx released. Been waiting 2 years or so now...

$500 "iMac mini" (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11243832)

I hope the rumors about this little beast are true-- I'd love to get as many family and friends as possible to switch away from Windows, and the existence of a cheap Mac would be a big help.

Re:$500 "iMac mini" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11244298)

I'd love to get as many family and friends as possible to switch away from Windows, and the existence of a cheap Mac would be a big help.

A cheap Macintosh is an oxymoron.

Relentless pace of development (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11243892)

I think the relentless pace of development in the hi-tech world and rampant competition will be responsible for many premature releases of buggy gadgets in 2005.

E-paper (3, Informative)

Foofoobar (318279) | more than 9 years ago | (#11243900)

E-ink has made a partnership with a company that prints circuits on plastic making e-paper a reality. They go into mass production in 2005 making the paperless office a potential reality.

fuel cell (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11243903)

Anything with a fuel cell...

More Retro Stuff (1)

ZakMcCracken (753422) | more than 9 years ago | (#11243935)

Like the console that fits in a joystick [thinkgeek.com] or these oldish-looking cell phones [pokia.com]... what's next in this trend?

Re:More Retro Stuff (1)

bhima (46039) | more than 9 years ago | (#11244066)

Retro digital camera's like:

The first rangefinder digital camera using the Leica M lens-mount: The Epson R-D1

The LEICA DIGILUX 2 which is expensive but cool

Or my least favorite: the Rolleiflex MiniDigi, a tiny digital copy of Rollei 6x6cm Twin Lens Reflex Camera

Killer smartphone (2, Informative)

gilesjuk (604902) | more than 9 years ago | (#11243961)

A mobile phone with:

MP3 playback, superb sound quality and standard 3.5mm socket.

GPS receiver and the ability to use standard GPS software for smartphones.

A very good keyboard (not spongey), either a standard phone type or qwerty as long as the device doesn't look stupid.

SDIO compatible SD slot


Good battery life

Good speakerphone

Expandable memory

Non-volatile storage

Palm that doesn't crash (1)

doublem (118724) | more than 9 years ago | (#11243976)

I want a Palm Pilot that does everything my current Palm Pilot does, but without the random crashed and frequent resets when I try to sync, at least with the default applications.

Oh, and I want a SDIO Wireless Card for it.

Oh, wait, this is a REAL WORLD list of ideas, not science fiction. My bad. /me unbends another paperclip, having worn the threads off the stylus that unscrews to reveal a reset pin

Re:Palm that doesn't crash (1)

BenjyD (316700) | more than 9 years ago | (#11243997)

Must be something seriously wrong with your Palm. The only time mine (Tungsten E) has ever crashed is running crappy freeware apps, or test versions of my own software.

The SDIO wireless would be good: I think the official one will burn out a tungsten E.

More on why Palm is junk (1)

doublem (118724) | more than 9 years ago | (#11244061)

According to Palm's Tech Support, there's nothing wrong with it. They said I just need to reinstall Documents to Go.

Never mind the fact that in my original support request, I spelled out in writing that the problems persisted even after a hardware reset.

In the end I uninstalled Documents to Go. Lovely that an application that came with the device turns out to be a bug ridden slice of pain. In all fairness doing so did eliminate an entire category of errors, so now I can sync the piece of junk with just three resets instead of four.

What am I running? Well, the problem predated when I started using zLauncher, and uninstalling it, doesn't change how the Palm syncs. Aside from that, I have Plucker, RealPlayer and the Audible player installed.

I've tried every combination removing these applications to no avail. The bottom line is I still have to do at least two soft resets with almost every sync, even when that sync was the first one done after a hard reset, and syncing against a computer that had a fresh install of the Palm Software and no legacy Palm data or third party applications.

And Palm insists the device is just fine.

Too bad this all started after the 30 day return window, or I could have returned the thing and gotten something else.

Sorry, but after the pain of dealing with Palm tech support, I am never buying another Palm product again.

Re:More on why Palm is junk (1)

BenjyD (316700) | more than 9 years ago | (#11244358)

Yes, Doc to Go is crappy. What happens to the Palm that requires a reset during syncing though? Does it just freeze?

Personally, I'd just return the thing under warranty to wherever I bought it - that isn't normal Palm behaviour.

Nokia 7710 (1)

gmuslera (3436) | more than 9 years ago | (#11243990)

The Nokia 7710 [nokia.com] is a good example of convergence for me, a cell phone with included wide screen PDA, good web browser (with even flash movies support) plus pop/imap mail reader, radio/mp3/video player, webcam, voice recorder, java and even gps, most of the kinds of portable gadgets in one piece.

Maybe in this year the example is taken by more vendors, and that kind of device grow in features and get lower prices.

Let's see... (1)

Batte (845622) | more than 9 years ago | (#11244012)

Let's see how many of them actually make it big. Buy too soon and you might end up with something that's not the standard, no longer supported, surpassed by something else with more functionality, too expensive too use, or incompatible with existing stuff.

the CELL processor (1)

SystemR (787935) | more than 9 years ago | (#11244049)

Actually, I need a gadget that would prevent me from reaching my wallet. Or probably gameshark-like devices for credit cards.

Nah, I'm looking forward to the Cell processor and the technological advances it would bring.

Cell Phones (1)

charliefrog77 (729949) | more than 9 years ago | (#11244055)

How about a phone that works as a damn phone? I don't need an mp3 player, digital camera, video camera, calendar, notepad, toaster, coffeemaker, dishwasher, steam shovel, etc. All I really want is to be able to place a call with the assurance that it will connect, and remain connected until the end of the conversation. But all those R&D dollars keep manifesting themselves in useless crap like opening animations reminding me to be safe and courteous every time I power up my phone.

Is this too much to ask for? (1)

TitanBL (637189) | more than 9 years ago | (#11244134)

A linux or palm PDA with integrated wifi, GPS, and a qwerty keyboard - provides normal web browsing and email. Make it a little bigger than the current PDAs if need be. I have waited way to long!

Re:Is this too much to ask for? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11244383)

yeah. when you see the price tag, you'll keep waiting.

A phone for business not games (2, Insightful)

gelfling (6534) | more than 9 years ago | (#11244156)

I and I suspect most of you over the age of 15 don't need a 'phone' primarilly designed for game play. Though I can't decide which I need more; a device that plays audio CDs and MP3 CDs as well as solid state storage MP3s, or, a phone/PDA combo that can replace an MP3 player as well, as long as the MP3 player doesn't tax the battery much more than the phone how.

I would like better more commonsense PDA functions in the phone such as Palm conduits to Lotus notes and the ability to sync to a web based public calendar. I'd also like a better phone book, one that allows better integration of email addresses.

And as a long time T9 user - back when it was used on Palmpilots as well, I have to say, that dog won't hunt anymore. It's too tedious to use effectively for text messaging and email. I think that Samsung and company are just going to have to bite the bullet on this one and provide a fold up keyboard tht connects to the obscure and seemingly useless data port on on VI660 phone in order for me to effectively use PCS vision services.

And I probably won't get a camera phone unless and until it's a better cheaper and more efficient replacement for a REAL digital camera. And at that, it has to plug directly into a photo printer and unload and print just like the cameras of today.

In five years I want to get rid of my laptop, PDA, phone, MP3 and CD player and use a single device that doesn't cost as much as a car, runs 2 full days on battery power and is 100% backup-able to some storage device on my homeLAN like a network NAS box.

Re:A phone for business not games (1)

NardofDoom (821951) | more than 9 years ago | (#11244607)

And I probably won't get a camera phone unless and until it's a better cheaper and more efficient replacement for a REAL digital camera. And at that, it has to plug directly into a photo printer and unload and print just like the cameras of today.

Why in the heck would you want to print a digital picture? I thought the point of digital photography was that you could share it without killing trees. Get Gallery [menalto.com].

And I'd much rather have everything be Bluetooth enabled and network than carry one huge thing around. Convergence isn't nearly as efficient or effective as connectibility.

Novelties or improvements? (1)

Batte (845622) | more than 9 years ago | (#11244181)

It's in the nature of the avarage gadget to be something you don't need until you buy it, or you see everyone else use it. Keeping that in mind, I'm looking forward to improvements on existing stuff much more than getting my hands on new thingies. If the storage space, portability, speed, ease of use, battery life, and of course the price of existing gadgets will really improve, I'll be happy. :)

PDA with more colors (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11244304)

I'd like a PDA which can actually display 24 bit color at at least VGA resolution. This is for previewing digital pictures. 16 bit color generally looks like crap.

2005 will be a big year for gadget (1)

vision33r (829872) | more than 9 years ago | (#11244309)

Here are some of the top gadgets or hardware: - Xbox 2 (Holiday 05') - Playstation 3 (Holiday 05' Japan) - Sony PSP (already out in Japan, US March 05') - Nintendo DS (finally on store shelves?) - new drive-less Ipod(no official date)

patents (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11244379)

Remember, the european phone manufacturers are looking to legalise software patents. This will of course kill competition, not foster it (as demonstrated by the inpenetrable-for-new-entrants oligopolistic patent thickets in america).

So, I'd say 2005 will be a terrible year for gadgets, unless the EU Council and patent bureaucracy is reined in.

Motorola MPX (1)

DoorFrame (22108) | more than 9 years ago | (#11244409)

It's gotten a good amount of bad press, but this dual-hinge flip phone/windows PDA still seems like a winner to me. I'll find a way to compensate for the small memory.

Bluetooth > Convergence (4, Interesting)

pojo (526049) | more than 9 years ago | (#11244412)

Call me foolish, but I for one am not lusting after convergence. I'd rather have good Bluetooth support. That way, my cell phone, which is good at GSM communications and picture taking, for example, can talk with my iPod which is good at data storage (where all those pictures go). Or my PDA, with it's nice big screen, can download web pages via my cell phone. Or my cell phone can get the next 24 hours worth of appointment information from my PDA, in case I want to travel light for a little while. The scenarios go on and on...

It just seems a little more elegant than carrying one monolithic brick around with you.

Re:Bluetooth Convergence (1)

gmuslera (3436) | more than 9 years ago | (#11244900)

Why carry 8 half bricks when with 1 you can do all? Not sure about size limitations, but the ideal gadget would be one that have by itself, can be accessed all the features, AND is not a brick... probably the size could be the same as your PDA or smaller even. Check this example [nokia.com] (i made already a comment on it here, im not related with the company, but is a good example) of something that is not a brick and have all those features.

Also, maybe separate gadgets do their own task better, but somewhat i would hate to have a Batman's like belt full of gadgets :)

An All In One (1)

rogerborn (236155) | more than 9 years ago | (#11244524)

Give me ONE DEVICE that will take the place of my cell phone, my 4MP digital camera, my large screen PDA running Linux, and my iPod.

Make it with an extra long battery life, or on-board power source, and give it removable flash memory or a micro hard drive (oh wait, the iPod already has a hard drive, thank you.)

That will be convergence enough for me. I don't care what it costs.

But what would be uber-cool is if it were an Apple product.

Roger Born
"Vini Vedi Velcro"

all function in a device: form factor matters (1)

peter303 (12292) | more than 9 years ago | (#11244579)

Which shrinking electronics every device is going to do all it can. You'll just have several form factors to choose from:
"pocket size" for voice communication, text messaging, web search, music, small photos, music;
"head phone" size;
"clip board" size;
"desk top" size;
"wall size" for high quality entertainment.

MIT's Project Oxygen is experimenting with ubiqitous computing with three of these form factors- handheld, desk and wall. Everything communicates through wifi.

You Need A CarryAll (1)

rogerborn (236155) | more than 9 years ago | (#11244675)

Of course, if you all bought one of those nifty new TOYOTA RIDING ROBOTS [gizmodo.com] to ride on, you would not need to converge all your toys. You could carry them all with you, right at your fingertips.

Ref: http://www.gizmodo.com/gadgets/robots/toyoto-ifoot -and-iunit-026866.php


Roger Born
"Sorry. No Refunds"

Consumer Divergence (1)

o0congee0o (800446) | more than 9 years ago | (#11244838)

If companies keep this up, they will find that their new product will not sell, because many people like myself will hold out thinking that a new and better gadget will be released next month.

it used to be I buy a gadget knowing that at I will be "cool" for at least 6 months, but now I find myself holding out because what's the use of buying that new Uber phone when next month there will be a better cheaper one.

what this means is that companies will find their products won't sell and that could only mean a death spiral for sales.

If only Apple would make a Tablet it could be.... (2, Insightful)

WillAdams (45638) | more than 9 years ago | (#11244872)

Unfortunately, Apple, the company with some of the best pen technology and hardware engineering capabilities steadfastly refuses to make a successor to a product which was an excellent ebook reader (and personal digital assistant --- inaugurating the term) --- unfortunately the only pen computing solutions Apple offers are Macs w/ Wacom graphic tablets (I mislike working on one surface and watching what happens on another, and gave up on schlepping a graphics tablet and a laptop around when I got my NCR-3125) or a PowerMac w/ a Wacom Cintiq --- that last is a pretty cool (albeit expensive) solution, but it's uncommon enough not much software specifically takes advantage of it (Alias' Sketchbook was ported to Mac OS X after many requests). Contrast this w/ the situation for Windows Tablet PCs and look at http://www.ambientdesign.com/artrage.html &c.

Think of it as an extension to the iPod line --- the iPod lets one carry all of one's music (as a backup too) and modify the order it plays in --- the iPod Photo adds all of one's images to that --- how about a further upscale unit to allow one to carry all of one's documents?

Even if it did nothing but display a .pdf version (why aren't .pdfs as document previews in bundles a standard for apps these days?) and allowed one to do basic annotation and mark up it'd still be fabulously useful (can you say ebooks? importing annotations from Acrobat and applying them as revisions in Word? extending this functionality to support all Cocoa apps?)

If it's set up to be a Macintosh computer as well, being able to run Mac applications is a huge benison is just icing on the cake, but just basic use (calendaring / scheduling, note-taking, document annotation) in situations where a laptop is inappropriate / inconvenient (meetings, interviews, while walking about), and having the (portable!) equivalent to a Wacom Cintiq whet it's attached to one's Macintosh (look at the program Maxivista for an example of how this could work) is certainly worthwhile.

And of course, it'd be nice to replace my Newton which I still use for contact management (synch w/ iCal and AddressBook.app), note-taking (port the Newton user interface and Notepad) and of course, reading some ebooks (incl. .html versions --- port Safari).

(whose Stylistic has music, hundreds of ebooks, a complete graphic design portfolio _and_ all the tools necessary to update and work on said portfolio --- see http://members.aol.com/willadams/portfolio.html --- including a copy of TeX, LyX &c.)
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