ICT Crossover Products
Many people are already familiar with the acronym IT (information technology), but not nearly as many folks are familiar with ICT, which stands for Information Communications Technology. This is an umbrella term that describes technologies involved in the communication of information. With ICT crossover products, we are seeing that more and more items in the marketplace are becoming virtual Swiss army knives. We want our MP3 players to also play video. We want our cell phones to also act as PDAs. It’s this constant striving toward “What else can you do?” that is creating these “SUV” type products.
In going through some of the other winners of the first ever COMPUTEX Design and Innovation Awards, we see that several products offer more than one primary function. The Asus Ufoto UF735 digital photoframe is perfectly suitable for showing off your favorite pictures, but it can also be connected to your PC to act as a fully functional secondary display. It can also “play the photos with music just like a movie.”
Following in this line of thought with multi-purpose devices, we have the award-winning Mio Leap G50 GPS phone as well. Perhaps the most compelling feature of the Mio Leap G50 is that it is actually a two-sided device. On one side, you have a large touchscreen display for all your personal navigation and PDA needs. On the other side, you have a smaller display and full numeric keypad for phone-related functions. Why buy a phone and a personal navigation device when you can have both at the same time?
New Compact Notebook PCs
It started with the Asus Eee PC at last year’s COMPUTEX. The 7-inch wonder fit perfectly between the relative confines of the PDA and the much larger form factor offered by a standard notebook computer. Because it had the shape and styling of a laptop (as well as a highly affordable price point), the Eee PC was much more successful than the typically keyboard-less UMPC market. The form factor was also very appealing.
Since then, we have started to see all sorts of these sub-notebooks come out the woodwork. From the MSI Wind to the HP Mini-Note, it seems that everyone is jumping on this hot bandwagon. Who can blame them? The Eee PC sells like hotcakes and I can totally see why someone would be interested in such a device. I wouldn’t mind having one myself for mobile blogging and other portable computing functionality.
Also a winner of a COMPUTEX Design and Innovation award as the VIA Cloudbook Max reference design. The Everex Cloudbook was based on this platform’s predecessor. The CloudBook Max offers a larger 8.9-inch display (a size that seems to be all the rage lately), Bluetooth, integrated GPS, and dual embedded 2 megapixel webcams. VIA says that they name the platform as such because its “appearance is smooth and is like clouds on the sky.”
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