Saturday, December 26, 2009

Will they, won’t they

Cutting edge technology that could make its debut in 2010

The ultimate tablet

While the tech world was all abuzz about what the Apple tablet will look like, popular tech blog Gizmodo set the cat among the pigeons by coming out with a preview of Microsoft’s answer to Steve Job’s next big thing. The Courier is more than a tablet, it’s a booklet which takes to drag and drop to its ultimate frontier. While the preview video is more like a scene from Akira Kurosawa’s Dream, it remains to be seen how much of these features actually make to the final product. Till then, Gizmodo says “the dual 7-inch (or so) screens are multi-touch, and designed for writing, flicking and drawing with a stylus, in addition to fingers.” Last heard, Apple was rethinking its tablet strategy.

Connected, always

Talking about booklets, 2010 is sure to let you get your hands on the Nokia Booklet 3G. The Finnish mobile giant is certainly going beyond its service area with a “mini laptop PC” based on Windows and supported by an Intel Atom processor. The company is promising 12 hours of juice despite the 10.1-inch HD display. First looks suggest the booklet will be housed in a smart aluminium shell measuring just 2cm thin and weighing around one kilogram. But all this is netbook stuff, so Nokia has decided to incorporate 3G and HSPA for rapid mobile broadband anywhere-access. Plus, it supports hot-swappable SIM card functionality. The booklet will also provide access to Nokia’s now popular Ovi Store.

Speed, the next generation

IN AN increasingly mobile world, nothing has more bling factor that connectivity and speed. While we are still striving to cut the bureaucratic hurdles to go 3G, the rest of the world is moving closer to 4G. The fourth generation of cellular wireless standards aims to provide ultra-broadband (gigabit-speed) Internet access to mobile as well as stationary users. So how fast is it? A 4G cellular system must have target peak data rates of up to approximately 100 Mbit/s for high mobility such as mobile access and up to approximately 1 Gbit/s for low mobility such as nomadic/local wireless access. In English this means you will be able to download a DVD movie in about a minute.

Load the magazines

SO, IS ebook the future of print media? Thanks t some cutting-edge research we could be in for a bit more colour. The latest digital magazine concept doing the rounds of cyberspace gives us the impression that Kindle was just the beginning. The Mag+ prototype from Bonnier R&D “aims to capture the essence of magazine reading… an engaging and unique reading experience in which high-quality writing and stunning imagery build up immersive stories”. They have a cover story if the preview is anything to go by.

Hydrogen for power

TIRED of running out of juice on you phone? Planning to attach a solar panel to you cell phone to charge on the go? Well, how about a hydrogen powered phone. The hybrid concept seems to be making big strides in the mobile phone space with a bunch of French researchers claiming to have succeeded in commercially developing a hydrogen fuel cell for use as a backup power source for mobile phones. If all goes as planned, the phone will first draw on the conventional battery for its power and then tap into the fuel cell if needed. Each cartridge gives the equivalent of three to five recharges of the traditional battery. STMicroelectronics plans to make the concept sell from early 2010, and they might not be the only ones.