Palm Evolution and Next Steps
Reading through the Palm Evolution site (for the umpteenth time), I started thinking about the Palm milestones for 2005 and 2006. It seems like a guarentee that by the end of 2006, we’ll be drueling over a Cobalt 2 PalmOS PDA with a 3-4 megapixel camera(stills, video), 5GB HD, VGA screen, 802.11g(or better), Bluetooth, 3D chipset, integrated thumbpad keyboard, decent battery life, and plenty of expansion ports(a card slot or two, IR, firewire).
This is all great, but I’d like to see some real changes in the way we interact with the device PHYSICALLY. WHEN is someone going to step up to the plate and create a killer, top of the line PDA whose primary screen is my glasses and whose primary input is a detached analog joystick or trackball? Of course, I’d also be pulling for a chordic (one-handed, portable, 5-10 key) keyboard. I wish an industry loudmouth would drop a couple grand(ouch) on existing wearable stuff(HUD glasses, chord keyboard, small trackball or 3d mouse, tiny Linux or Windows PC) and run the PalmOS simulator in full screen mode. Walk around with that setup for a month and report back. Better still – write a book so we all can read it. Does the PalmOS UI design lend itself to a lightweight wearable setup? Steve Mann and many other researchers have already been doing this kind of stuff WITHOUT the PalmOS, so we could learn something there, too.