Friday, September 12, 2008

What Girls Want - The Form Factor Of New Media

Jeff Moriarty, Intel’s Mobility Community Manager (center, left) leads a discussion on mobile internet devices and their form factor/function. Image Credit: Intel

What Girls Want - The Form Factor Of New Media

Cellphone technology and computers are rapidly morphing into each other giving rise and attention to the questions, “what form factor will the next generation of mobile internet device (MID – all-in-one portable for personal use) take and what factors other than just form need to be considered?"

In a recent brainstorm session at Intel, a group of industry professionals began a casual conversation about the iPhone impact on function and form factor, and what else can be put forward to improve a pure touchscreen function and form that would make a MID tool more accomidating and useful.

This video discussion is informative and opens up the discussion along gender lines as to what is more important to a woman in a mobile communications, New Media world.

Video Here (Ctrl-Click to launch) Image Credit: Intel

This excerpted and edited from a corporate blog site at Intel -

Chicks Dig MIDs - What devices do you like and why?
By Jeff Moriarty (Intel) (25 posts) on September 10, 2008 at 1:30 pm

What do women like in their gadgets?

This question came up at IDF as a bunch of gadgeteers sat around comparing some of the existing and newly unveiled devices.
Kiesha Cochrane asked the inevitable question about why anyone would trade in an iPhone for any of the other options available, sparking a debate on the pros and cons of each form factor. It turned out several of the women keyed onto different devices from the men, so we decided to grab a camera and a big pile of devices and film the discussion.

Small form factor PC has intuitive advantages over a MID brick. Image Credit: Intel

What is that special "something" that makes devices like the iPhone so attractive? Is it the same for men and women? What device(s) would you pick for yourself and why?

Kiesha Cochrane, Intel's Consumer and Social Relations Manager points out the inherient problems with a too smart design in a streamlined brick form factor. Image Credit: Intel

The result not only taught me quite a bit about the different way people view these devices, but also ended up rather entertaining. Steve Paine from UMPCPortal was one of the participants, and already has a discussion going about the video.
Public Relations consultant, Christine Ngo likes the "slide form factor with keyboard and full web capability over Blackberry and iPhone ... "In White". Image Credit: Intel

When we are all done one of the female participants provided the video title, and there you have it.
Reference Here>>

Worthy takeaways are issues that confront us all:

Do we keep cellphones as phones without the smarts? That is, have a smaller but functional internet access device (mini internet PC) and a dedicated phone.

Do we prefer an all-in-one device and have trade offs to deal with such as size, function, and form factor?

Is there really a gender component in all of this ... does small size matter (it's not what you may think - hint ... purses)?

Thursday, September 11, 2008

New Media Pocket Tool Rated Best Under $200

Kodak Zi6 pocket video camera - Lots of people love the Flip video camera for its smallness and ease-of-use but Kodak looks like they may one-up the Flip with the Zi6. The real attraction of the slightly more expensive Zi6 is that it shoots in 16x9 HD at 720p. Image Credit: Kodak

New Media Pocket Tool Rated Best Under $200

If video posting used to tell a story is the way one likes to do New Media communications, then this review about the Kodak Zi6 from may be of interest to you. staffers provided their findings on a handful of camcorders that you can take home for less than 200 bucks. Each reviewer provided a brief introduction about the camera, what they liked and didn't like as well as a final verdict on the product. One of the six cameras in their test drive was Kodak's cool Zi6 Pocket Video Camera.So what was's final verdict on the Zi6?

"After testing out the camcorder for a couple weeks, we recommend it as an excellent alternative to the much-hyped Flip, especially if you're looking for HD capability. Actually, size aside, it's quite simply the best of the bunch."

Become an instant celebrity or paparazzo! This sleek pocketable design is built for easy video—there is no lens cap, no dials to turn, or settings to set. Just turn it on and hit record to capture the action, adventure, and all the juicy details in stunning HD! Make your cinematic debut on any HDTV. Or just pop the USB in the nearest PC and you’re ready to share the fun on YouTube™. Image Credit: Kodak

This excerpted and edited from -

Best Camcorders Under $200
by Thomas Houston, posted Sep 8th 2008 at 6:02AM

Kodak Zi6What It is:
Kodak's entry into the super affordable USB camcorder market,
the Zi6, comes with the ability to record high definition (HD) video (720p at 60 frames per second). As is standard for this new genre of camcorders, the controls and features are stripped down to the bare minimum, and it's incredibly easy to use, with just three controls. As for getting the footage onto your computer, you have two options. As on a digital camera, you could pop out the SD memory card and throw it into your computer's memory card slot or a card reader. Or, you can click the USB button on the front of the camcorder and a USB-equipped arm will pop out of the side of the case, which you can hook up directly to your computer's USB port.
What we like:
You're probably wondering how the HD footage in a sub-$200 camcorder looks. Well, although the video may not look as stunning as what you'll get out of a more expensive camcorder, it looks better than the output of the rest of its pocket-sized brethren. In our tests, the color range was well-rounded and bright, the color balance was accurate, and even filming high-speed action didn't result in too much noise.The Zi6 comes with a SDHC (a faster, larger version of the standard SD cards) drive that supports cards up to 32-gigabyte (GB) cards (compared to the 2-gigabyte capacity of most of these budget camcorders). We like the option for swappable memory -- it means we can pop in a new card whenever we've filled up the current one.
The camcorder uses two AA batteries, so you won't have to worry about lugging around a battery charger (note: it also comes with rechargeable Ni-MH AA batteries, if that's your thing).

3 mega-pixel still image from the Kodak Zi6 - Pictured is Monarch, a former show dog who reigns at Harmony Ridge Lodge, just north of Nevada City. Image Credit: James A. Martin

What we don't like:
The Zi6 comes with a disappointing 120MB of onboard memory, which is even worse when you consider the Zi6 doesn't come with an extra SDHC memory card. Fortunately, SD cards have dropped in price significantly over the past few years, but figure dropping down an extra $20-$30 for a 4-gigabyte SDHC card, and much more for anything approaching 32 gigabytes. It's hard to argue about size when camcorders are smaller than the size of your hand, but for something that is supposed to be pocket-sized, the Zi6 -- which is as big as an average digital point-and-shoot -- feels just a bit large.

Final verdict:
Size is a minor complaint, though, and we're impressed with the image quality, large and crisp 2.4-inch screen and easy-to-use interface. After testing out the camcorder for a couple weeks, we recommend it as an excellent alternative to the much-hyped Flip, especially if you're looking for HD capability. Actually, size aside, it's quite simply the best of the bunch. The Zi6 will run you around
$180 and is in stores now
Reference Here>>

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Flip Form Factor Comes To Enterprise Mobility

BlackBerry Pearl Flip 8220 – Image Credit: RIM

Flip Form Factor Comes To Enterprise Mobility

A flat rectangle form factor found on most buy and use cellphones, iPOD’s, iPhone’s, Japan incorporated’s iPhone knock-offs, and etc. is not really the best form factor to use when one is looking for electronic communications tools for business field use. One of the main selling points for Motorola’s NEXTEL/Sprint push-to-talk enabled cellphone over the years was a flip or clamshell form factor largely due to the assumption that it offered greater protection to the touch surfaces like keys and display.

The Blackberry 8220 has now brought the flip phone form factor to a fully featured “smartphone” that would allow a greater argument for enterprise mobility applications in large field force deployments.

16 GB of on-board chip storage, a 2-megapixel camera with flash and zoom are on board, and it's also capable of video recording, an OS capable of running Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT) Exchange, IMB Lotus, Novell (NSDQ: NOVL) GroupWise, and Web-based e-mails, and comes preloaded with DataViz Documents to Go, allowing users to edit Word, Excel, and PowerPoint files on the handset.

The only hindrance that may remain would be the ability to install specialized programs that are developed and implemented by the business enterprise that would like to utilize all that a smartphone would be able to deliver in a form factor that screams durability. Only T-Mobile and time will tell.

This excerpted and edited from Information Week -

RIM's Blackberry Flip Pearl Sports Clamshell
The company's first BlackBerry flip phone features push e-mail, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and document editing.
By Marin Perez - InformationWeek - September 10, 2008 10:20 AM

After months of speculation, Research In Motion (NSDQ: RIMM) officially announced its first clamshell smartphone.

The BlackBerry Pearl Flip 8220 still has many of the enterprise-grade features one expects from a BlackBerry, but the new form factor should help RIM bolster its presence in the casual market.

The light-sensing external display enables users to preview incoming e-mails, phone calls, texts, and photos without opening the handset. The company said the internal screen sports a 240 by 320 resolution for crisp detail and contrast.

Like the BlackBerry Pearl, the Flip has a SureType QWERTY keyboard for composing messages, and a trackball for navigation. The handset has integrated access with the BlackBerry wireless services for push corporate e-mail.
While it lacks 3G network support, customers can use the integrated Wi-Fi and the EDGE connection for Internet browsing, e-mailing, and streaming video from YouTube's mobile site.

The handset works with the BlackBerry Media Sync application to let users sync their iTunes music.
The smartphone is capable of playing video, has Bluetooth version 2.0, voice activated dialing, and background noise cancellation.
The device measures in at about 3.9 by 1.9 by .7 inches, and it weighs 3.6 ounces.

T-Mobile will be the exclusive carrier of the handset in the United States, and it will be available this fall for an unspecified price.
Reference Here>>