RealTime IT News

Wireless Concept Device Does Everything

National Semiconductor Friday unveiled a new concept Net device with a wide range of capabilities.

Almost like a device sold on a television infomercial, National says the Geode Origami Mobile Communicator can act as a camera, video camcorder, Net-connected phone, handheld and MP3 player. But wait ... there's more: It also can act as an Internet picture frame as well as a video conferencing terminal, according to National.

The device is the size of a digital video recorder and folds and pivots to assume different shapes for different functions, National says. National says that the device measures 7.5 inches by 4 inches by 1.5 inches thick and weights 10 ounces, National says.

Origami supports Bluetooth short-range wireless connectivity and will work either with 2.5 or 3G wireless networks, according to the company. It is based on the Windows Embedded XP operating system and can run applications such as NetMeeting for videoconferencing and Internet Explorer 6.0 for Web browsing. National says Origami has a four-inch 640 x 480 LCD touchscreen display and built-in 16-bit stereo sound capability and USB and Compact Flash ports.

National is positioning the device as a proof-of-concept device for original equipment manufacturers (OEMs). It says that multifunction products will be widely adopted by users in the future rather than use of multiple single devices such as handhelds and Net-connected phones.

"Origami is a glimpse into the future," said Michael Polacek, vice president of the Information Appliance Division at National Semiconductor. "It is a revolutionary convergence concept that blends National's Geode integrated processor, and wireless, display and analog technologies."

National has, in the past, unveiled concept devices and reference designs for OEMs. In 1998, it unveiled its WebPAD tablet-sized handheld. A number of OEMs such as Honeywell and Qubit picked up the design, but none of the devices has been successful in the marketplace.

David Haskin is managing editor of sister site, allNetDevices.