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Maury Wright?? EDN编辑总监?? 2003年10月17日 ?? 收藏0
The DEMOmobile demos that deserve your attention

Last Thursday and Friday witnessed the annual gathering of wireless and portable players at the DEMOmobile conference, hosted by IDG. Once again the show's format allowed startups and established companies to take the stage for six minutes each in order to launch a new product or technology.

As usual, more demos flopped than not. But the show also reveled some potential stars worthy of medals. Assuming they deliver production products as promised

, the winners include Tapwave, which displayed a hybrid game/PDA device, and Microwave Photonics, which showed a distributed antenna system for cellular networks.

Tapwave and its Zodiac device deserve top billing. The Palm-based Zodiac is a perfectly functional PDA, and yet uses a PC-like architecture to deliver a better gaming and entertainment experience than other PDAs. Indeed, Zodiac may be a better game machine than the venerable Gameboy.

The Zodiac designers added a graphics accelerator from ATI to the Motorola ARM 9 central processor, giving the PDA a pristine display capable of multimedia tasks. Moreover, a Yamaha audio chip provides both high-quality sound and rumble effects for gaming. The screen is sized like other PDAs but offers half-VGA resolution—double that of the best PDAs now shipping.

You can use the device in portrait mode for PDA functions, or swap to landscape mode, where you'll find typical game controls, including an analog joystick, within reach. Meanwhile, integrated Bluetooth support allows for multiplayer action.

Tapwave is taking orders on its Web site, at prices of $299 or $399 depending on memory, and promises to ship devices next month.

The proceedings at DEMOmobile got off to a rather inauspicious start as Firetide tried to use its six-minute slot to install an 802.11 wireless LAN throughout the grounds of the host Hilton hotel in La Jolla, CA. Firetide used the event to introduce a wireless router that eliminates the need for a wired backbone


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