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PCs Meet in the Middle

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Perfect for trains, planes, and soccer games, mid-sized PCs provide entertainment and information no matter where you go; and touch screens make them easy and fun to use.

Eurotech, which is headquartered in Italy, has created a wrist-worn personal computer (WWPC). Worn like a watch, the EvryWear WL 1000 WWPC features a 72-mm by 55-mm display, keypad, joystick, speaker, microphone, and headset jack.



Eurotech was founded in 1992 and calls itself an "idea factory." Now a leader in the field of computer miniaturization, the company focuses on technology that makes everyday life simpler.

"The assumption behind Eurotech's creation and growth is that the most important technologies tend, as they spread, to become more and more integrated in our everyday life, until they become almost invisible," the company's website states.

With an internal USB device and masterports, the WWPC's 64K color display includes a touch screen and automatic contrast adjustment. The pen for the touch screen is located on the computer's wrist strap.

In addition, the WWPC is equipped with wireless capabilities—harboring GPS, Bluetooth, wireless local area network (WLAN), and Fast Infrared technology—and it can connect to remote host systems via Linux or WinCE programs. With the same level of competence as desktop computers, the WWPC has been predicted for use in security, logistics, and emergency-response positions.

Somewhat bigger than the average wristwatch, the WWPC fastens easily on your arm and even fits over long-sleeve shirts and jackets. The ergonomic design allows for an equal distribution of the machine's weight so that it is comfortable to wear.

A Li-polymer battery and a central processing unit that runs on relatively low power make it possible to use the computer for long periods of time before having to recharge.

The WWPC features groundbreaking tilt and dead reckoning technology, which functions as an inner GPS system, making it possible to locate the person wearing the small computer once he/she stops moving. Also, the system has the ability to recognize the exact position of the person's arm and can even put itself on standby when it detects that the arm is immobile by the person' side.

Another company getting in on the mid-sized-PC action, Microsoft recently revealed the design for an Ultra-Mobile PC (UMPC), a handheld computer featuring Windows XP Tablet Edition 2005, wireless capabilities, a 7-inch diagonal touch-screen display, and USB inputs.

The system's touch-screen capabilities are courtesy of Windows Touch Pack, a new version of Windows Tablet Edition. The new edition introduces users to DialKeys, an on-screen keyboard meant for two-hand use.

Like the WWPC, UMPCs possess desktop power within a 2-pound shell. When creating the small computers, Microsoft hoped to build a personal computer that could be transported with ease while still offering users a decent-sized display and all the possibilities of a desktop; it seems they have succeeded.

In order to educate the public about UMPCs and gain valuable feedback, Microsoft has launched the Origami Project. The project's website includes a forum, blogs, information on UMPCs, and downloadable background images.

"Partnering with hardware manufacturers, our goal is to create a small touch-screen PC that people can use in more places for more things," a statement on the project's website reads. "In our first release, we are launching with three of our OEM partners who are offering Ultra-Mobile PCs with the Microsoft Touch Pack. For the Touch Pack, we focused on making it easier to interact with a small touch-screen computer running Windows XP."

The three partnering companies Microsoft is referring to are Samsung, Asus, and Founder. Out of the three, the most publicized is Samsung's Q1.

The Q1 boasts a GPS system, Intel CPU, 40GB of memory, digital television capabilities, and MP3 and Portable Music Player (PMP) formatting. Built for business and entertainment, the Q1 supports eight different video programs, has an AVS Now thumbnail photo gallery, and has an SRS TruSurround surround-sound program.

With a stylish black shell, various case options, and a weight of less than 2 pounds, the Q1 can be used just about anywhere, including at the office, in the car, and on the couch.

"The minimum requirements for UMPC are a maximum screen size of 7 inches diagonally, a touch panel, and a minimum display resolution of 800 by 480," the Origami Project's website states. "Beyond these requirements, it is up to the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) to decide what hardware features they want to include."

Prices will also be left up to the individual manufacturers, but Microsoft expects the cost of UMPCs to fall between $599 and $999.

For more information on the UMPCs featured in this article, visit
www.origamiproject.com, www.samsung.com, or www.eurotech.com.

Popular tags

Eurotech      Eurotech Wwpc      Eurotech Ultra-mobile Pc     

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