Friday, January 21, 2005

The WristPDA is here

Fossil finally made it to release their WristPDA! A few days ago, the watch-sized handhelds finally hit the market at about 250$ and sold extremely fast. However, it is pretty difficult to get inmformations about this device-and Fossils Webdesign definitely doen't help out. See below for a photo of one of the three design variants:

Now, after a long Google session, I have found a few interesting links and want to share them with you:
Main homepage at Fossil's
Device homepage popup at Fossil's
ScreenShots of the PIM available on the WristPDA
WristPDA SDK-available without registraiton!
On Fossil's page you can find detailled hardware specs. While there was quite some rumoring about the processor speed, rest assured that it is 66MhZ. Here is the rest of the specs:
  • 8MB of Ram, about 7.4 MB available
  • 4MB of flash ROM
  • PalmOS 4.1.2
  • 4-bit grayscale screen with EL backlighting
  • IRDA port
In addition, this device has a lot of new APIs to accomodate for the smaller display. Palmsource has published an excellent article that discusses the most important changes in their developer newsletter. The main changes are:
Handling of screen refresh
The WristPDA needs to conserve power. Thus, it only refreshes its screen when it really needs to. However, sdome applications may want to have a standard refresh like on all other PalmOS applications. These need to use API to control the refresh mode!
New hardware buttons
The WristPDA has an entirely different hardware button configuration, with a pageup key, a pagedown key, a 3-way "rocker" and a back key(seems to be like the jog dial found on Sony handhelds). The OS converts some of the unhandled key events. Find strategies to handle the button-o-rama in your program here.
Font handling
Of course, this handheld has an entirely different approach to displaying data. Find more in the article mentioned above...
Concludingly, it looks as if we have a nice new toy for developing programs. The ultra-small screen, its refresh management and the limited amount of hardkeys will make us face new compromises(think about a scroll bar for example...)! While this PDA will dwefinitely have a hard stand against the Sonies, PalmOnes and Garmins, it may open up an entirely new area of buyers. People who don't want to carry a PDA, but still want its features. It may also appeal to the REX customers-but that is an entirely different story.
What do you think about the watch? Will you optimize your programs for it? The comment casts the vote....


Anonymous rck said...

Say... do you know, whether we can see that baby in a shop somewhere in Vienna?


René C. Kiesler!

2:59 PM  
Blogger Tam Hanna said...

no-I don't know a possibility either! But actually I would never think of buying one-as it is way to expensive IMHO.
Best regards
Tam Hanna

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