Report from Digital Life

I arrived at Digital Life yesterday and met my buddy Sandro for some gadget goodness.

I snapped a few pictures which you can see here. Motorola had one of the larger booths and definitely had a nice display of phones and some new gadgets.

razor onrazor onRAZR on

The RAZR V3 was a particular highlight as it’s an amazingly slick, yet solid piece. Seeing it in person is the only way to really appreciate the size and manufacturing of this phone. It’s unbelievably thin and feels very solid. The screen is gorgeous and I snapped a picture with the camera and it seemed to do a helluva job, though I was only able to view it on the phone’s screen. From what I could tell, there is no memory expansion on the unit and I even opened the back which revealed the battery and SIM card.

T-Flash
I did not see any sign of the T-Flash we saw pulled out of the V710. I’d not heard of T-Flash previously and as you can see it’s very very small. Size options are available up to 128MB, so good for some pictures and MP3s which is what the Motorola guy had on his phone (and where the actually memory came from).

The MPx series phones were present and from what I understand will be available very soon… Nice screens and design, MS Smartphone is not for me though…

MPMP

Lastly MOT was showing off a video phone called the OJO… This baby is coming soon and supports some very nice technologies… Video is via H.264, though they are possibly going to expand to H.263 to allow for more web cam interoperability and video conferencing with other systems..

OJOOJO

I happened to be standing next to a unit when a call cam in from Philadelphia. The rep did the whole thing over speaker phone and we easily saw the woman calling. She was actually doing a follow-up on some technical issues as the network at the show was causing some issue. Picture was excellent and I could actually hear her pretty well considering the noise of the floor. The OJO is a SIP capable video phone that connects over ethernet though includes an analog port as well for regular calling — though I imagine you could hook it up to a VOIP set-up just the same. Video only works when you are connected via IP to another OJO for now. WorldGate communications will be the first to release a product based on this system, though they assured me the protocol was open for others to write to. The handset detaches from the base and is a 2.4 GHz cordless to be used in either digital SIP mode or as a regular cordless.

The A845, just ridiculously large but 3G capable and this guy A680which I think was the A680 were also there. Pretty sure the A680 was a linux phone and the MOT people said this was coming to the US. It was made totally of plastic but felt solid and light, though it was actually pretty thick. The screen was excellent and was used both with the flip open and closed. When closed the window magnifies the internal screen for caller ID, Time and date stuff…

Media Center was a featured attraction of the show and while initially, I was pretty whatever on the the notion, it was actually compelling enough in person to get me thinking about my home set-up a fair bit (more in a later post…). A wonderful rip-off of the Media Center UI was shown by Meedio. It’s windows only, but very slick and runs on PCs with 2000 or above. With all functions including DVR, it only runs $99 and seems like a great option for the DIY-type. The only thing missing is HD compatibility, but I figure it’s only a matter of time and a software upgrade assuming you’ve got the appropriate hardware to deal with the signal.

meediomeediomeedio

We heard an announcement about a presentation dowstairs and caught a nice walk-through on Windows Media Center 2005 which included a PC, Extender and X-box demo. It’s slick and seems well designed, but damn expensive in my mind. You need to buy a PC just for Media Center stuff, plus the extenders. You’ll be looking at a few grand min to get going which is going to continue to hurt adoption… oh and not allowing content to work with non-PCs doesn’t help much either though I get the MS thinking there… sell more XP!

Caught a glimpse of the Blackberry booth and got to play a bit with the 7100T before taking off for the day…

blackberry 7100T

It was a nice size, with a great screen. Keypad seemed quite usable. The browser was brutally slow in trying to load some weather info… I did not do any real typing so I can’t report of the predictive typing software.

We both had high expectations given the number of emails received from various companies announcing this initial show. After doing a walk-through I have to say it was fine, but far from amazing, and while there were some fun bits, nothing stood too much of a wow or even stole the show in my mind. The show floor was not that large and even stopping at many booths, was pretty easy to walk through within about 90 minutes…

4 comments for “Report from Digital Life

  1. 10/15/2005 at 9:39 pm

    I attended Digital life too! It was great and I actually got in a lot of pictures from PC Magazine and TechIMO. It was great and my first year there. I’m definetely there next year!

  2. 10/15/2005 at 9:43 pm

    and wtf did u go on the second and third day!!! u prolly didnt even go! on the fkirst day it was mostly exclusives not every1 had their booths up, and the 2nd day they had a LOOOT of stuff. they had a lot more Lan partys not hjust for ggl, a whole side of the convention was set up whichw asnt there the first day, ont he left side they set up about 100more comps to show off, pc gamer booth with 3d eyeglasses, they gave out the awards, and a LOOT more ppl were there and celebreties a lot of celebrties, and the whole show floor was extended a little bit to the downstairs, its ignorant of u to post about just the first day of a conevtnion and sa it wasnt that amazing when it was really great. I got about 300 dollars worth of free stuff!

  3. 10/15/2005 at 9:48 pm

    My report was from last year, though I did attend this year as well and thought it was just OK. Nothing that compelling frankly…

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