Posts Tagged ‘concept’

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BMW and Thermaltake Create Prototype Computer Chassis

March 10, 2009

Yes, that’s the BMW of car manufacturing fame. BMW, like Porsche, has a design subsidiary that designs products for various product sectors. Their latest piece of work is a concept high-end gaming tower for Thermaltake called Level 10, which was “…inspired by gaming”.

Instead of being just a well designed box, the case is made up of a main wall on the right side of the case, to which a number of smaller boxes are attached. Each of these boxes contains components for the computer that would normally be hidden in their entirety within a standard computer case. On each box is a bit of silver text, such as the PSU Area and the MB Area, identifying the item inside. Along the front, a number of drive bays can be identified, each in their own casings. There are no wires visible on the system either, leading to a cleaner yet ‘modern-industrial’ appearance. The computer is to be bootable by using a USB flash drive as an “extractable power button” and for securing personal data. If you look at the image, you may also notice there is a handle built into the case, one at the bottom on the floor-stand and one mostly hidden from view along the top to allow for quick and easy handling. Without lighting most of the design, and dust, would be hidden. The case has red lighting integrated into it along the main wall and emanating from the motherboard casing, rendering your cold cathodes redundant for now 🙂

In seeing this, maybe Porsche Design Group will begin working on something with another case manufacturer. Keep those eyes peeled!

bmw thermaltake computer case chassis

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MWC 2009 Barcelona – Best of the Rest

February 17, 2009

HTC had a conference of their own at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, in which two new handsets were unveiled. The HTC Touch Diamond2 and the HTC Touch Pro2 were presented with the theme that 2009 is going to be about simplifying how we communicate with people. The handsets will both have the TouchFLO 3D interface which has been integrated even further into a customised Windows Mobile 6.1, this should bring features, that were previously only accessible by leaving the TouchFLO interface, into TouchFLO.

Both handsets feature a touch-sensitive area below the screen that can be used as a zoom control for webpages or documents and messages.

As part of the connecting with people agenda, communications between people are shown in a list regardless of how the contact was made. If you received an email from Jim, and then an SMS text message this would show in the one list, rather than having to check your email client and your SMS inbox individually.

htctouchdiamond2

The Touch Diamond2 features a 3.2 inch VGA screen, 50% better battery life and gravity sensor as well as expandable storage. Expected in Europe and Asia in Q2 2009 and global release later in the year.

htc touch pro2

HTC’s Touch Pro2 has a larger 3.6 inch VGA screen and a slide out Qwerty keyboard over the Diamond2. The feature that is most interesting on this handset is the Straight Talk and speakerphone function. Turn the phone over and it becomes a conference call system. Available from early summer in major markets.

Sony Ericsson are showcasing the Idou which ups the camera megapixel race to 12MP although I’d like to see the image quality improve on mobile devices as opposed to the size/resolution. The SE Idou sports a 3.5 inch 16:9 widescreen at a with a resolution of 640 x 320. The screen is touch sensitive and this video at Engadget Mobile gives a great demo of it and shows how responsive the interface is. Also the device has in built in GPS and the whole caboodle runs the Symbian operating system but with the SE interface on top.

Samsung’s touch screen Memoir, whose casing on the front looks similar in design to the Idou (maybe I need my eyes tested), sports an 8MP camera and according to Engadget Mobile is being released in the USA on the 25th of February so that slightly trumps the Sony Ericsson handset for now. As with many handsets of this range, the unit includes GPS and an accelerometer. There is also face and smile detection for the camera. Another hands-on video courtesy of Engadget Mobile.

Staying with touch screen devices, Samsung’s OmniaHD features an OLED screen a whopping 3.7 inch screen at a resolution of 360 x 640. Accelerometer, GPS, face and smile detection on an 8MP camera. This handset also runs a Symbian OS. Expected release sometime Q2 2009.

2-LG-GD900_02

Having seen people create concepts for phones that are totally transparent, looking like nothing more than a plate of glass which doubles as an LCD screen with etchings for a keypad, it was surprising to see LG going after such a design. LG have announced the GD900, due for Q2 2009, which features a transparent keypad made from a single piece of transparent material and is illuminated by a ‘glow’ of light. With the transparent and flexible battery already invented and flexible displays available how long before we see a see-through roll-up phone? It would make a nice communicator wrist unit or bracelet, would it not?

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Remember LG’s touch screen watch phone, the LG  G910? Yesterday Orange announced that it would be the first network to carry the device in Europe. No word on pricing in the press release but it says the device will be available “…later this year.” If that’s the bezel they’re going to use, then count me out, I’ll wait for it on another network! On the other hand, you may like it.

[update]

During the rest of the Mobile World Congress, other handsets and services besides those from Nokia and Microsoft were announced. In particular, HTC revealed another handset, one of which may be perceived to be the G2, successor to the T-Mobile G1. The handset hasn’t been labelled as such and is instead the HTC Magic. The Magic will be exclusive for a limited time on Vodafone – thank goodness, last thing we want are network exclusive handsets to limit competition between networks.

The HTC Magic doesn’t have a physical keyboard other than the buttons below the screen, one has to rely on the touch-screen keyboard. It has the trackball as seen on the G1 and a 3.2 inch screen with a 320×480 resolution touch-screen and a 3.2MP camera. As Engadget Mobile noticed, there isn’t a 3.5mm headphone jack on the handset, again.

HTC Magic 

It looks like the Android bandwagon is gaining momentum and a buyer looking for an open source mobile operating system won’t be limited to the G1 for much longer.

Also spotted on Engadget Mobile (since I couldn’t go to the MWC) was possibly the ultimate Android handset, well, it’s more like the size of a desktop calculator. Texas Instruments’ OMAP3420 device has a 4.1inch touch-screen display, 16GB built-in storage and SD card slot, full qwerty keyboard, HDMI out(!), wifi, 8MP camera and the option of a 3G model. It will set you back $1150 for the wifi only model and $1399 for the 3G model and that’s probably data only. Still, I think I have a coat pocket big enough for it. See more of this unit at Engadget Mobile.

tags: MWC 2009, mobile world congress, conference, Barcelona, HTC, Touch, Pro2, Diamond2, Samsung, Memoir, OmniaHD, LG, GD900, G910, Sony Ericsson, Idou, Mobile, touch, screen, concept