Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Lots-Of-Stuff Walkman

A Combination Walkman-Like Device
  [vote for,

One piece of hardware, not much bigger than a standard walkman, incorporating an MD Walkman, a mobile phone, a pager, a PDA, a FM radio, an MP3 player, and a GPS. Comes with microphone headset.

Updated/backed up to/from PC so if you lose it you don't lose everything.

Use internet downloads to upgrade firmware in the box to keep space needed by components to a minimum (eg making the mobile phone SIM card redundant).

The screen would be PDA-sized (similar to the Palm) and integrating some of the 'applications' would make life a lot easier - using the Palm-type text interface to compose text messages for the phone etc. etc.

The driving technology would be a silicon on insulator processor. It could contain a tiny HDD if the battery life was acceptable.

Order now for Christmas!

Scotty, Feb 28 2001

Handspring https://en.wikipedi...andspring_(company)
Founded 1998, with various PDAs etc over the next 5 years... [neutrinos_shadow, Apr 30 2019]

Nokia 9000 https://en.wikipedi...a_9000_Communicator
Released 1996 [neutrinos_shadow, Apr 30 2019]

Psion https://en.wikipedi...iki/Psion_(company)
Also making PDA etc devices (I didn't realise the company was so old...) [neutrinos_shadow, Apr 30 2019]

My old design Https://i1199.photo...flash/Quantum14.jpg
A school project from 1994 [neutrinos_shadow, May 04 2019]

Popular Science https://books.googl...v=onepage&q&f=false
I think this is the issue I referred to... p66 (PopSci archive is till broken; this is from Google Books). [neutrinos_shadow, May 06 2019]

Reminds me of the time I invented the iPhone iPhone
[doctorremulac3, May 08 2019]


       Very similar to a Handspring Visor, if you could plug in several modules at once (and except for the MD player, though that can't be too far off).
beauxeault, Feb 28 2001

       There are a number of companies aiming for this product niche already. The Qualcomm pdQ of a few years ago was a Palm integrated with a cell phone. Some cell phones these days can play MP3s and most are slowly gaining PDA-like functions.   

       The minidisc seems redundant (you have MP3s already) and unecessarily bulky (if a SIM is too big, a minidisc reader will definitely be too big). You can get GPS-like functionality by clever processing of the cell signals, especially in CDMA systems.   

       IMHO one big problem is the human-interface constraints. My cell phone is too small to put a usable PDA screen on it; even the number-pad is sometimes-inconveniently small.   

       (Whether the processor is silicon-on-insulator or some other technology is pretty much irrelevant.)
wiml, Mar 03 2001

       Yeah, what's up with the SOI? Is this thing supposed to be rad-hard as well?
egnor, Mar 04 2001

       egnor: SOI suggested for power efficiency.
Scotty, Mar 04 2001

phoenix, Dec 10 2001

       Should be rad-hard. Nuclear workforce needs these things too. Something to take their minds off of what they are working on.
bristolz, Dec 10 2001

       I think it's quite exciting that we live at a time when this proposal for a "piece of hardware, not much bigger than a standard walkman, incorporating an MD Walkman, a mobile phone, a pager, a PDA, a FM radio, an MP3 player, and a GPS" could be dismissed as a WIBNI in 2001 and now everyone has one (except for the minidisc part - there's probably a good reason why phones don't contain minidisc players...).
hippo, Apr 30 2019

       All you have to do is to get the minidisk, grind it up pour it in the backplate of the phone, there is an app to put the songs back together.
not_morrison_rm, Apr 30 2019

       //I think it's quite exciting//   

       Me too. We live in an age of miracles, with postage-stamp computers thousands of times more powerful than anything imagined 50 years ago, that can talk to any other computer for free. Touch-screens are the witchcraft of our grandparents or even parents.   

       On the other hand, technology has also regressed in other areas. When I was 18, I'd have put money on being able to holiday on Mars by now, and on being able to fly across the Atlantic in in hour. But we can no longer even make it to the moon, and today's 25-year-olds have no idea Concorde was a supersonic passenger plane.   

       I'd be interested to know if anyone can find any important 18-year-old ideas on the HB that were posted as fantasy but are now reality, outside the realms of electronics or biology (or pornography).
MaxwellBuchanan, Apr 30 2019

       A bit late to the party, even in 2001 (see linkies).
Also, I (and my classmates) did a project in highschool graphics class (evolved from good old Tech Drawing) on designing exactly this type of device ("of the future", until I brought a Popular Science mag to school with the current crop of available devices described).
In 1994.
neutrinos_shadow, Apr 30 2019

       I didn't realize Psion was active recently enough for you to not realize it was so old. {Edit: No it wasn't, at least not as it's relevant here. It withdrew from the consumer market in 2001* (and was bought by Motorola in 2012).}   

       Might you have any of those drawings still? I always enjoy looking at concepts from product and similar design classes.   

       {*So, ironically, Psion stopped making consumer PDAs, basically smartphones just lacking the cell radios, the same year this idea proposing a smartphone was posted and called a wibni.}
notexactly, May 01 2019

       [notexactly], see linky. I also tried to find the Pop Sci article, but their archive is broken at the moment...
neutrinos_shadow, May 04 2019

       Cool! The big touchscreen with a narrow bezel and no physical buttons around it was quite prescient. I like the way it folds (in concept, but probably not in actual usage), but these days, I think those fold-out parts would have smaller screens on them instead of just a gigantic speaker and microphone. May I ask where you found lead-acid batteries with an odd-number voltage?   

       I didn't actually know Popular Science had their own archive; I've only read back issues on Google Books. In that one, page 8 mentions a PDA discussed in a previous issue, and on page 51, there's an explanation of your design's data port: it's the (then-Proposed? Prototype? Portable? Personal?) IEEE 1394 standard (now aka FireWire, i.Link, maybe other names). I'm nearly to page 66!
notexactly, May 07 2019

       [notexactly]; I didn't "find" a 9-volt lead-acid battery; NiCd's were small and weak, lead-acid was big and powerful, so I was hoping for some miniaturisation of the "big & powerful" for portable usage. The IEEE1394 was brand new at the time, so I figured it was a good idea (only for it to be usurped by USB...).
I discovered the PopSci archive a few years ago; they scanned and uploaded their entire 140-year issue history, which is awesome!
neutrinos_shadow, May 07 2019

       My point was only that lead–acid batteries are only found in even voltages (AFAIK) because a single cell produces 2 V.   

       iPods used FireWire to great effect for many years, so it's plausible. Some models supported both FireWire and USB over the same 30-pin dock connector.   

       OK, I finally made it to page 66.   

       // Both are remarkably different from earlier PDAs, and from each other. Simon is basically a cellular phone with an integrated computer, while Envoy is a miniature computer with a wireless modem tucked inside. //   

       Those sound like the same thing to me… (Nope: Turns out the Envoy couldn't do telephony.)   

       I somehow hadn't realized that General Magic had been involved with the Simon. That reminds me of a question I thought of the other day: What's the etymology of "General" as a company name?
notexactly, May 08 2019

       //Lead acid... 2V//
Never even thought of that... the normal little box-like 9V was the focus (existing design with existing connections etc).
[doctorremulac]; seems that there are many techno-seers amongst the halfbakers...
neutrinos_shadow, May 09 2019

       //Some models supported both FireWire and USB over the same 30-pin dock connector// - I have a iPod 30-pin connector to Firewire cable if anyone wants it...
hippo, May 10 2019


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