In a previous post I discussed some of my reservations regarding the small form factor Tablet PCs and UMPCs that we are starting to see in the market. Last night I was fortunate enough to catch up with Hugo Ortega (Tablet MVP, Uber Tablet, GottaBeMobile and of course Tegatech Australia) who was in Perth on Thursday and Friday conducting a workshop around mobile computing. As Hugo was leaving late last night, to ensure he was home in time for his son’s soccer game today, I forgo Friday night drinks in exchange for a buffet dinner at the Sheraton – I’m not normally a fan of hotel food but I have to mention that the food was awesome. I’m glad we had the opportunity to catch as I was finally able to have a quick play with the OQO O2 device that Hugo is using as his primary screen.
As I’ve mentioned previously I’m definitely a touch screen person so the lack of touch screen was IMHO an immediate failing of the OQO O2. This combined with a slightly awkward keyboard and the lack of stylus holder meant that I definitely wouldn’t rush out and buy one. Credit where credit is due – the device has some really cool features. Firstly, the screen is unbelivable: even at the highest resolution (software zoomed) it is still easy to read. This combined with the new zoom feature in Office 2007 means that you don’t run into the same navigation/operating issues you do typically with a pda style device.
Another cool feature that Hugo pointed out was the ability for the device to auto-sense lighting conditions. Right next to the screen there is a light sensor that can tell whether the device has direct light, is in shadow or in a dimly light location. When lighting conditions would make the keys hard to read a backlight automatically comes on, illuminating the keys. This is similar to the backlight on the keys of the K-Jam (and a number of other windows mobile ppc devices). I only wish they had this feature on more cars – it would save having to turn lights on and off which have always thought was a bit unnecessary.
Having spent the day in the “Resource Quarter” of Perth Hugo was also right where all the action was when it came to the announcement around free-wifi in this area of the Perth CBD. Dubbed the ResourceNet this is an initiative that has been put together by Rio Tinto, BHP Billiton and Woodside. Other local journalist had the scoop on Thursday when the announcement was made:
In short it was great to catch up with Hugo and to shoot the breeze on where mobility is going. Hopefully Hugo will be back across in the next couple of months when we will try and get him along to the WA Mobility User Group and perhaps even a community dinner.
Update: From Bernard’s post I saw that the Sydney Morning Herald rated a number of capital cities based on their delivery of connectivity. Not surprisingly there weren’t any Australian cities in the top 10 – I wonder with the move to providing free wireless in the Perth CBD whether we might beat Sydney in providing pervasive, free wireless internet access across the entire CBD?