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Comments on: palmOne SDIO Digital Camera Delayed, Rebranded

palmOne has confirmed that it will no longer be offering the previously announced 1.3 Mega-pixel SDIO Digital Camera. Instead the camera will come a little later and be offered as a cross-platform version by its OEM producer. Read on for the full story.
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Blackballing Palm

bluecat @ 12/5/2003 12:08:22 PM #
"A version of the camera is already shipping for the other handheld platforms."

Where have we heard that before?! If this is going to be a trend Palm will be a dinosaur with his feet in the mud before we know it. We'll always be last....

Fond of my TT as I am, it is sad to see how Palm can often not weild enough strength to support it's customers.

RE: Blackballing Palm
hkklife @ 12/5/2003 12:16:37 PM #
If the sorry state of the Sandisk Wi-Fi drivers for OS5 is any indicator, we're in for a rough time ahead. Veo seems to have very sloppily done drivers/software. I have the original SDIO camera that I got back when I had my original T|T and it was very unpolished looking. Their website's a mess too. I pity poor PalmOne, having to rely on the stumbling and bumbling of OEMs like Sandisk and VEO to make any inroads peripheral-wise against the PPC camp.

RE: Blackballing Palm
cbowers @ 12/5/2003 1:24:13 PM #
It's their own fault for jumping the gun on SD.

Idiots! >-(
mikemusick @ 12/5/2003 1:40:11 PM #
This is absolutely infuriating.

Two years ago Palm gave us the big song and dance at the developers' conference about SDIO... and here they (or one of their "partners") are backtracking yet one more time. In the meanwhile they have forced anybody running Palm OS with a established expansion market (Handspring and HandEra) to take a hike.

"Palm, you have essentially told the developer community to forget enterprise applications that might need expansion I/O. I'm tired of passing your endless excuses to my clients. Fish or cut bait, Palm."

Reading between the lines?

hkklife @ 12/5/2003 12:11:37 PM #
Two possible ways to read between the lines of this news:

1. "PalmOne expects to shoehorn a 1.3mp camera into its upcoming Zire 71 replacement and does not want a conflict of interest between its self-branded digital camera devices."

2. "Palm does not have a Zire 71 successor on the horizon and fears that a 1.3mp SDIO add-on to the T|E would devastate whatever sales potential the Z71 has left."


On a semi-realted note: Anyone looking to get a cheap pocketable digital camera would be well-served to pick up one of the 1.3mp (interpolated) Logitech pocket digital camera. I think it was designed by Ideo, of Palm V fame, and it's really a nice little unit for the money. I got mine for less than $60 new recently. It's nothing great, but it has 16mb internal memory and a rechargable li-ion battery. Beats the stuffing out of a Zire 71 image uality-wise. native resolution is 640*480, but the interpolated images, as long as you have plenty of ambient lighting or are outdoors, is quite passable.


RE: Reading between the lines?
DevPOV @ 12/5/2003 12:57:59 PM #
I agree with your assessment. An additional point could also be that the VEO cameras take crappy pics and Palm just doesn't want the support problems that arise from users asking why their camera is "broken"...



RE: Reading between the lines?
RhinoSteve @ 12/6/2003 12:30:29 AM #
If you want to really read between the lines. What I pick up is that PalmOne, the biggest PDA maker, is not being "black balled" but more it black balled the camera. Due to poor customer demand of SDIO devices on their platform.

Limited Camera

palmit @ 12/5/2003 12:24:19 PM #
Would like to checkout this camera, but I think it will be a problem for me. I have only about 3-4 meg of free memory on my T|T.



RE: Limited Camera
Admin @ 12/5/2003 12:47:49 PM #
I believe the camera is supposed to have some amount of memory built in.
RE: Limited Camera
jadam @ 12/5/2003 1:20:43 PM #
would be perfect for the zodiac.

SDIO Usefullness

G Martin @ 12/5/2003 12:20:24 PM #
Without dual expansion, I think the usefullness of SDIO devices such as digital cameras is extremely limited. A lot of Palm users use an SD card as an integral part of their system, and using an SDIO device requires crippling their capabilities. That's why, although I wouldn't mind having wifi capabilities, I'm just not that interested in the upcoming Sandisk wifi SD card.

And since PPC users tend to use compact flash accessories, I just don't think there's much of a market for SDIO devices.

RE: SDIO Usefullness
cbowers @ 12/5/2003 1:36:07 PM #
"Without dual expansion, I think the usefullness of SDIO devices such as digital cameras is extremely limited."

Well PalmOne will shoot back that the Tungsten series *is* dual expansion enabled (for the rest of us though, "sleds" are for Santa Claus and Winter sports).

"And since PPC users tend to use compact flash accessories, I just don't think there's much of a market for SDIO devices."

Exactly.
http://www.palminfocenter.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=19054

RE: SDIO Usefullness
dustbunny44 @ 12/5/2003 1:45:16 PM #
Time to implement the equilavent of "dual floppies" in handhelds.

While the original PCs and clones used them to boot the OS from one while running an application on the other, handhelds can use them (at least at this time) to run hardware while providing a storage interface. Even if all hardware makers began adding memory to their hardware SDIO devices it wouldn't satisfy the need to store and manage memory, apps, databases like the current slot is mostly used for.

RE: SDIO Usefullness
seanhennessy @ 12/5/2003 1:55:10 PM #
Even with dual expanson SDIO isn't a very attractive option. It's tiny size makes development slow and expensive - just look how many SDIO devices have died before ever getting to market. The rest of the industry realised that SD was best suited to memory, and fixed on CF for real expansion. Why couldn't PalmOne see that?

Seán

RE: SDIO Usefullness
JonathanChoo @ 12/6/2003 4:01:35 AM #
Many PPC makers are making PDAs with SD only. The new iPaqs have SD slots (except the h2210), Axim x3, XDA, XDA2, Samsung i700 etc. The reason being that CF is a space killer.

For those who ever open up their Tungstens, you will notice that the SD slot takes up 1/4th of the motherboard. Including a CF slot will effectively double the motherboard size either in thickness or lenght. Space saved by excluding a CF slot could see PDA manufacturers include other goodies such as dedicated graphics and audio processor, higher memory, better screens, bigger battery etc. But yes some people prefer CF slots - and to that I only have to say the NX series is there for people to buy. Its all about choices.

With the current market trend towards building a connected PDAs, most manufacturers are only building their motherboards based on small flash memory format.

Generic Casio > Psion 5/StarTac > Vx > m505 > Sony N770C > Sony T625C/Ericsson T39m > Sony NR70V > Toshiba e310 > Tungsten T/Ericsson T68m > HP h2210 > Tungsten T3/Ericsson T610

Remember this?

Gekko @ 12/5/2003 2:11:26 PM #

http://www.palminfocenter.com/images/sd_lg.jpg

http://www.palminfocenter.com/view_story.asp?ID=1787

"The best laid schemes o' mice an' men, Gang aft a-gley, An lea'e us nought but grief an' pain, For promised joy." - Robert Burns


RE: Remember this?
Kronen @ 12/5/2003 5:30:38 PM #
What a blast from the past. Check out that svelte WiFi antenna. Now that was wishful thinking on Palm's part, no?

RE: Remember this?
JonathanChoo @ 12/6/2003 3:56:57 AM #
http://www.expansys.com/product.asp?code=105995

Generic Casio > Psion 5/StarTac > Vx > m505 > Sony N770C > Sony T625C/Ericsson T39m > Sony NR70V > Toshiba e310 > Tungsten T/Ericsson T68m > HP h2210 > Tungsten T3/Ericsson T610
RE: Remember this?
Marshall Flinkman @ 12/7/2003 10:06:15 PM #
Ok, if Socket can put that out, why don't *they* do a ^#@&^$#@ SDIO WiFi card (for Palm OS--4, 5, whatever!)...?

RE: Remember this?
Wollombi @ 12/8/2003 4:06:42 PM #
Actually, Socket HAS a SDIO WiFi card, but as far as I know it only works on PPC. No PalmOS drivers. Since Socket used to be a big Handera partner, it may not be hard to convince them of the need for that device on the PalmOS.

_________________
Sean

Always remember that you are unique. Just like everyone else.

RE: Remember this?
Wollombi @ 12/8/2003 4:16:14 PM #
Doh! Symbol was the Handera partner, not Socket. Poor memory...why I have a PDA. =)

_________________
Sean

Always remember that you are unique. Just like everyone else.

Proves that SDIO is a White Elephant

RhinoSteve @ 12/5/2003 4:19:59 PM #
This move just tells me that while there are technophiles like those that post here. The entire SDIO attachment effort is going the way of Springboard. (I.e. promising but final form factor is not working out for the end consumer.) SD slots are great for memory storage and that is about it.

Even the Bluetooth SDIO card was limited and was only successful since there was no other Bluetooth Palm OS device out when it was introduced. The tradeoff on PDAs has always been detachment vs. portability.

In my opinion, these "peripheral conventions shoehorned into a memory card slot" designs do not work in the consumer space. Look at PC card slots, you take apart the PC to put in a card, it is placed in and there is no protrusion of anything outside the form factor; just additional connectors for cable. Problem is that most consumers freak if they put a screwdriver to any of their electronics.

However, I think this is what's needed for an IO profile scheme to work on a PDA. You need to SCREW IN OR AT LEASE LATCH it to a PDA so it is not easily removable. Many trails of field use of Palm OS devices with SDIO attachments have failed due to the accidental removal of the SDIO device since it is "push-pull" to release.

While there is a latching notch on the SDIO mechanical form factor standard, not a single Palm OS device has a mechanical latch to lock down an SDIO card to keep "bump out" from happening. Why this latch was not put in is probably typical industrial designer "ewwww" and parts cost vs. enterprise functionality.

Thus, I do not see a full commitment from any Palm OS licensee to really do SDIO right if at all. We will see if any future devices coming out in the future have this. 'Til then, any of the SDIO attachments are not that attractive for the current product offering. This'll make a nice bitch at next PalmSource.

RE: Proves that SDIO is a White Elephant
tmp12 @ 12/6/2003 4:43:41 AM #
Though there are lots of aspects to argue about SDIO accessories I wouldn't call it a White Elephant.

Look at a *real* I/O hardware company like Socket.
Socket is selling a WLAN SD-card. Unlike SanDisk they are not a frustration target in the Palm community. Why?

They took the professional approach of *not* showing vaporware and clearly stating their position.
Which is (more or less): 'Our device will work in all PDAs and the like which comply to SDIO Now! from BSquare. We see SDIO Now! as the standard for SDIO. *We* are not going to write any parallel drivers.'

To me it seems, that PalmXYZ has lost the race for setting a standard - provided they started at all. Actually IMO they didn't. If they would have started, the 'Palm Bluetooth SD' should work in all current Palms.

So what is the problem?
Problems to license/implement SDIO Now!? Money?

I don't believe that SanDisk, Veo etc. are to blame other than for these stupid 'Too-early-announcements'. Maybe they trusted PalmXYZ too much. Others do not.


Gruß
Uwe


RE: Proves that SDIO is a White Elephant
tmp12 @ 12/6/2003 11:28:32 AM #
> Bsquare is a PPC outfit.

Sure it is.

From a SDIO accessories developer's point of view it's a *standard*, though. Something you can rely on and sell your stuff for a *range* of devices - not just for the one ore two you took the effort to write drivers for.

Palm needs to present this kind of standard, too.
I'm still quite hopeful concerning Palm OS 6, but I have no trust at all in Palm concerning OS 4 and 5.


> btw, the smartphone will have WiFi driver soon

'the smartphone' sounds like the Palm-Bluetooth-SD-approach: device specific drivers for specific add-ons. Nice for now and the owners of these very devices.

Do I overestimate the need of a PalmOS-SDIO-standard?


Gruß
Uwe


Ideas

M3wThr33 @ 12/7/2003 3:13:03 PM #
1) Just a general comment. I'm disappointed that my Zire71 can't record movie clips, but I guess I'll make sure my next PDA does.

2)I wonder if you can couple this with the Zire71 camera and use them in tandem to take 3D stereoscope shots with some program?

I don't think you understand the gravity of the situation. We're in space.

RE: Ideas
RhinoSteve @ 12/8/2003 4:42:08 PM #
Well write an app that is a movie recorder for the thing!

I guess I don't understand.

orb2069 @ 12/7/2003 5:19:31 PM #
... how Handera can provide drivers itself for 10+ 802.11cf cards, and partner with Symbol for other assorted interfaces, while Palm has a hard time managing to even get an SD 802.11 driver produced.

My guess is that Veo just made the hardware, and is expecting others to help produce the software/drivers - Something I'm sure that Microsoft is more than happy to provide technical assistance for, then lock everyone involved into a nice solid NDA - Forcing Veo to find a completely different crew to develop their palm drivers, lest Microsoft Drop The Lawerly Bomb on them. I suspect MS has done it before (*), and I can't see why they wouldn't do it again.

(*)See how this trick works here:
http://www.linuxgazette.com/issue29/tag_winmodem.html

RE: I guess I don't understand.
ganoe @ 12/8/2003 8:05:16 AM #
Well, actually, I think it is nothing like that. I'm assuming this will change in OS 6, but the current Palm OS versions out there really don't have a model for writing device drivers (especially WiFi). So that leaves the writing of drivers primarily to licensees (like HandEra was) who have access to the source. Companies like Veo and SanDisk are not going to pay what I assume are tens if not hundreds of thousands of dollars in fees to become a Palm OS licensee, just to hopefully sell a couple thousand $100 to $200 cards. Add in the development costs, and you're going to be lucky to make anything on the deal. Plus you've got OS 6 just a few months down the road which changes things considerably.

I'd suspect in contrast that PPC has a fairly well documented driver model, and probably similar to other Windows versions (at least CE). There are probably no licensing fees, and developers with the experience to write them are plentiful.

There my be other marketing numbers as well. How many typical Palm device owners are going to buy SDIO expansion? Sure, maybe everyone posting here would, but typical Palm users? In contrast, I suspect people buying the HandEra 330 and many PPC models are expecting to use the expansion options.

RE: I guess I don't understand.
hkklife @ 12/8/2003 12:03:40 PM #
I'll go out on a limb and say that the Palm-enabled SDIO peripheral that has the highest market penetration to date has been the 1st Veo digicam.

I'll also roll the dice and bet that more of those units in circulation now were sent to users who bought their T|T and got one for free vs. those that actually paid $100 for one and bought it at a store.

All of the peripherals I use on my Palm on a regular basis are actually for UC sleds or cables-I personally wouldn't want to lost my SD memory card to an SDIO peripheral, nor would I want to chance breaking the dongle/antenna (assuming it had one) on a 56k modem card or a wi-fi SDIO card -the Veo cam seems fragile enough as it is. The chance for motherboard damage to the Palm also seems considerably higher than the norm.


RE: I guess I don't understand.
ganoe @ 12/8/2003 5:18:19 PM #
> I'll go out on a limb and say that the Palm-enabled SDIO peripheral that
> has the highest market penetration to date has been the 1st Veo digicam.

How many Palm-enabled SDIO peripherals are there? I can only think of two.

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