Rumor: Sony T-Series with Virtual Graffiti

Many people are hoping Sony will release a T-series model with a hi-res+ screen. Well, one appears on SonyStyle right now, sort of. In the Product Tour for the T665C is a page talking about its built-in TV remote control. However, the images on that page clearly show it with a virtual Graffiti area, exactly like the one from the NR series but which the T665C doesn't actually have. However, this is more likely a mistake made by a graphic artist than a hint of Sony's plans for the future.

The screens on all the handhelds shown on SonyStyle are simulated. This means the pictures of the handhelds are real but the screens are pasted in from screenshots. This is because it is almost impossible to take a photo that makes both a handheld and its screen look good.

It wouldn't be that difficult for a graphic artist working for Sony or some marketing firm working for it to use the wrong screen shot, especially is they weren't familiar with Sony's products, which is often the case. All it would take would be putting a screenshot from the NR series on a picture of the T665C to make this image.

Sony still may release a model with the T-series shape but the NR-series screen; this picture isn't a confirmation of it, though.

Thanks to tiger_bb and mocca for the tips. -Ed

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fperkins @ 7/29/2002 9:10:16 AM #
... pretty soon people will be buying remote controls with the PDA feature built in ;-)

[ED: Could you please post the article above [or below] the comment fields? Makes it easier to comment on a story when you can reference it as you're typing]

RE: Funny...
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/29/2002 1:05:38 PM #
Its actually very useful when you cant find your remote. No training required, but by the way you talk im sure you havent owned a longranged IR Clie with RMC. too bad

nice, but...

I.M. Anonymous @ 7/29/2002 9:11:10 AM #
not to start a flame war, because I really don't - but it seems to me that 1/3rd more screen means a reduction of at least 1/5th or more battery life - as its more pixels to turn over, and more processor time doing it...

people are always complaining about the battery life of sony devices (I personally don't see it / care - its a rechargable battery, cradle it... it will last a few days of moderate use) but if they keep the dedicated DSP with mp3 playing and use this better screen, I think their battery life will continue its downward spiral.

Of course, using the 66mhz processor and shucking the mp3 for more battery life might be a nice choice for the more business/application minded like myself... A bigger screen is always a welcome addition.

RE: nice, but...
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/30/2002 2:37:15 AM #
This isn't always the case. The Handera 330 uses virtual graffiti (they were the first to market with it), and the battery life on that unit is quite good.

False Hope

I.M. Anonymous @ 7/29/2002 9:25:13 AM #
Another thing that suggests this is a mistake is the lack of physical buttons on the bottom front...Too bad.
markgm @ 7/29/2002 9:26:58 AM #
As much as I would love this to be true, I wonder where the buttons are (maybe Sony realized how bad they were and just got rid of them ;-).) This makes me wonder it I would have gotten the nr70v if they were both out at the same time.
RE: Virtual stylus
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/29/2002 9:40:43 AM #
This new model will implement the much anticipated virtual stylus (neural control) instead of using any hard-buttons.

-Peng Lord

RE: False Hope
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/29/2002 10:34:37 AM #
What if this IS a real unit and it will really be devoid of any external buttons but the power buton and the jog dial?

The optional clip-on "gamepad" will be available for those that want to play games...but for most users, Sony might have figured that the hard buttons would not be missed. Hmmmm....

RE: False Hope
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/29/2002 10:52:49 AM #
>The optional clip-on "gamepad" will be available for
>those that want to play games...but for most users,
>Sony might have figured that the hard buttons would
>not be missed. Hmmmm....

I strongly agree. The functionality that both the jog dial and virtual graffiti area possess should more than make up for the missing hardware buttons.

RE: False Hope
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/29/2002 1:04:58 PM #
It seems more reasonable to consider the picture a mistake by the artist/web designer. BUT If there was such a device I would certainly buy it! Sony are you reading this? There is a big demand for virtual graphiti and once you take that step then it also becomes clear that there is no real need for the buttons either. The jog dial does duty as the up/down buttons and the others can be virtual buttons as far as I care. The buttons could even be on the side. If Sony did some thinking outside the box of standard palm layout they could put out an awesome device that would dominate the market.
No doubt
cyn @ 7/29/2002 1:15:18 PM #
I have a T415 - there's no doubt in my mind that someone just gave the artist the wrong screencap - because the bottom metal bar (the thin buttons have dark brushed metal bars above and below them) still even has the down arrow, which is there for the.... yes .... thats right, the hardware scroll buttons that *would* be immediately above it.

If this were a new model that they accidentally leaked, there would be no reason for it to still have the metal bar - it would look cleanest and be just as functional with minimal space used... screen, case surrounding it, power button.

Still - man would I love this device [with or without unneccessary metal bar :) ].

RE: False Hope
Galley_SimRacer @ 7/29/2002 1:34:13 PM #
I could certainly live without hardware buttons, when there are apps such as NR Buttons. I love my NR70, but a T-series Clie with virtual graffiti probably would've gotten my money before the NR70.

"Life is what you experience between racing games"
RE: False Hope
Dan Harkless @ 8/6/2002 3:51:39 AM #
"It seems more reasonable to consider the picture a mistake by the artist/web designer."

Yup, especially since the picture has been fixed as of "July 29, 2002 6:14:07 PM GMT" according to Netscape's Page Info (always annoys me that crappy IE doesn't have this feature -- Properties gives you the completely worthless date/time the file was written to your cache).

"There is a big demand for virtual graphiti and once you take that step then it also becomes clear that there is no real need for the buttons either."

Nah, there's always a need for at least a hardware power button, and getting rid of the other buttons really sucks if you like to play games on your handheld. I don't think a device that was incapable of playing most games would "dominate the market".

This is the One

I.M. Anonymous @ 7/29/2002 9:43:33 AM #
This is the unit I would buy...

If it were true that it had virtual graffiti

If it was OS 5..make that OS 6

If it ran on 400 mhz Xscale

If it had at least 256 mb RAM, 64 mb Flash

If the screen also acted as a solar recharger

If it had a Universal slot for MS, SD/MMC, and CF

If it was free after rebates

Just my .02 cents

RE: This is the One
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/29/2002 10:25:39 AM #

right.... why not stick a time machine in there for good measure! Unless you want to spend $1500 on a PDA.. you'd better get comfy while you wait...
RE: This is the One
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/29/2002 10:43:29 AM #
Oh yeah, and a time machine and a GPS :) Just kidding
RE: This is the One
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/29/2002 4:17:34 PM #
...Seeing as how we are unfamiliar with sarcasm...

-The comic book guy

RE: This is the One
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/30/2002 12:51:36 AM #
you better go and buy PC computer :-)


I.M. Anonymous @ 7/29/2002 9:40:19 AM #
>However, this is more likely a mistake made by a
>graphic artist than a hint of Sony's plans for the

So, Ed, basically _you_ are starting the rumor and dispelling it at the same time? Have you thought about a career in politics? :)

RE: Huh?
Ed @ 7/29/2002 10:15:07 AM #
I didn't start it. I had several people send me tips on this and saw it on at least one discussion board over the weekend. Several people were taking this picture as clear proof that Sony was working on this exact model and some of the PR images were accidently used for the T665C. I used to work in a marketing department with people who were creating ads and such for products they knew almost nothing about so I know how easy it is to make mistakes like this. So I wanted to point out that this could be evidence that Sony is working on a T-series model with virtual Graffiti, but not proof.

News Editor
RE: Huh?
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/29/2002 11:00:33 AM #
Nothing is by accident here ;-) Not the release of the OSLO picture, nor the "mistaken" Sony T picture. In a down market people are still spending on PDAs and the marketing and sales gurus are using these discussion boards as tools to create hype and push product. BTW there's nothing wrong with it as long we have our eyes open :-)
RE: Huh?
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/29/2002 3:06:46 PM #
I think it's just a mistake. Look at it you can still see the 'down arrow' symbol that would sit below the scroll nubbin. I think sony just put this out thinking that no one would care that it's the wrong picture. Quit debating.

Not sure this explaination works

I.M. Anonymous @ 7/29/2002 10:05:40 AM #
While I understand Ed's point, I don't think it's that simple. And the lack of buttons, mentioned above--although confusing--actually suggests to me that this might be a real model.

A graphic artist, when combining images to produce the virtual tour photo, would be working with an actual photograph of the device and the screen capture. The proportions of a screen capture from the correct device (T665) would be correct for simple placement over top of the blank screen on the photograph. In other words, the screen capture would be square and the space to fill would be square. However, the 320x480 resolution of a screen capture from a virtual grafiti device would mean that the graphic artist would have to cover a portion of the device photograph (the section with the buttons), then work pretty hard to blend the edges so that the result looked natural.

This may not mean that a virtual grafiti T-series Clie exists, but I think it is unlikely that this is a case of a simple "mistake," since the process itself would really not be that simple.

RE: Not sure this explaination works
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/29/2002 10:38:21 AM #
The image is of a different screen pasted on a 615 or 655. If you look below the virtual graffiti area you will see an arrow in the middle. This is on part of the plate that contains the buttons on a 615 or 655.
Artists Fault
tpipher @ 7/29/2002 11:16:58 AM #
I saved the image and blew it up, you can clearly see that this is a artist at work and not real as you see a line down the far left side where the image does not cover compleatly. DARN IT! Was wanting this thing bad!

RE: Not sure this explaination works
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/29/2002 11:25:52 AM #
I agree that this is a cut and paste job. All I'm saying is that this was not done purely "by accident." It may have been put on the T665 virtual tour accidentally, but the image itself was created intentionally. Whether that means it's just a concept or was done illustrate a device in development is the question.
RE: Not sure this explaination works
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/29/2002 2:23:34 PM #
"A graphic artist, when combining images to produce the virtual tour photo, would be working with an actual photograph of the device..."

Not necessarily. Photos sometimes are taken of preproduction models.

Sony is real

I.M. Anonymous @ 7/29/2002 10:16:32 AM #
I think the Sony unit is real and the screen is not a mistake. Sony knows palm users do love this virtual grafitti area. Cross my fingers.
RE: Sony is real
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/29/2002 11:03:36 AM #
I agree! Sony knows this IS what is wanted. Then the only thing left for the perfect Palm is for them to fix the freaking buttons! :-)
I think the unit like that exist =)
mocca @ 7/29/2002 11:52:07 AM #
I don't think it is the mistake from the artists. I understand the process of creating product photos by cut-and-paste as well but the artist won't make the obvious mistake by didn't recognize the different between 320x320 and 320x480 pictures =) At least, I will ask someone first when they want me to cut-and-paste 320x480 picture on the space that is square. I think Sony USA slip and put the wrong picture on T665C product tour.

I believe the real unit like in the picture exist (at least at Sony USA). They might don't want to release it because 1) controvesial of having no hard buttons and 2) it will compete with NR series directly since there are many people want virtual graffiti but slim design of the T series, I for one =)


RE: Sony is real
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/29/2002 2:21:16 PM #
No HARD BUTTONS?!??!! I need the hard buttons esp for games and to open datebook, todo list, addresses, and memo with the touch of a button WITHOUT having to pull out my stylus and tap at the TINY TINY virtual hardkey buttons.

It is much easier to open a program by hitting one button than the tedious process of pullin out the tiny stylus and having to aim the stylus at the exact virtual hardkey button.

If sony is going to do away with the hardkey buttons, i'm afraid i'm going to have to do away with sony.

I love my Nr70v for EVERYthing except the fact that there are no hardkey buttons in tablet mode. I think sony should have somehow made only one set of hardkey buttons available in BOTH clamshell and tablet mode on the NR70v. They could put these buttons where the hinge is, sorta like how the power button is accessable in both clamshell and tablet mode.

the point is, I (and i believe many other people as well) NEED the hardkey buttons.

RE: Sony is real
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/29/2002 5:50:00 PM #
"the point is, I (and i believe many other people as well) NEED the hardkey buttons."

I changed my mind, i don't need hardkey buttons.

RE: Sony is real
mad212 @ 7/29/2002 7:21:23 PM #
Why would you paste a picture over the hardware buttons without asking first? you would have to be a real moron to do this. But it does look like a mistake. What i want is a n760 with virtual graffiti. So they can stuff a fat battery to hold juice. maybe a better up and down button, and bluetooth built-in.


4 real world = hard buttons, to show off = virtual buttons
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/29/2002 11:40:58 PM #
I prefer real buttons, virtual ones suck, first you have to push POWER, besides real buttons are faster
and you don't have to look at the screen
RE: Sony is real
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/30/2002 9:23:04 AM #
This from the people that gave us the innovative 'paperwhite' screen? I think I'll just wait and see.

Just fix the buttons

sandbuck @ 7/29/2002 10:31:07 AM #
That's all I ask

RE: Just fix the buttons
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/29/2002 5:03:21 PM #
Apparently, Sony is incapable of building a Clie with a complete set of adequate buttons.

They must have decided to give up and "go home" so to speak and just avoided the buttons entirely!

Truly awful!

-Kevin Crossman

RE: Just fix the buttons
whiterabbit @ 7/30/2002 3:58:03 AM #
I Love the buttons the the T615c! The Up/Down is great and the 4 app buttons feel very solid.

Just my $.02 of course

Masters of Marketing – Death of PalmInc

I.M. Anonymous @ 7/29/2002 9:30:02 AM #
PPC will sit in sofwtare limbo, and PalmOS (not PalmInc) will survive, why?

Sony (and other 3rd party hardware makers) want what all companies want – market share, period. Frankly, I can’t wait for Sony to release a T series 66+mhz with a soft-graffiti area so I can actually use all of the fantasy claims Palm is making about OS5 today and replace my IIIc.

Yes, that’s right I said IIIc – it is the only PDA device that actually works. No I don’t watch movies, view pictures, or read the bible on my PDA. I do project planning, goal setting, read mail with attachments, and get things done (you know, PDA stuff). I’ve owned too many PDAs (Sharp, Apple, PPC, Palm) to mention and have come to the conclusion that software matters and PPC apps will always be tiny versions of PC apps that lack functionality because of the desire to squash a PC app on to a tiny screen.

Given the extreme pace at which Sony is pumping out “new” PDAs I believe a 66mhz T series with a soft-graffiti area already exists because a T series device such as this is nothing more than an NR70 without the flip-casing. So why hasn’t it the market? I believe Sony is waiting just prior to the release of the new OSLO device because it knows there are allot of OSLO dollars waiting to blindly fly out of electronic junkies wallets very soon.

In this chess game Sony is several moves ahead. When the release date for an OS5 device is made you’ll see a flood of 66mhz/hi-res OS4 devices hit the market and kill PalmInc’s OSLO because there will be no more dollars to spend on OSLO. This will kill PalmInc because Palm needs OS5 sales to successful fund the real ARM device to be released sometime in 2003 and it won’t financially be able to make that happen.

What is ironic here is that Palm did the same thing to Apple. Palm introduced the Pilot when Apple decided to make the Newton more PC-like. The Palm was simpler, faster, and user friendly and the rest is history. The same scenario will probably happen to PalmInc as OSLO tries to morph itself into a PC/PPC. The difference is that PalmSource will survive on its license dollars and continue to provide the OS to the marketplace while innovators such as Sony will continue provide the hardware. And who knows perhaps a Sony ARM device will happen before 2002, but I do know that PalmInc is currently pinned down by Sony’s checkmate and not even the partnering agreement they currently have will save Palm.

RE: Masters of Marketing – Death of PalmInc
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/29/2002 10:24:11 PM #
Where on earth is this coming from?

How do you possibly conclude that the market will be "flooded" with OS4 devices AFTER the announcement of an OS5 device?

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