Fujitsu Laboratories, the research and development arm of Japan's Fujitsu, has unveiled a prototype mobile terminal that marries some of the functions of a PDA (personal digital assistant) with those of a Smart Display.
A 4-inch (10-centimeter) LCD (liquid crystal display) that takes up most of the front of the .U Pocket (pronounced dot-U-pocket) makes the device look like a PDA, but there are several features that differentiate the device. The first is the display, said Hideyuki Motoyama of Fujitsu Labs' IT Media Research Institute. It's capable of a resolution of 800 pixels by 600 pixels (SVGA), which is considerably higher than most current PDAs.
Other specifications are close to those of a PDA. At the heart of the unit is an Intel XScale PXA255 processor running at 400MHz, which is used in many PDAs, and it is based on Microsoft's Windows CE .Net operating system, which is the base of the Pocket PC operating system. Networking options on the prototype include wireless LAN, Bluetooth and IrDA infrared, said Motoyama.
This configuration allows for several functions to be performed on the .U Pocket not least of which is its ability to access a personal computer using the Remote Desktop application that is part of Windows XP Professional or RealVNC's Virtual Network Computing software.
Such applications let users access data and run programs on the host machine as if they were sitting in front of it by sending an image of the host machine's desktop to the client. When icons are clicked on the client screen, programs start up and run on the host computer. Microsoft's Remote Desktop application is an integral part of Microsoft's Smart Display platform which performs a similar function.
Other tasks like Internet access from the .U Pocket are also possible because a number of applications are installed on the device itself and there is also a digital still camera on the rear of the device enabling it to be used to take pictures.
The device was constructed as a concept model and Fujitsu has made no decision on a commercial launch of the .U Pocket at present, said Motoyama.