Recently there has been quite a bit of activity in the world of Mobile Internet Devices (MID). What does this new class of computing device have to offer the web worker?
Lets begin with hardware. For the most part, MID’s include:
- Large, bright screens that are high resolution (for their size)
- Built-in Wi-Fi
- Touch screen or hardware based-keyboard
- Media expansion through SD Cards
- Bluetooth for use with wireless keyboards and other devices
- On-board camera
Mix this fantastic array with the right software and the result is a productive device for staying in touch with your business contacts wherever you can get a Wi-Fi signal. MIDs allow workers to easily communicate via email, IM, Chat, and blogging. Additionally, with office productivity applications you can create and edit office documents, gain web access, and watch audio/video files for entertainment.
Focusing on the N800 and N810, these devices run a version of the Linux operating system and have a full suite of available applications that allow users to: interact with email, browse the web, conduct VoIP calling with Skype/Gizmo Project, and many other tasks.
The N800 and N810 look very similar, but the N810 features a slide out QWERTY keyboard and a faster processor. Nokia released a new version of the N810 with WIMAX capabilities earlier this week at CTIA. The inclusion of WIMAX technology will mean when the WIMAX networks are built out, you’ll be able to access the net when outside of the reach of Wi-Fi signals.
Intel is also jumping into the MID fray with the release of their Intel Centrino Atom processor. These devices will be made by multiple manufactures and are being debuted at the Intel Developer Forum in Shanghai, China. The new MID devices are mostly running Linux and are being aimed at a variety of audiences: from those seeking business connectivity to users looking for entertainment options.
It will be very interesting to watch the near-term developments in this part of the computing world. Mobile internet devices, with their small size and vast array of capabilities have much to offer to the mobile web worker.