As technology companies try to define the slew of devices that are smaller than a laptop or bigger than a smartphone, the mobile Internet device is one of the most vague. Basics such as screen size, whether or not it will have voice and other items are still up for debate. Today I visited Texas Instrument’s in Dallas to see its version of the MID, which wraps some compelling base features around a primary application.
In TI’s worldview, an MID could be designed as a media player like the announced ARCHOS tablet I played with in the video below. It could also easily be a navigation-specific device or a gaming-focused one. But all the MIDs built on TI’s reference platform will have many of the same basic features such as cellular voice, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS, as well as TI’s OMAP 3 processor. It will also include a base operating system running the hardware underneath a variety of consumer-facing operating systems from Windows 6.5 or Android to something specific to a manufacturer.
Seshu Madhavapeddy, general manager of TI’s MID unit, says the reference platform has helped computer makers, consumer electronics companies and even smartphone vendors create mobile Internet devices — and is a must to help these companies navigate the convergence of connectivity and computing.
As for TI’s MID strategy, it’s changed a bit from when I last spoke with the company in May of 2007. Madhavapeddy says the company is beefing up the clock speed, and is adding more available memory to the processor to augment all the things people want to do with OMAP, like running multiple applications on a smartphone.