Intel Ruby UMPC grows up


Intel UMPC 1Intel was demonstrating the Ruby UMPC prototype even before the launch of the Origami devices and if a demonstration yesterday at the Intel Developer’s Forum is any indication the Ruby has certainly grown up.  The new prototype UMPC demonstrated by Paul Otellini and friends has an innovative swivel keyboard, integrated WiFi and WiMAX, and can pair wirelessly with a vehicle for seamless navigation and controlling the audio system of the car.  CNET has posted a 4 minute video of the new device and if you are interested in seeing where the UMPC platform can go you do not want to miss this video.

Intel UMPC 2
Intel UMPC 3

(CNET video via jkOTR reader Kun Kim)



I think built-in navigation computers are much more likely to be accepted by average America than UMPCs, regardless of which is the better technical solution, partially for simplicity, partially because the cost of the device would be just part of a much larger purchase instead of standalone.

Mickey Segal

It was a surprise to see the video and instead of clicking the UMPC into a dock in the car they had the UMPC communicate with a second computer already in a car. I can understand why Intel and VW want to sell you two computers, but I think the consumer wants one computer that docks in a car or at a desk.

A navigation computer does not need anything from the car other than a power cord. The argument for tying a computer to a car is a business one with little technical rationale. In the pre-UMPC era, tying a computer to a car was the most common approach but the long run winner is the mobility approach in which the UMPC can undock and come out of the car.

With navigation systems costing much more than UMPCs, it is hard to imagine the UMPC approach losing except out of concerns about theft when the UMPC is left in the car.

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