The itsy bitsy handheld...


— 1:44 AM on April 12, 2001

Ran across this interesting article on a prototype Linux-based PDA being developed by Compaq's Corporate Research division. With the Linux-based Agenda not seeing much positive press, the experimental Itsy could be Linux's best hope for the pocket. This isn't exactly a viable product, but you've gotta love freedom afforded to the development team.

Our design focused on two goals: packing maximum performance into a unit that people can comfortably carry all day in a pocket or purse and enabling easy customization and extension of the system hardware and software. Itsy is only slightly larger than a credit card, but it incorporates these other desirable features. Criteria such as cost or suitability for volume manufacturing, which are critical for commercial products, played no significant role.

[snip]

Most desktop-computer input methods rely on physical manipulation of an object such as a keyboard or mouse. As systems shrink, we can use the motion of the system itself for user input. Tilting a handheld computer to navigate through a document has long been anticipated, but sensors have only recently become small enough and cheap enough for developers to embed them in handheld devices that implement the tilt-to-scroll method.

We extended the tilt-to-scroll method to include the use of gestures to issue commands. Our user interface, which we call Rock 'n' Scroll, lets users gesture to scroll, make selections, and issue commands, without resorting to any other input method.4

I don't care if it's not a commercial product, I want one... Now! Thanks to /. for the tip.
 
   
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