PDA form factor (was: Thoughts about iWalk)

Bill Kearney wkearney99@hotmail.com
Fri, 4 Jan 2002 13:08:31 -0500


The single biggest reason all this hasn't been done before is battery life.
Or lack thereof.  Followed up quickly by storage limitations and speed; both
of which impact battery life.  Size is among the least of the hassles.

Reality check on GPS, it's not as accurate as you think.  Nor is it as fast
as you think.  Receiving GPS signals requires the ability to detect it's
signals.  This requires line of sight access to at least 30 degrees of the
sky.  Getting a 3D position requires even more.  You go in a build, you
don't get GPS, simple as that.  Yes, differential GPS does exist but
requires ANOTHER receiver.  Thus we're back to battery life.  So unless you
want to wait for your receiver to 'settle' then you have to leave it on AND
have line-of-sight access to the sky.

Another factor to consider is health.  Any time you consider using something
on a person you have to consider it's impact on their health.  People are
still freaking about about high-tension lines and cell phones.  Personal
area networks are certainly going to suffer from the same perceptions.  Want
to get freaked out?  Put your cell phone near your monitor and then call it.
Yeah, and you put it near your head, right?  No?  On a belt clip?  Hmmm, any
reproductive risks?

I'm not so keen on using a portable device in constantly networked
environment.  The network is nowhere near as ubiquitous as that would
require.  I'd just settle for one I could use casually everyday that didn't
require being charged more than once a week.  Thus the success of the Palm
devices.

Oh and did anyone notice the numbering of of FoRK digests?  FoRK #666!!!

-Bill Kearney