Wednesday, January 10, 2007

The revolution will be webcast - on an iPhone

Sometimes it seems that technology doesn't break through until Apple does it. Well, now they have.

Many companies have introduced devices to allow us to take the full power of the internet with us wherever we go, but Apple, Inc. (which just changed it's name from Apple Computer, to emphasize their current consumer electronics orientation) has raised the bar once more with their new gadget - the iPhone.

The iPhone was unveiled by Apple boss Steve Jobs yesterday afternoon at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, and takes the concept of the "smart phone" to a whole new level. The new device combines full cellular phone functionality with full web browsing capabilities, music, video, photo and other computing options that had previously been unavailable on the same device. Basically, it's an iPod on steroids. There is no keyboard. Actually there are really no buttons - everything is controlled by a touch-screen. Oh, and it also has a camera. Now how much would you pay?

As we all know, power does not come cheap. The iPhone will cost you. The entry-level 4 GB model will run $499, and the upgraded 8 GB iPhone will be $599. And that's with a two-year contract with AT&T's Cingular Wireless network, which will be the exclusive service provider for the iPhone. The phone supports Wi-Fi and Bluetooth wireless technology as well.

The iPhone runs on Mac OS X operating system, something you Apple fanatics will likely be ecstatic about. And it can access the iTunes software, allowing synchronization of iPods and the like. And it would be assumed that streaming audio will also be available for the iPhone as well, giving the user more entertainment and information sources than they could ever need or use. Wow, just plain wow.

Granted, there's some similar devices out there that can do at least a few things that the iPhone can do. And for streaming audio on the go, there's a few new gadgets that promise just that. But it appears that iPhone will do everything but walk the dog and turn into Jessica Alba at night. And when the venerable iPod was introduced, there were already quite a few mp3 players flooding the market, all of which fell by the wayside. I guess Apple is a barometer of where technology is headed, and with the introduction of iPhone, the future is today. Or at least in June when the device hits store shelves.

Apple is not the only company making people gasp in Las Vegas this week. According to radio tech guru Kurt Hanson, Frontier Silicon will make it possible in the near future to develop WiFi-enabled stand-alone internet radios for under $99. That means you can wake up to your choice of the multiple channels of RadioIo or even Air America on your new internet clock radio, rather than the local lame-ass "Morning Zoo" as beamed out on local terrestrial airwaves. Cool, huh?

And Sprint Nextel is rolling out their own $3-billion WiMAX network, expected to launch by the end of the year, further spreading the reach of WiFi technology. Looks to be an interesting year for us tech geeks. Stay tuned.


  © Blogger template Columnus by 2008

Back to TOP