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Where are the "Killer" Modules?

Thursday April 26, 2001 - 12:56 AM EST - By James Hromadka

Gimme!

When the Handspring Visor was first released, for a while the phrase "where are the modules?" could be heard throughout VisorCentral's forums (and in a few articles). Now that the Visor has been out for almost two years, my question to Springboard module developers is no longer "where are the modules" but "where are the killer modules?"

Don't get me wrong -- modules like the MiniJam are cool, but they could be so much more. What I want is what the MiniJam was supposed to have originally -- recording capabilities. I want a module that has a high-quality microphone and can record CD-quality MP3s directly into the Visor. My wife and I recently went to a U2 concert, and I would have loved to be able to record the concert with my Visor Prism so I could relive it at any time. Is that legal? I don't see why not when it's for personal use. But the ability to record speeches, concerts, etc. at CD-quality would be a big hit with users (not to mention myself).

I want it I need it I gotta have itThis year's April Fool's article was a big hit with readers, in part because of the timing and in part because it is a great idea. Why not have modules that load alternative operating systems onto the Visor, be it Newton, Windows CE, or Linux? Handspring could even use this capability to "test the waters" of a home-grown OS developed by Handspring. Put out a <$100 module with a Handspring OS and see if users take to it. Heck if I was a programmer I'd do it: Hromadka OS 1.0 -- I like the sound of that!

We have the Omniremote module, but I want to take it a step further and control most of the things in my house. About this time last year I wrote a preview of the Thalia home system which can be controlled by the Visor. We're still waiting on that one, but what I want to see is wireless ethernet (802.11) utilized in systems like this so it can really take off. I don't have care about lights -- just let me adjust the thermostat while siting on the couch and I'll be first in line. As for 802.11, plug that module into your Visor and you could get TV listings, etc. -- never buy a TV Guide again!

These are just a few ideas on modules that I would like to see. While I like most of the modules that are currently available, the Visor really needs a module that really sets it apart from other handheld devices.

What do you think? Discuss this article here.








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