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Device Profile: Galleo Linux-based “Mobile Multimedia Communicator”

Mar 26, 2001 — by Rick Lehrbaum — from the LinuxDevices Archive

Galleo Inc. announced a Linux-based “Mobile Multimedia Communicator” at the March 2001 CeBit technology expo in Hanover, Germany. Like several other recently introduced handheld computers with wireless connectivity (see references below), the device combines the functions of a PDA, Web appliance, and cellular phone.

The unit's bundled software supports cellular phone communication, Internet access, Web browsing, PIM applications, multimedia (mp3 player, streaming video), games, and personalized content, plus IPsec-compliant VPN network security.

“Fit-to-page” software with zoom/pan functions facilitates viewing standard Web pages on the unit's landscape-mode “quarter VGA” (320 x 240 pixel) color LCD. Another aid to using unmodified online content and services is the included Java virtual machine software environment. A built-in joystick is intended to support gaming and simplify Web site navigation.

According to Galleo product manager Yovav Meydad, the company's patent-pending cellular communication technology delivers an “always on, always connected” data communication capability that represents “a credible alternative to WAP” and “gives the end user the same [Web browsing] experience as on [a desktop PC] while he is on the move.”

Technical specifics

Following is a summary of the technical specs and features of Galleo's new Mobile Multimedia Communicator . . .

  • Embedded computer:
    • 206 MHz Intel StrongARM SA-1110 system-on-chip processor
    • 32MB SDRAM memory for program operation
    • 16MB Flash nonvolatile storage memory
  • Display: 320 x 240 pixel (“quarter VGA”) in 64K colors, TFT color LCD
  • External connections:
    • RS232C serial
    • USB slave
    • IrDA
    • stereo audio for headphones/mp3
    • DC power
  • User input:
    • pen and touch input (stylus)
    • handwriting recognition
    • on-screen keyboard
    • various hard keys
  • Expansion slots:
    • One slot supports MMC and SD memory cards
    • Second slot supports secure data card
  • Cellular module:
    • Dual band GSM
    • GPRS Class B, Class 8
    • Tricodec FR/EFR/HR
    • Fax/data transmission at 14.4 kbps
    • Data scheme V.42/V.42bis
  • Software:
    • Operating system: Embedded Linux
    • Browser: supports HTTP 1.1, HTML 4.0, XML 1.0, JavaScript
    • Security: SSL, TLS, RSA, VPN
    • JVM: Personal Java 1.2
    • Images: PNG, GIF, JPEG
    • Languages: full UCS2 and European languages support
    • PIM suite: email, calendar, tasks, contacts, notes, data-sync
    • Multimedia support: MP3 player, media player, video streaming
    • Telephony services
  • Size: 5.3 x 3.7 x 0.7 inches
  • Battery: 1350 mAH rechargeable Lithium-ion
  • Accessories: AC adapter, docking station, headset, optional kit for in-vehicle mounting
When can I get one? For how much?

Galleo will begin its “alpha” testing of the Mobile Multimedia Communicator within several months in Europe, where GSM/GPRS services are readily available. Volume production is expected to begin during the fourth quarter of this year, with initial shipments going to major mobile service providers and large mobile retailers in Europe and Asia. Due to slow acceptance of GSM and GPRS by U.S. mobile carriers, Galleo may decide to build a CDMA model for the U.S. market.

Pricing of the device to mobile carriers and retailers will be in the $600-700 range, depending on options. Meydad expects consumers to see lower up-front equipment costs, however, subsidized by monthly service charges.

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