Foleo | Palm's New Smartphone Companion
According to a short press release, Jeff Hawkins, founder of Palm, Inc., will in a few hours later today (Wed, May 30) host a live video webcast to describe a new category of mobile device called the Palm Foleo which works as a “companion” with Palm’s Treo smartphones (Palm OS and Windows Mobile versions). The webcast will follow the announcement of this new product at the D: All Things Digital conference in Carlsbad, California.
At 11:30 a.m. Pacific time, Hawkins will discuss Palm's vision for this new category and demonstrate the new product's capabilities, followed by a Q&A session.
UPDATE 2: I have to admit that I been quite shocked by Palm’s release of the Foleo yesterday – a product whose target audience and ultimate “purpose” I currently completely fail to understand and which has left me and most Treonauts totally underwhelmed.
Having said this, I can see how I might just be too thick to “get it” quickly and will therefore wait a few more days for it all to sink in before deciding to shred Foleo to bits or not…
UPDATE: First Foleo Images Now Available!
Another press release now provides further clues:
Palm today announced the Palm Foleo – the world’s first smartphone companion product.
Foleo has a large screen and full size keyboard to view and edit email and office documents. Edits made on Foleo automatically are reflected on its paired smartphone and vice versa. Foleo turns on and off instantly, features fast navigation, a compact and elegant design and a battery that lasts up to five hours of use. US availability for Foleo begins this summer with pricing expected to be $499 after an introductory $100 rebate [making it either one of the most expensive “Treo accessories” or one of the smallest, lightest and cheapest portable computers…].
Built on an open Linux-based platform, Palm hopes to replicate earlier success with developers by drawing a large community to create new applications that will extend the mobile companion’s capabilities. Already, Palm has partnered with DataViz and Opera Software, demonstrating the ease with which applications can be ported to the Palm Foleo.
Primary Capabilities and Attributes of the Foleo Mobile Companion
This release also includes two quotes from:
Jeff Hawkins: “Foleo is the most exciting product I have ever worked on. Smartphones will be the most prevalent personal computers on the planet, ultimately able to do everything that desktop computers can do. However, there are times when people need a large screen and full-size keyboard. As smartphones get smaller, this need increases. The Foleo completes the picture creating a mobile computing system that sets a new standard in simplicity.”
Ed Colligan (Palm CEO): “As we did with the PalmPilot more than a decade ago and more recently with the Treo smartphone, Palm is driving innovation and capitalizing on emerging opportunities in mobile computing, a market full of potential. The Palm Foleo represents our first product in a new line of solutions that will redefine how people work while away from their desks. It starts today with a focus on wireless email and we expect the Foleo to grow in features and expand its capabilities as the platform grows.”
Avid readers of the Treonauts blog will note that the Foleo device concept closely resembles a vision that I first outlined nearly three years ago in August 2004 with a post entitled Treo PC & TV: The Race is On in which I argued that our Treo would in the future be combined with a full-size monitor and keyboard to more effectively replace the need for a PC. Two other posts in September 2005 – The Evolution of the Smartphone and Smartphone as a Computer – further showed how our Treo could eventually become the ideal “non-PC-centric solution”.
Naturally I can’t wait to get some more Foleo information and images. I will update this post today following the webcast and other details provided by Palm…
Treonauts always push mobile computing boundaries…