The Perfect Augmented Reality MID Device Has Arrived: Ciao!

When you’re in pursuit of the ultimate augmented reality game, you’d better be riding on an ultimate augmented reality device.

So far, we have been hitchhiking “lesser evils” such as described in my “Top Mobile Devices Compete

The conclusion was grim:

No big winners on this list.
Some have to be hacked to do AR; some might not see the light of day; others don’t even have cameras.
[What in the world are MIDs with no cameras doing on the list, you ask?
Patience my friends. The MIDs are coming. They will have cameras in no time.]

A couple of days later, before you could say “Intel’s-Atom-based-mobile-internet-device”, a MID with a rear camera was announced; and it speaks Italian: Ciao Itelco IDOL!

Itelco IDOL

Those of you following the MIDs evolution, will immediately recognize it as a rebranded Aigo 8880 or a Megabyte M528 or maybe a SFR M! PC Pocket… all various rebadged configurations of Option’s Compal JAX-10 design unveiled at Intel’s IDF this August.

This time with a confirmed rear camera.

It is on sale on Itelco’s site for 449 euros (~$573).

Itelco apparently rushed to publish it and had no time to fully translate the specs. Luckily, Poketables were there for us:

[The 320g device includes] a 800MHz Intel Atom Z500 CPU, [running Linux] 4.8-inch 800 x 480 touchscreen, and 4GB SSD…integrated 3.5G, 3-megapixel rear camera, and GPS.

I am inclined to announce the IDOL as the front-runner in the race for augmented reality device greatness, but since I am yet to receive a first hand confirmation of its use in an AR scenario, I’ll settle for an update of the “2008 High End Round Up”


Nice. Finally a contender with no major flaws. Back to the pursuit of the ultimate augmented reality game.

Let us know when you try the new ragazzo on the block.

12 Responses

  1. I’ve been looking at the HTC Diamond Pro (Fuze) as a pretty robust platform with AR potential. I’m not sure, but I think the CPU might even be dual core.

  2. Hey Robert –
    The HTC Diamond Pro looks like a beautiful phone.
    But for high end AR scenarios – the 2.8-inch screen and the 528 MHz cpu might not be up to snuff.
    In any case – I’d love to give it a try myself…

  3. Given that most of us are still looking for a better device then the Gizmondo here, I think its safely “high end” compared to that :p

    Question is…is the camera confirmed as suitable for video?

  4. Haven’t got a confirmation about video capture yet.

  5. I’ll let you know as soon as I get my hands on one. Rumor mill says the AT&T version (FUZE) should be released on the 11th, and if not, definitely on black Friday.

    I was originally favoring the IPhone as a good early stage AR MID, but Apple screwed everyone with the SDK and lack of access to the camera (frame grabs only, which is why some AR apps on the IPhone are slow…you need to hack a workaround).

    The screen may be smaller on the HTC Diamond Pro (renamed as Touch Pro or HTC Fuze for AT&T), but the CPU is dual core (confirmed) and it has some other nice bits, like video out.

    We are a few years off from the ultimate MID, but I think by that point the screen isn’t going to be as important as transparent wearable displays…the MID will handle all the telecom and data crunching. On the other hand, if the wearable hardware hasn’t matured enough (tiny LCDs and vision occluding formfactors), then the tablet / see-through panel will be the big deal.

    I still wonder though if that might not be separate. Imagine a small, beltbuckle or watch sized device (wearable computing?) that is connected (bluetooth or something) to a handheld that is the display (I’m thinking something like this:

    Personally, I’m in favor of transparent wearable displays connected (wirelessly) to a micro wearable device. We can break away from the desktop now, but things will really kick into gear and get interesting when we can get away from a handheld device and make it immersive and first-person.

  6. Things really will get interesting when we can get away from hand-held devices needing to be hand held ;)

    I havn’t seen any specific patent or concept, but it strikes me that the ideal opticaly transparent display will need both LED and LCD layers.
    We need it to emit light for use when there isnt enough ambient light, so we need LEDs (or rather, TOLED).

    But at the same time, we want contrast…blacks…so we need LCD’s too.

    Has there been screens done with two layers like this?

    Seems that would need to be a step taken for concepts like the device linked above to be created.

  7. […] gave rise to a flood of new AR-worthy mobile devices: iPhone 3G (see below), Android based G1, Itelco’s IDOL, HTC’s Touch HD, […]

  8. […] had a dream too…and in my dream, an amazing Mobile Internet Device (MID) was released for our augmented reality […]

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