The Ericsson Quartz prototype

EPOC machines

Quartz prototype

Device: phonePad
Released: Q2 2002 (Est.)
Status: In development


Ericsson EPOC phonePad Quartz prototype

This fully working Ericsson prototype was unveiled at CeBIT 2000 in Hanover, Germany. It's based on EPOC Release 6 Quartz and is a fully functional tri-band mobile phone, wireless PDA and much more. As well as support for GSM2, GPRS and 3G networks the device also uses Bluetooth and an IrDA port to connect to local devices and peripherals. WAP comes as standard and unlike the R380, it can display conventional HTML pages. An earpiece unit looking similar to "in-ear" Walkman headphones is supplied (on a cable though a Bluetooth version is optional) to allow the user to leave the phone in their pocket while making a call or listening to an MP3, talking-book, live news & information services etc.

The 240×320, 256 colour touchscreen is used in portrait to operate the device though input is very simple and quick thanks to both the highly intuitive and efficient design of EPOC Quartz and the CIC Jot handwriting recognition that allows natural writing to be used without misreads or special pen sequences to be learned. Voice activation is also used to initiate calls and select options though it does not allow speech recognition so Emails, faxes and notes have to be either written or "typed" using the on-screen keyboard (an optional view). Applications are closer integrated with each other than in previous EPOC releases which makes it easy to get and use information from other applications in the current program. The contacts database is now a server application allowing all standard and additional apps/functions to read from it and return information. You can swap between any two applications in just one click with the top navigation bar and messages (Email, SMS, faxes etc.) can be sent received with equal simplicity. Another improvement is far better support for synchronising and conversion with a completely rewritten PIM application and improved PC conversion software for the EPOC platform as a whole.

Beyond the phone and PDA functions, the device is capable of playing MP3's and even streaming live video over mobile networks (Ericsson may wait for GPRS before they implement this). In fact Ericsson have been working with the BBC to develop a news and information service for Ericsson users who will be able to take full advantage of the video and audio content with devices like this. SDM cards are used for data storage (Including MP3's) rather than Compact Flash which provides better security for both personal data and Copyright protected material.

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