|Tue Mar 27, 2007 - 1:27 AM EDT - By Mike Overbo|
TreoCentral went to the MobileFocus pre-CTIA event and we were pleasantly surprised to see Palm front-and-center right as we entered the door...
As detailed in Jennifer's article, Palm unveiled several new products during CTIA: various car kits, multicolored cradles, cases, and an external battery charger.
The first cradle is the THB Comfort Plus cradle for the Treo 680 and 750. As stated in Jennifer's article, the cradle sports DSP, a mic plug, and an external antenna (Palm was unable to provide information on how much the external antenna improved signal reception, though it should be significant). The mechanism to put the Treo in the cradle is clever -- you drop the Treo vertically to connect the bottom connector and then push it back to connect the antenna booster. There's a port on the back of the cradle to attach an external antenna in case you have a windshield that blocks RF signal (as is the case with certain new model Mercedes autos).
The Palm Take&Talk DSP Cradle is equivalent to the new THB Comfort Plus Cradle but without the antenna boost. Unfortunately, it was not displayed out of the box at this event, though it shares the same insertion mechanism as the THB cradle.
The third cradle system on display was for the new Palm GPS Navigator Car Kit, which includes integrated SIRF III GPS receiver and handsfree speakerphone. There are ports in the back of the cradle for external GPS antenna, external microphone, and power. I'm pleased to report that Palm's GPS system of choice is still TomTom. Naturally, the standard kit is still available with the Bluetooth GPS receiver.
Palm also was showing off some other less significant new accessories like cases, a compellingly small Palm battery charger, and new translucent colored cradle kits made to match the 680 series. All in all it's a good spread and I'm pleased to see Palm embrace the vehicle so thoroughly.
Also present near the Palm booth was Mitchell Weinstock, a wandering Kinoma representative, who showed us the full capabilities of Kinoma's great directory service, which does a mighty job of showcasing some of the better content available free on the web.
Directly across the aisle from Palm was Pinger, who treated us to a demonstration their integrated instant voice message service (they call it "text messaging for your voice," and they're not far off), and I'm told that reviews of their service are forthcoming on both TreoCentral and WMExperts.
Stay tuned for more CTIA coverage tomorrow...
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