Pogo offers high-speed Net access mobile

A mobile phone/PDA that gives high-speed Internet access using a new compression method has been launched by Pogo, writes Antony...

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A mobile phone/PDA that gives high-speed Internet access using a new compression method has been launched by Pogo, writes Antony Adshead.

The device acts as a thin client, with Pogo Technology's server sending the Web pages requested by the user. The server strips out unusable animations, fonts and colours and compresses pages to about one sixth of their normal size. This means that it can deliver content at speeds comparable to a 56.6kbps modem rather than the 9kbps available via GSM.

While the device operates as a thin client for Web use, some data, such as address lists and the message body of e-mails, is stored locally. E-mail attachments are held on the server, a method also used by the RIM Blackberry.

The Pogo, which measures 150mm diagonally across, is pillow-shaped and uses low-power technology to ensure long periods between recharging. Touchscreen commands are used for phone, PDA and Web navigation functions. An aerial socket, power socket, power switch and stylus occupy the four corners of the device.

Most of the software used on the Pogo is based on the free-to-use Flash 4.0. Developers who want to write programs for the device will be able to get an API known as Boing from Pogo.

The radio module used in the device is the same as that used in Handspring's Treo and is compatible with GSM and GPRS.

Although the screen size is 320x240 pixels, the device shrinks Web pages to fit rather than forcing the user to scroll around the page. The device also has diary, alerts, games, SMS, hands-free, PC access and MP3 playing functions

Processing power is provided by a 75MHz ARM 7100 with 4Mbytes of Rom and 16Mbytes of user memory, although Pogo plans to supply modules to expand this to 64Mbytes or 128Mbytes in the future.



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