Hello Ogo : IM a-go-go
Compact kit for the thumb-generation
In the week when rumours of the Oqo launch have been buzzing, it's a bit confusing to have AT&T announce something called Ogo. Both are portable devices, both have been ideas waiting impatiently in the wings for three years, and yet neither has the slightest connection to the other. Briefly, Oqo is a computer; Ogo is a comms device.
Looking at the published pictures, you'd never guess. The Ogo is about the size of an N-gage games phone. The publicity picture (below left) has nothing to give you the scale, however; it looks just like a PC, with a full qwerty keyboard.
NewsWireless was shown a prototype Ogo a few months ago, however, and the picture above right shows that it is a genuine thumb-generation device, for sending text messages. In short, it would seem that AT&T wants an equivalent of the Danger Hiptop messaging phone, and has gone for the PMG idea as icing on that cake.
"Ogo is the first and only device of its kind to provide simultaneous, unlimited instant messaging and email from the three leading portals – AOL, MSN, and Yahoo! – plus text messaging," says the announcement. That's not entirely accurate, since any Palm smartphone running Verichat can do all that - plus ICQ. And then it adds, cryptically: "Ogo features IXI-Connect OS as its core software, and includes PMG (Personal Mobile Gateway) technology for expand ability, establishing a platform for future device deployment."
Exactly how the PMG features of this device work, isn't clear. Normally, a PMG is a radio hub. It sits somewhere out of sight; it might be clipped to your belt, or it might be built into an ordinary cellphone (the picture on the right shows a PMG cellphone prototype) - and then you connect various Bluetooth devices to it, wirelessly. The PMG connects to the phone network - but it could equally connect to a Wi-Fi hotspot, if a radio doing 802.11 was added. There is nothing, however, to stop IXI Mobile designing the PMG hub into the messenger device.
It would be nice to point you to the Ogo website, but it seems only fair to warn you first that the Ogo designers have succumbed to the idea that if Macromedia Flash supports multiple colours, then it must be a great idea to use all of them. With that warning, for more information about IXI, visit IXI's web pages. For more information about the Ogo device, visit the flash-infested popup pages at AT&T.
And finally, if you aren't sure about Oqo, you can check out our original story, and compare it with the current version, two and a half years on. And then you can muse vaguely about the Antelope and other exciting no-shows from the mobile industry.
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