Feeds

Intel, MS eye Japanese housewives in mobile PC push

Keyboardphobe friendly

High performance access to file storage

Intel, Microsoft and Japanese online payments company Bit Wallet have teamed up to develop a mobile PC platform designed to bring computing to those traditionally considered to be unfamiliar with shopping online, browsing the web or sitting at a desktop PC. Like housewives, apparently.

PBJ Slate DT FeliCa housewife-friendly tablet
PBJ's Slate DT FeliCa

According to Intel, devices based on the so-called 'Edy Personal Computer' platform will have a touch-sensitive or stylus operated display that's at least 9in in size. 1GB of memory is considered the bare minium - well, it does run Windows Vista - and it should have several USB 2.0 ports, a built-in webcam and a microphone. The unit should weigh no more than 1.5kg.

In any such device, connectivity will be a key feature, and Intel's outline for the platform calls for both Ethernet and Wi-Fi. It also mandates a solid-state disk drive - probably to guard against data loss should the device fall off the kitchen table.

It also incorporates Bit Wallet's Edy e-payment system, a kind of Japanese version of PayPal which operates using the FeliCa contact-less smartcard system.

There's no mouse or keyboard, to make it more friendly for folk unused to such input devices, and Intel, Microsoft and Edy said they want to see apps with simple, button-based interfaces to come to the platform the better to appeal to people with little or no PC experience.

Intel also wants devices to incorporate an up-front reset button to sallow users to restart their machines should they become lost within an alien world of web-pages and open applications.

It looks likely the first device will be manufactured by local hardware company PBJ, which has already used Intel CPUs in its existing mobile devices, such as the SmartCaddie EX UMPC.

PBJ Slate DT FeliCa housewife-friendly tablet
Slate DT FeliCa: how those housewives love a good I/O array

PBJ's offering will use Intel's 1.83GHz Core 2 Duo CPU, which seems a strange choice as Intel recently launched its Ultra Mobile Platform as the foundation for mobile internet access devices.

PBJ's 30 x 22 x 2.6cm, Slate DT FeliCa has a 12.1in display, 1GB of DDR 2 SDRAM and an 80GB hard drive - so much for the SSD requirement. And it weighs 1.6kg - slightly more than Intel would prefer. Still, it's got Bluetooth 2.0 and 802.11a/b/g Wi-Fi on board, along with a pair of USB 2.0 ports, a Firewire connector, an eSATA port and a PC Card slot.

How well the anticipated non-techie user is going to cope with that little lot remains to be seen. But we'd bet they won't use them, in which case why put them in?

The first devices based on the Intel/Microsoft/Bit Wallet platform are due to appear later this year.

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Feast your PUNY eyes on highest resolution phone display EVER
Too much pixel dust for your strained eyeballs to handle
Samsung Galaxy S5 fingerprint scanner hacked in just 4 DAYS
Sammy's newbie cooked slower than iPhone, also costs more to build
Microsoft lobs pre-release Windows Phone 8.1 at devs who dare
App makers can load it before anyone else, but if they do they're stuck with it
Report: Apple seeking to raise iPhone 6 price by a HUNDRED BUCKS
'Well, that 5c experiment didn't go so well – let's try the other direction'
Rounded corners? Pah! Amazon's '3D phone has eye-tracking tech'
Now THAT'S what we call a proper new feature
Zucker punched: Google gobbles Facebook-wooed Titan Aerospace
Up, up and away in my beautiful balloon flying broadband-bot
Nvidia gamers hit trifecta with driver, optimizer, and mobile upgrades
Li'l Shield moves up to Android 4.4.2 KitKat, GameStream comes to notebooks
AMD unveils Godzilla's graphics card – 'the world's fastest, period'
The Radeon R9 295X2: Water-cooled, 5,632 stream processors, 11.5TFLOPS
Sony battery recall as VAIO goes out with a bang, not a whimper
The perils of having Panasonic as a partner
NORKS' own smartmobe pegged as Chinese landfill Android
Fake kit in the hermit kingdom? That's just Kim Jong-un-believable!
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
HP ArcSight ESM solution helps Finansbank
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.