I had a "digital experience" last night.
Actually, it's a press-only gathering where companies pay to show off their hottest new items. The promoters ensure those companies a good turnout by promising to feed the journalists.
Turnout, therefore, was good. Best part of all, I found out about there were some interesting items.
Nokia's new smartphone
Nokia was proudly showing off its soon-to-be-released E61 smartphone. It’s just about the same size as the diminutive Motorola Q — but with a much larger screen.
The E61 will be a wireless e-mail monster. It will be able to handle Microsoft Outlook/ActiveSync mail as well as BlackBerry Connect, GoodLink, Nokia Business Center, Seven Mobile Mail, Seven Always-On Mail, and Visto Mobile.
The handset of the E61 has been optimized to be used with either hand and has a four-way joystick and a full keyboard.
The Nokia E61 is actually the European version which operates on GSM (850/900/1800/1900 MHz) and WCDMA (2100 MHz) networks. That means you’ll be able to use it worldwide. But rumors abound about a special version just for North America. Nokia is mum on the subject, but there’s an abundance of Internet gossip about a soon-to-be-announced E62 model. Stay tuned.
TV anywhere, upload everywhere
MobiTV, the mobile TV-and-digital-radio-via-cell-phone subscription service has announced new software that allows Windows Mobile 5.0-powered smartphones to join in on all the fun. That’s good news for users of the Verizon/Motorola’s Q and Treo 700w, Sprint’s 6700 and Cingular’s 2125 phones.
MobiTV offers a large number of video channels that you can watch on your smartphone including MSNBC, ABC News Now, CNN, Fox Sports, ESPN, CNBC, The Discovery Channel and lots more.
ShoZu (say it out loud – as in "shows-you") is a new service that lets you automate photo and video uploads from your cell phone handset to your favorite online photo-sharing service.
It works in the other direction too. Using something they call ZuCasts, you can schedule photos, video clips and other media content to be delivered directly to your cell phone – and it’s all done in the background. You can actually be talking on the phone while this is going on.
The best part of this service? It’s free. Well, up to a point. The uploading is free. And you’ll get free previews of content – but will have to pay for actual ZuCast media downloads.
ShoZu’s service is available on a number of different cell phone operating systems – including those which run on Windows Mobile, Symbian and the Java OS.
The people from Shure were showing off a new top-of-the-line earphone system – the E500PTH - an upgrade of their amazing E5 sound-isolating earphones.
The E500 crams a tweeter and two woofer drivers inside a tiny enclosure that fits inside your ear. In a way too brief audition, the sound coming from an iPod was the best I’ve ever heard.
I’ve been promised that I’ll have a full review when Shure releases their finalized version in a few weeks.
Laptop replacement screens
Finally, a great idea from a company called ScreenTek Inc.: laptop replacement screens. I know that sounds silly, but I’ve heard, more than once, about people having to throw away their laptops because their screen has died, cracked or smashed into pieces.
Instead of dumping your computer completely – and losing everything stored on your hard drive (or paying through the nose to transfer the data somewhere else), these guys will sell you a replacement screen that you can install yourself in about 30 minutes – or they’ll install it for you – at no charge.
ScreenTek also sells a variety of upgraded screens – such as their high-gloss PixelBright model - so that you can improve what you currently see from your laptop. Pretty cool.
Screens are available for all brands of notebooks including machines from companies like Dell, H-P, Lenovo, Sager, Pro Star and Voodoo The actual price depends on your computer model – but prices I’ve seen are in the $300-$500 range. That’s hundreds cheaper than rushing out and buying a new notebook computer.