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Gareth Knight
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Eclipsis

Developer: Thendic France \ bPlan
Announced: January 19th, 2001
Price (preliminary): Unknown
Release: Unknown

The Eclipsis is an interesting device for the Amiga market. Unlike the abandoned Smart Boy device, the Eclipsis will provide an AmigaOS compatible operating system in a handheld unit. The exact specifications remain sketchy, avoiding statements regarding the processing speed, memory and expansion capabilities. Instead, Thendic France promote the Eclipsis as a device that can supplement the users' existing activities and provide functionality that will attract the mainstream market.

The Thendic web site describes some of the features that it will provide:

  • mobile telephony - The device will operate as a mobile phone, providing advanced SMS, video and camera features. In a reaction to criticism of these features as a pipe dream, Thendic have emphasized that mobile hardware is only limited by available bandwidth rather than the device itself. Current high-end devices in the mainstream market feature graphical hardware that outperforms desktop display capabilities of a few years ago.
  • Handheld games system - Promoting the use of a 'powerful graphics chip', the Eclipsis is promoted as a capable games machine. A potential GameBoy Advance beater?
  • desktop machine - An optional base station is promised that will allow the use of a standard keyboard, as well as supplementing the device with additional memory, processing power and expansion opportunities. A standard TV or SVGA monitor can be used to output display.

Similar to several current developments in the mobile phone market, Thendic are hinting at the possibility of several partnerships that will take the Eclipsis into the business market. In particular, wireless service operators such as Telekom, Orange and SFR have been mentioned as potential allies. Using a SIM, fitted into a PCMCIA card, the Eclipsis will be upgradeable when the network supports new advances. This will allow the use of GPRS, UTMS, etc. without replacing the unit.

The three tier system

Based upon existing statements, the Thendic business plan will follow a three tier system, similar to mobile phone deals. Thendic will provide Eclipsis hardware to mobile operators, who will sell the device through their distribution channels. The main argument for using the Eclipsis, in comparison to other devices, is its ability to provide high-end consumer features and content. Thendic will handle the actual production and upgrades, while providing some of the end services (such as GPS). They will also manage the developer network, providing additional features over time. As a result, mobile operators are able to reduce the costs providing unique features for the networks.

Out of the many hardware developments currently being produced for the Amiga, the Eclipsis provides one of the most interesting. The device offers the ability to run AmigaOS applications on a portable machine, while providing features that will attract the mainstream.

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Last Update: 1/9/2002


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