Cybiko: no strings attached

by Rob Flickenger

The Cybiko is marketed for kids, and I finally got to play with one. It looks like a beefed up gameboy, but does alot more than games.


I think they may have something here...


The pros:


  • PDA w/ rechargeable batteries
  • Regular serial connection; easy connection to non-Win* OS
  • Wireless in 900Mhz: no worries about trashing your 802.11 network
  • peer-to-peer person finder
  • IM (to anybody in range, and people are working on the AIM/ICQ/Jabber bridge)
  • Live email to the net if you have two (and one is tethered).
  • Probably going to be VERY prolific: Cybiko's goal is one in every school backpack...
  • Free SDK
  • Very low sticker price (when was the last time you bought a wireless device for under $100? Remote controls don't count... ;)


Cons:


  • No backlight.
  • No modem.
  • No touchscreen (altho that's a matter of personal opinion)
  • Tiny (but usable) keyboard.


For the price, and assuming you've got a buddy to talk to, these things are really spiffy. One of the Seattle Wireless guys told me a funny story about sitting in a waiting room, playing multiplayer Go with someone else in the building, all because they have a builtin "Find Other Cybiko's" option. This thing is a perfect toy to hack upon...