Jeff Hawkins, founder of Palm, unveiled a new mobile device called Foléo today via webcast from the D: All Things Digital Conference. Dubbed as a "mobile companion," the device is to be used as an extension of your smart-phone providing one button email access, a 10" screen, full size keyboard and five hours of use off a single charge.
Built on flash memory, which can be expanded with the use of both SD and Compact Flash cards, the unit can be turned on and off almost instantaneously for quick and easy access. Syncing of email and documents is done live via bluetooth connection, and it also boasts WiFi capability. Although it has a 1024x600 screen that doesn't require reformatting for browsing the web, the processor is not that powerful and it can result in videos that are a bit choppy. There is a VGA out option that allows you to hook up the device to bigger screens. Your phone can act as a key that unlocks the Foléo when it's in Bluetooth range.
With an open software development kit it seems as though Palm will rely on its users to conceive and develop new applications to supplement the modest initial offerings. Further development and future applications could greatly improve the functionality of the Foléo.
Foléo will support all smartphones and will be available worldwide late this summer for $500. More images here