|Re: new ebook: Build your own programmable calculator|
Message #14 Posted by DaveJ on 31 May 2008, 7:37 p.m.,
in response to message #12 by Karl-Ludwig Butte
Thank you all who have responded so far to my question if there's a market for specialised calculators with I/O-capabilities. But reading through your comments I got the impression you discussed the possibilities of devices available today. But I meant future devices that are not available today. So I'd like to ask my question again: Would people like to buy specialised calculators with I/O-capabilities and/or controller capabilities like HP-IL ? With the ebook by elektor as a startingpoint such devices could be developed. But such a device could only be mass produced, if there's a big enough market for it. What do you think ?
What sort of "controller" capabilities?
To cover all bases these days you'd (seriously) need RS232, USB, RS485, CAN, Ethernet (Internet), IrDA, Bluetooth, Zigbee, WiFi, RFID, and GSM mobile phone options etc.
Note that I left out HP-IL in that list, it's just not an interface that anyone would seriously consider these days.
I've designed countless industrial devices that use all sorts of flavours of the above "control" interfaces, not to mention custom stuff. I've even been involved in the design of a hand held controller of sorts that has all of those interfaces built in. See the hand held device in the video here (not on the market yet):
A controller is nothing more than a bit of hardware with the appropriate hardware interface, appropriate user interface, and the appropriate software.
As I said, my uWatch is a product available now, and you can customise it to have have some basic interfaces, and then write the software you want.
There would be almost a ZERO commercial market for a calculator/controller. They are just two things that really don't need to be combined.
Hand held calculators exist and there is a big market.
Hand held controllers exist and there are big more specific markets for those.
The more you combine the two the more you compromise in all sorts of ways.
If anything, the current hand held PDA *is* almost exactly what you want - just add software and any appropriate hardware interface by way of compact flash expansion cards etc.
And considering that most products that require control will already have a PC based control application available, the only sensible option for a hand held controller is a pocket PC. So that the large software investment can be leveraged.
Edited: 31 May 2008, 7:48 p.m.