The Jackito Tactile Digital Assistant

Billing itself as more of a TDA than a PDA, the Jackito Tactile Digital Assistant has a user interface that’s operated by your fingers and thumbs.

Moving away from the traditional stylus interface means that the Jackito has a different form factor than the usual hand-helds out there – the Jackito has a landscape orientation, and it’s operated by your thumbs at the sides.

The display is unique in that it can read two simultaneous touch points – try poking the touch pad on your laptop with two fingers and you’ll see why this is a good thing.

The device is manufactured by a Novinit, a Paris-based company created in 1999 and is an attempt to get away from the “scaled-down PC” mentality of many of the PDAs on the market.

Novinit’s TDA has no less than seven parallel processors, and features its own custom OS – it’ll be available with a choice of screens: black and white, colour and bistable. It seems to have just 2.5mb of user RAM though, but has two SD/MMC slots for expansion.

At US$600 (€490) it’s a bit on the pricey side, but I’m sure you’ll be sat next to an early adopter with one on a plane soon.


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Fraser Lovatt

Fraser Lovatt has spent the last fifteen years working in publishing, TV and the Internet in various capacities, and believes that they will be seperate platforms for at least a while yet. His main interests at the moment are exploring where Linux is taking home entertainment and how technology is conferring technical skills on more and more people. Fraser Lovatt was born in the same year that 2001: A Space Odyssey was delighting and confusing people in the cinemas, and developed a lifelong love of technology as soon as he realised that things could be taken apart, sometimes put back together again, but mostly left in bits or made into something the original designer hadn't quite planned upon. At school he was definitely in the ZX Spectrum/Magpie/BMX camp, rather than the BBC Micro/Blue Peter/well-behaved group. This is all deeply ironic as he later went on to spend nine years working at the BBC. After a few years of working as a bookseller in Scotland, ("Back when it was actually a skilled profession" he'll tell anyone still listening), he moved to England for reasons he can't quite explain adequately to himself. After a couple of publishing jobs punctuated by sporadic bursts of travelling and photography came the aforementioned nine years at the BBC where he specialised in internet technologies and video. These days his primary interests are Java, Linux, videogames and pies - and if they're not candidates for convergence, then what is?