The world has moved on a lot since Psion exited the mobile market, an exit that for most people is either a distant memory or of no consequence whatsoever.
For those of us, however, who were introduced to the world of mobile computing through the Psion PDAs, there has been a wish for something like these devices to return.
The Gemini PDA fulfils that wish when you first look at it, but thinking a bit deeper leads me to suspect that my initial positivity may have been unjustified. It runs Android and/or Linux, both of which I have used and do not use daily, and as such is not going to offer the kind of closed organisation the original Psions did. It could effectively be a very small laptop or a very big phone with a keyboard, neither of which are likely to bring back the ‘Psion’ feeling.
I realise that I am looking back 2 decades and am kind of hoping for something that was amazing in its time, but which could never be so in 2017. However, the form factor of keyboard and landscape keyboard did lend itself to getting a lot of work done and there is a chance that it could happen again for a whole new generation of mobile users who have only used slab phones that are touch only.
I don’t know what to expect and if indeed the current phone form is the best solution, but for me any option is a good one and in theory the customers will decide if a device like the Gemini PDA is going to be successful, a nice product or a complete failure.
After I had written the above I received an email which made me think twice about the Gemini PDA.
Jump to 2:55 in the above video and you will see Dr Janko Mrsic-Flogel who is the CEO of Planet Computers. He is also a director of Retro Computers Ltd who ran this Indiegogo campaign to ‘recreate’ the Sinclair Spectrum as a handheld console. It’s exactly the same idea as the Gemina PDA; nostalgia for great products of the past, with a modern design from the original hardware designer (in the case of the Vega, Rick Dickinson).
All you have to do is click the comments link to see what is happening with the Sinclair ZX Spectrum Vega Plus Console. I don’t think I will be pledging anything at the moment because, as the person who emailed me said “In my estimation, it’s 50-50 whether I’ll ever get the Spectrum Vega Plus. Unlike many, I’m still holding out some hope. As for the Gemini PDA, their delivery estimate of this autumn is wildly optimistic, considering it’s still at concept stage and the demo unit they showed to journalists had no keyboard – the sole reason people will want this.”