I need a Hero…

So, I, the man known to his friends as Inspector Gadget, never got an iPhone.

Several reasons. Firstly, they are little expensive for my liking – not just the phone cost, but the whole busines model which is built around one provider. Secondly, they were always a little under featured. No 3G to start with, no cut and paste etc etc. Some poor decisions made at design time. Also, and this is one where I know I am at odds with most people. I didn’t like the design! It did not feel like a piece of Apple kit (which I have spent thousands on over the years, so I’m no Apple-phobe).

My phone of choice for the past year or so has been the HTC Hermes (in its Orange M3100 incarnation). Windows Mobile 6, push email (the link to Exchange was important for work) and a slide out keyboard. Very heavily used and hard to fault, apart from the clunky interface (improved with HTC Home and other HTC gadgets, but still clunky). part of the reason Istill had it was that my advocacy of it was one of the reassons my whole organisation chose it. So i couldn’t just dump it for something else. On that, I have always owned my own phone rather than take the corporate one so I could change when I felt I needed to. As I am one of the “bleeding-edge” innovative types at work this is OK, I am tolerated in that way.

Slowly getting to the point – if you’ve kept with me up til now the next paragraph is key.

Nearing end of contract. Upgrade opportunity. Now owner of HTC Hero.

Now, I don’t want to get into any long arguments with iPhone owners. But, to put it simply, the Hero is a great piece of technology.  More than that, like the iPhone, it is a great piece of convergent technology.  Let me explain what I mean by that phrase. For me, the another really great piece of convergent technology is the SatNav. Maps, GPS, screen, touch ingterface. Individually they are all interesting pieces of technology. Put them together and you have a SatNav.

The Hero (and the iPhone) do the same. Phone, GPS, wifi, accelerometer, camera, speaker, microphone, SD-Card etc, etc all together in one small handheld (say it again – handheld) device.

My favorite application so far? Google Sky Map. The GPS works out where I am, the Accelerometer works out the angle the phone is held at. The application has a database of where all the planets, stars and galaxies are (well, not all of them, but you know what I mean). As I hold the phone up to the sky it shows me what objects I can see and their names. I can enter the names of a start or planet and it will direct me to it using an onscreen pointer. As I move the phone around the arrow changes direction until I get to the object. It is even accurate enough to show me an artifical horizon. Stonehenge, you’re history!

I’m in the middle of no-where in France at the moment on holiday. Having a great time, but in a way can’t wait to get home to try out Layar as well. this uses GSP, camera and whatever connectivity you have to show you information about the place you are in. As a teacher this would be great if one of the data sources contained case studies and worksheets for any place being visited?

Now, can I get it into the ECA for H800?