Celio Corporation plans to release an add-on for Windows Mobile smartphones that provides users with a laptop-like screen and keyboard. The Redfly Mobile Companion, making its debut at next week's Consumer Electronics Show (CES), connects to a phone via Bluetooth or USB, according to the company.
Unlike Palm's abandoned Foleo, which was to have run Linux and offered its own Opera Web browser, among other capabilities, the Redfly merely acts as a screen and keyboard for the connected phone. Thus, says the company, all settings and data remain on the phone, and no synchronization is necessary.
A software driver supplied by Celio compresses data and manages communication between the phone and the Redfly. According to the company, Windows Mobile applications such as Internet Explorer scale themselves to the Redfly's eight-inch 800 x 480 screen. A VGA port allows connection to video projectors or other external displays.
With a size of 9 x 6 x 1 inches and weight of two pounds, the Redfly is comparable to mini-laptops such as the Asus Eee PC, to which it is also similarly priced. However, according to Celio, the Redfly not only avoids syncing hassles, but also provides added security, since it stores no data. In addition, it's claimed, battery life can be up to eight hours.