Pepper Computer, Inc. has announced a new version of software for the Pepper Pad that brings users new capabilities, such as integration with Yahoo!ís Flickr photo-sharing community, Mobipocketís eBook reader and the TitanTV program guide, while giving the Pad quicker performance.
Version 2.1 will be delivered on Pads shipping later this month and will be available to existing Pad owners through Pepperís software update button for free. Both the Mobipocket eBook and Flickr photo-sharing applications can also be accessed using the Pepper Desktop software for PCs.
The Pepper Pad is less than one inch thick, rugged and splash resistant. It is Wi-Fi-enabled, with a high-resolution screen (8.4-inch, 800x600 pixels), 20-gigabyte hard disk, built-in speakers and a thumb keypad. Its display is ideal for viewing full width Web pages and watching full-screen videos.
The device is based on a 624-MHz Intel PXA270 application processor, Intel 2700G media processor and comes with 256 MB of SDRAM. The Wi-Fi is complemented by Bluetooth, IR, SD/MMC card slot and a USB port. It also features built-in stereo speakers and microphone, jacks for headphones, external microphone and external video display, plus a direction-pad and scroll wheel for navigation. It has two options for easy and reliable text entry: a built-in lighted thumb-style QWERTY keypad or a separate (optional) keyboard connected wirelessly by Bluetooth or wired via USB.
The company has also announced the Pepper Pad Plus, an enhanced version of its Pepper Pad handheld media computer. aNew hardware features include: a new battery with more than 60 percent greater capacity; Wi-Fi 802.11g; a 30-gigabyte hard disk; and Bluetooth 2.0. The Pad Plus will also include a new software revision that will include SIP-based Internet telephony (VoIP); Windows Media 9 Series audio and video; plus Universal Plug and Play (UPnP), which enables the Pad to stream music, photos and videos from other UPnP devices and PCs.
The new Pepper Pad Plus will be available in the second quarter. There will be an upgrade program for existing Pepper Pad owners to obtain the new hardware features. Current Pepper Pad owners will be able to upgrade to the new software for free using the Get Updates button included in the existing software.
On another front, Pepper Computing has licensed its software and its hardware designs to HANBiT Electronics Co., Ltd. of Suwon, South Korea, enabling HANBiT to produce the Pepper Pad handheld media computer. Under the licensing agreement, HANBiT will manufacture and distribute the Pads under the Pepper brand worldwide. It is the first agreement that Pepper has signed with a consumer electronics OEM, one of the four primary distribution channels for the Pad. The other distribution channels are retailers, broadband providers and home automation and home control companies.