Fast Company

Creative's Zii Machine: It's an Android-Powered iPod Touch

Creative came clean on its Zii project--first teased back in January with news of the company's revolutionary "stem cell computing" chips. It's a device called the Zii Egg, and it looks like an iPod touch.

In fact, it's eerily similar--down to the device's shape, color scheme, 3.5-inch, 320-by-480-pixel LCD multitouch screen, and Wi-Fi and Bluetooth powers. It's even got a rear-facing camera, just like the rumored refreshed iPod touch, though it's "HD" resolution in this case.

That's where the similarities end. The Android-powered Egg also has a front-facing VGA cam for VoIP video calling, line in, line out and video connections through its dock connector that means it can send HD video directly to an HDTV, and it's got built-in GPS. Check it out in the video demo below.

Interesting isn't it? It's available now for developers for a chunky $400, though that won't get you any built-in storage.

The real question is: What's the device for? Does Creative really think it can compete with the mighty Apple and iTunes by rolling out a device that's incrementally better than the iPod touch, and designed to compete with both it and the ridiculously successful iPhone? For the Egg to work, it'll have to attract a huge bunch of those Android developers, and it'll have to be priced similarly to the Touch. And that alleged pocket-sized supercomputer performance will have to result in the Egg demonstrably blazing along.

[Creative Ziilabs]

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2 Comments

  • Kit Eaton

    @Markus. True--true, there are certainly a lot of homebrewers out there who could certainly make fantastic use of the machine.

  • Markus Thielmann

    Since I was just asking for a device with such specifications when your article popped up at Google, here's the answer from my point of view:

    It might be a nice platform for developers (even hobbyists) who are interested in embedded systems with multimedia capabilities (especially the dedicated decoders are interesting) and obviously quite powerful. The iPod is much cheaper, but you're limited to what Apple allows you to do with it. In my opinion, the device is first and foremost a demo of the ZMS-05 chip. And I guess it worked :-)

    The only thing I'm missing is the digital compass. But I guess you can't have anything. For the pricing, just check how much you pay for a SoC system, a touchscreen, the cameras and all the other nifty gadgets you get with the system.