Zii Egg Could Give the iPhone and iPod touch Some Real Competition

Written on July 29, 2009 by Liam Cassidy

It’s the world’s first handheld StemCell Computer. It sports 1080p HD output, X-Fi Audio processing, a ten-point multi-gesture capacitive touchscreen, text-to-speech engine and expandable SDHC memory. It’s got lots more, too.

And it’s running Android.


In short, it’s a mobile device that beats the pants off the iPod touch — in hard, cold specs, at the very least. The Egg is built using the new wave of multimedia hardware and software from ZiiLABS, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Creative Technology. Here’s the blurb from the official website.

“The Zii EGG is an energy efficient handheld StemCell Computer based on the powerful ZiiLABS ZMS-05 media-rich applications processor. Besides its multi-touch 3.5-inch LCD screen, it can also output HD video at up to 1080p. The ZMS-05’s 24 floating-point processors deliver up to 8 GFLOPS of raw processing power, while the StemCell Computing’s flexible architecture allows stunning display of 3D graphics on a small handheld battery powered device.”

Although the Egg isn’t a mobile phone, it soon could be. ZiiLABS is allowing third parties to develop for and re-brand the device. The only thing stopping this from being a mobile phone is a cellular transceiver, and they’re not so hard to find. And because it already runs Google’s Android operating system, it won’t take a lot of software jiggery-pokery to get the thing making calls.

Even without cellphone functionality, the current specs of the Zii Egg put the iPod touch to shame. And with the Zii Plaszma and Android platforms as a foundation (both of which are open-source and free, therefore very attractive to OEM’s in today’s economic climate) the Egg promises real future innovation and creativity in a market that has, since 2007, only been playing catch-up with Apple. Using the Egg, Apple’s competitors might get their 15 minutes of fame. Remember, this is a first-generation release that already boasts more bells and whistles than any of the top devices already available on the market. OEM’s have a great starting-point, and they didn’t have to do any of that pesky, expensive R&D work to get to it.

Although you can’t buy it in the shops, it is available to developers and OEM’s as part of a pre-order kit for a paltry $399. For a device that truly comes close to the iPhone in size, style, function and development promise, this may be the first to truly deserve the title “iPhone Killer.”


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