As I stated in my previous post, there is no one Nirvana devicethat will fit everyone’s tastes, so here’s another twist on the topic. 

Impatica Showmate  is a device, call it a “puck”, that you make a Bluetooth connection to from your smartphone using its Screen Projector software that you install on your smartphone.  A VGA cable is connected between the Showmate and the monitor you want to use.  You must register your mobile device with the Showmate.  Simply start the installed client on mobile device, enter in a few numbers from the bottom of the Showmate to register.  Then you just choose what registered Showmate device you want to connect to and hit select.  Your screen then pops up on the monitor the Showmate is connected to. 

Pic 1: Picture of the Showmate “puck”, and VGA and USB power ports. 

Impatica was in the BlackBerry booth at CTIA showing their Showmate working with BlackBerry phones.  As part of the demo environment, they had the Rove Mobile Citrix Client on demo BB, and showed how they can remote the ICA presentation to an external monitor.  As you can see from the show pics below, they have some novel ideas about using this type of setup on portable LCD screens and such that you would find in police squad cars or utility trucks.  Great idea, especially when matched with the Rove Mobile Citrix Client to get access to all kinds of data from the secured data center. 

Pic 3: Michael Doyle, Impatica Director, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer showing the Impatica Showmate at CTIA 2008.

Pic 4: Showmate displaying a BlackBerry screen onto a portable LCD monitor inside a customer UI, mock of a law enforcement unit.  You can see the ICA session imbedded in the customer UI.

To stay consistent, I put the Impatica Showmate through the same hotel acid test I did with the other vendors.  I must note that the Windows Mobile Impatica ScreenProjector client that I’m using as I type this is still in Beta.  I used the Showmate with 2 devices, a Dell Axim X51v and an ATT 8525.  Latency on the X51v was very noticeable at times on the X51v, but response was good when using the 8525.  Note sure if this is related to old .vs. newer hardware/Bluetooth stacks, or the fact that the X51v has a larger resolution.  In general basic text entry like I’m doing now is pretty good.  Again, thanks to the Impatica team for getting us this beta to try.  I’m sure they still have some tuning tweaks up their sleeves before GA. 

The script is the same, in this case I’m using the Dell Axim X51v connected to the Showmate via Bluetooth to VGA out to the hotel’s flat screen TV.  This picture below is an actual picture of the creation of the text for this blog using a XenApp connection to a published desktop, and running MS Word on that desktop over ICA.  This is where I stop and take the picture

Pic 5: Show mate connecting the Axim X51v running the ICA cleint to the hotel TV, and bluetooth mouse and keyboard.

The Showmate form factor is interesting in that you can see the device, or derivative of this device being imbedded in other devices to meet different goals, as shown in there show demo pciture above with a custom UI on the mountable LCD screen.  Imagine the use case of a utility working or law enforcement office having a mobile device that when in there car or truck is having applications and data delivered to them via XenApp or XenDesktop.  But once they exit their vehicle, they take the  mobile device with them and continue to have the same apps and data delivered to them, just on the native screen of the mobile device.  Whether it be a policeman on foot, or a utility working working on a transformer in the bucket of his boom truck.  A very interesting modular device approach IMO.  But at the same time, I can see road warriors carrying the Showmate with them to do presentations from their mobile phone, or use in the hotel as I am.  You can read more on their website, but they already have a lot of road warriors using their Showmate today.  They also have a product that compresses PowerPoint presentations, and then an optimized viewer to run the presentation from the mobile device.  You can get more details on this from their website.   

So does the Showmate pass the Hotel acid test?  Yes, I’ve been able to create this post using the Showmate, and my mobile device, and it does provide benefits described around a Nirvana Deviceuse case.  So it’s definitely another option, with it’s own twist on the Nirvana Device seach. 

Like this twist, tell us why or why not.  As always, we are looking for your input on defining the Nirvana Devicefor use with XenApp and XenDesktop.