Creative have been talking up their Zii platform for quite some time now - the HD-capable system first showed up at CES 2009, and then more recently sprouted a smartphone reference design in December last year - but beyond the initial developer device there's little to show from the whole project. Over at epiZENter, however, they've spotted what could be some movement: the Creative site has gained a few new peripherals, including a development kit supporting 3G modules, and an insider has tipped Android customization for Zii as being on track for a March 2010 completion.
When it comes to gaming geeks and MMORPG games, World of Warcraft is hands down the most popular game out there. The game has been around for a long time now, but it is still hugely popular and has a large enough following that gaming gear specifically for the game is a big market. Creative has unveiled a new wireless headset today with artwork from the game aimed at WoW fans.
As video demos go we'd have preferred to see a little bit more of the ZiiLABS TRINITY smartphone, but a brief splash of the ZMS-05 based handset outputting 1080p High Definition video is not something to be sniffed at. While the current TRINITY reference design has a proprietary docking connector on the bottom, Creative have already said that it's a simple matter to switch that to a mini HDMI and microUSB pair.
Video demo after the cut
ZiiLABS' TRINITY is designed to draw the attention of smartphone lovers to the ZMS-05 platform, just like its ZiiEGG predecessor did for PMPs, and it seems to be doing a pretty good job. Crave Asia grabbed some hands-on time with the smartphone - which is capable of 1080p HD video playback, has a 3.1-inch 800 x 480 OLED capacitive touchscreen and triband WCDMA/HSDPA connectivity - and came away reasonably impressed.
Video hands-on after the cut
Looking for a guaranteed way to confuse press and customers alike, and dilute your new brand? Creative have a good example: they've called their latest iPod speaker dock the ZiiSound, which you'd expect to thus include some of the clever ZiiLABS "StemCell Computing" magic they've been discussing this week. Instead it's a bog-standard speaker dock, with nary a whiff of a Zii processor.
As promised last month, the ZiiLABS team have revealed their first smartphone development platform, the Zii TRINITY, based on the company's StemCell ZMS-05 processor and throwing in quadband GSM and triband WCDMA/HSDPA. As before, 1080p Full HD is supported together with accelerated OpenGL ES 3D graphics, while up front the TRINITY has a 3.1-inch 800 x 480 OLED capacitive touchscreen. In the future, ZiiLABS say, there'll be a 4G version supporting the even higher-speed mobile networks.
The Zii TRINITY also squeezes in WiFi b/g, GPS, Bluetooth 2.1+EDR and a 5-megapixel autofocus camera (plus a front-facing VGA camera for video calls), along with a microSD card slot. Wired connectivity includes micro USB 2.0, mini HDMI and composite video output. The battery is a 1,130mAh pack, and the TRINITY will run both Creative's own Plaszma OS or Google's Android platform.
Creative's latest point-and-shoot camcorder has emerged, and though the feature list isn't exactly overwhelming it's a decent update over the second-gen version. The new Creative Vado HD still grabs 720p high-definition footage but now the company are claiming improved low-light and bright-light performance together with out-of-the-box compatibility with both PCs and Macs.
ZiiLABS first has unveiled a new media processor called the ZMS-08. ZiiLABS is a subsidiary of Creative and the first product from Creative to carry the Zii name was the Zii Egg. The new media processor that the company is showing off today is designed to provide Blu-ray quality in handheld devices.