Ocosmos OCS-1 and O-Bar eyes-on, plus a smattering of prototype sliders (video)

Sean Hollister
S. Hollister|09.15.10

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Ocosmos OCS-1 and O-Bar eyes-on, plus a smattering of prototype sliders (video)
Though arguably the most exciting thing about Ocosmos's five-inch Oak Trail handheld is the promise of a pocket Zerg rush, there's a good bit more to the OCS-1 than gaming prowess -- it claims to be able to replace a full mouse and keyboard with just the two "OMOS Keys" on the front. Though they look like Sidekick II-era directional pads, they're actually stacked two levels tall, with a D-pad on top of an PlayStation Portable-style analog nub that click and slide in each of eight directions (and press in like gamepad analog sticks) for 34 functions in total. That's before we consider there's also a pair of shoulder buttons, a volume rocker, a sliding QWERTY keyboard and a capacitive touchscreen to boot -- and did we mention that the OMOS Keys themselves have multiple user / game profiles?%Gallery-102194%

If you're skeptical about how one might keep those controls straight, you're definitely not alone, but immediately above you can watch a company rep play StarCraft II with the O-Bar PC peripheral. The latter is a Wiimote-alike PC controller with a pair of OMOS Keys that connects via USB dongle, which is sadly not destined for the US market, unlike the OCS-1. Whoops, did we forget to tell you that the Oak Trail handheld itself is headed stateside? Ocosmos says that it is, and assuming talks with a "very strong, very well known" carrier come to fruition, we're looking at a simultaneous launch in the US and Korea in the first half of next year.

We didn't really get the chance to try out the prototypes at IDF 2010, as we were told they were too early to test beyond a brief keyboard press, but Ocosmos did consent to a brief video of the unit playing some StarCraft II footage (notice a theme?) and reps were happy to go into greater detail regarding features. The unit's actually slated to have considerable connectivity with mini-HDMI, mini-USB and a full-size USB port alongside 802.11 b/g WiFi and Bluetooth and 3G under consideration for next year, and there's a microphone, speaker and 1.3 megapixel webcam placed so the unit can be held appropriately for VoIP calls or video chat, plus a 3 megapixel digital imager on the back, a headphone jack, and a hefty removable battery we were politely asked not to take pictures of. %Gallery-102228%
Last but not least, as you can see in the gallery above, this is far from the company's only OMOS Key prototype -- it's got three clever dual-sliders (and two small slates) that hide a pair of Keys each. Without giving the prototype controls an extensive trial, it's hard to say whether enough of an improvement over today's QWERTY and touchscreen to sacrifice those controls, but at least you can be quite sure the OCS-1 won't ask you to choose.
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