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The Handspring Visor, Resurrected

The DIY Player is a gadget concept by designer Shao Wen that promises unlimited capability. The main unit is dominated by a display, and is effectively imagined as a blank slate.

On the top and bottom of the gadget are an expansion ports, designed to accept modules that give the DIY Player new features. Plug in a camera module to take pictures, or slap on a numeric keypad to send texts and make calls.

If the concept sounds familiar, that's because you're old enough to remember the Handspring Visor. The Palm OS PDA featured the Springboard expansion slot. It accepted modules ranging from cameras, voice recorders, MP3 players, mobile phone hardware, and even apps that required a lot of storage space.

Handspring, which was founded by former Palm employees, eventually merged with Palm. The company was responsible for creating the Treo—one of the earliest true smartphones that merged PDA and phone functionality.

While the Visor continues to enjoy strong community support even today (the last Visor was released back in September 2001), the idea of purchasing modules for additional functionality apparently didn't fly with the majority of customers.

That's why we are doubtful that the DIY player—essentially a modernized upgrade of the classic "pocket gadget with an expansion slot" concept—will find a strong consumer base. The DIY player is still a concept anyway, more a product of a designer's imagination rather than a gadget projected to hit the market.

DIY Player