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Cýbiko Wireless Intertainment System
Truly one of the most obscure handhelds that holds a high price tag due to its rare value—failing to make a dent in the handheld market back in the early to mid-nineties. No information exists (currently) as to the origin of the name, nor why it was the choice to label such console.
I remember seeing the commercial for this, and I couldn't bare it anymore. I thought that it, too, was the next coolest thing ever, in contrast with the Game Boy. Once I received this as a present that same year, I found that my happiness had an expiration date.
Digital palm planners—portable computing—seemed to be at a fork in the road during this time, despite that because the average American knows how to use a computer. Perhaps it was time we use something pocket-sized: an alternative to laptops, which were invariably pricey (circa 1999-2000). I know because I couldn't complete my electronics store shopping without seeing handheld computers. I also recall that there was a handheld computer that was selling with a color screen for ~$699. It wasn't a hot commodity, but folks were alienated because the tech industry was still trying to find a need that benefited us humans as we were heading toward a new year and new era. The "cool" version of all this came this: the Cýbiko.
Now yes I know, this isn't a "gaming" system but can play games. (Would this mean mobile devices are considered a "gaming" platform, despite the games for iOS/Android? Perhaps, but let's discuss that some other time.) In addition to the emailing, texting, friend search and Internet-enabled connection, you can download game applications to play on the Cybiko. Today, we simply call that an "app," but the fact you can also view someone's photo mystifies me. Never was I able to get a clear view of one of the sample photos provided in the system. Texting, emailing and friend-finding was impossible since less than 5 people I knew owned this. Worse, they all lived too far from me at the time—too far for the Cybiko to detect.
As for the games, I didn't have Internet connection during those days which made the ability to download more games impossible. I was able to, however, play a game similar to Arkanoid. The controls were responsive but weakens during play and stops working, even when pressed lightly. The rechargeable batteries, at least on my unit, seemed to burn out quickly unable to hold charge. Either that, or I charged mine for too long. I was never near using the device to lay down my scheduling and plans since I personally challenged my own mind to remember things and what to do next. Back to the communications part, I tested it out with my sister but it never worked and our texts never went through. Once we finally owned a computer and had a "decent" internet service, I found out that it was too late; Cýbiko's flame began to wither and never caught on again. However, according to gamers, there are homebrew game developers creating games for this system which is amazing. Other than that, this would've been the thing among youngsters.
I honestly thought this was an amazing idea, and because phone companies decided to implement the usage of texting, emailing, game apps into cell phones, a comeback for this unit seems impossible. With a full QWERTY keyboard, and a stylus to help you press the keys, the closest thing similar to this would be one of the older versions of the BlackBerry®. If cell phone companies didn't inject the features Cýbiko had into their phones, would we carry these along with our cell phones? Perhaps combining them would reduce the pocket-load and carrying all these portable devices while walking to our destination(s). Having the internet and tested some of the other games compatible with this device, they were unique and great, but wouldn't have been able to find myself gaming on this thing. Firstly, the battery life wasn't great despite it being dot matrix and having no backlight. Secondly, the buttons don't work sometimes leaving me in the dust. It was a cool thing during its short tenure, but more than likely, we would've ended up with our cell phones (meh).
I wasn't as impressed as I thought, but up to today, I'm happy I still have mine. It's a piece of tech history that brings you back during a time when companies gathered workers in meetings, talking about what people want, what people need, what works and what makes life a little easier. And being that the demand for this is relatively low—don't count on that—it should be very easy to order and pick up at your favorite auction sites. As mentioned earlier, homebrew games are still being made for this system, so check those out as well! Here's a PDRoms forum discussing Cybiko News and Updates.
For the sake of David Yang, owner of CYBIKO, perhaps we can see a comeback with a new, more advanced device that can compete with the likes of the Apple iPhone, LG Optimus, the Samsung Galaxy and many other cell phones/mobile devices? Perhaps producing a full-on gaming handheld?
- A futuristic device catering to younger generation into internet-related activities such as emails, online chat, playing games, etc.
- Sleek yet modern for its time, marketed as multimedia console.
- Play games while being able to surf online.
- Various hacks and homebrews exist for the system.
- Would love to see a comeback of the brand.
- Internet access was limited in the average household that time.
- Screen suffered from motion blurring.
- Only a modest amount of games existed for the system.
- No backlight.
|Description||Wireless Intertainment System
[BACK OF BOX]
The "HUMAN" is a raging "SOCIAL ANIMAL" - (given). You are HUMAN - (hopefully). When two or more humans get together, one will inevitably open its mouth - to talk.
BUT WHEN YOU'RE NOT MOUTH-TO-MOUTH, YOU CAN STILL COMMUNICATE - WITH CYBIKO!
NOW YOU CAN DO IT ALL! JUST DOWNLOAD THA' MOTHERLOAD AT WWW.CYBIKO.COM...
CYBIKO's technology allows you to send and receive e-mail with anyone on the net or send graphics, music, or chat wirelessly with someone in your "virtual" network. In the "FRIEND FINDER" mode, you can scan the scene, do a search, and find people you're looking for - or, with your "PERSONAL PROFILE," meet new friends!
[LEFT SIDE OF BOX]
Main Processor: 32 bit, 11MHz Hitachi H8S/2246
Coprocessor: Atmel AT90S2313 4 MHz
RAM: 256 KB
Flash Disk: 512 KB, extendable up to 8 MB
LCD: 160 x 100 dots, 59 x 40 mm, 4-level grayscale
RF Transceiver: RF 2915
Expansion Cartridge Slot: 68-pin
PC Connection Socket: RS232 serial port
Size: 5.7" x 2.8" x 0.86"
Weight: 4.3 oz
Operating System: CyOS v.1.2
Software: CYOS v. 1.2 compatible applications
Communication Protocol: CyDP x 30 (Cybiko RF Digital Protocol)
Dynamic Wireless Local Network: automatically
provided by CyOS v.1.2 and CyDP x 30
RF Communication Features:
Frequency: 902-928 MHz
Number of Channels: 30 digital channels
Transmission and Receiving Range: 150-ft. indoors
300-ft. outdoors (environment dependent)
Communication Rate: 19,200 bps each channel
Max. Online Cybiko Units: 3,000 (100 units on of 30 channels)
IBM-compatible Pentium 90 PC or higher • Windows 98/NT 4.0 (SP5) • 32MB RAM • Mouse • Microsoft Explorer 4.0 or Netscape Navigator 4.0 or later • one available RS232 port • 20MB of available hard disk space • Dial-Up or LAN Internet connection available
Items Included in the Box:
Cybiko Wireless Inter-tainment System CY6411 • Two high-capacity F6 size Ni-MH prismatic type 700 mAp rechargeable batteries • UL approved 120V recharging unit • RS232 serial PC connection cable • Plastic stylus • User Guide • Software Included - see top panel
[TOP OF BOX]
WIRELESS CHAT: Chat with 1-to-99 people simultaneously. Stay anonymous or reveal yourself. It's up to you.
INTERNET E-MAIL: Send and receive e-mail with anyone on the net. Pull down your e-mail and read/write them while you're on the go.
ONLINE PEOPLE BROWSER: See who's around. Check out their CyPage, get their profile information, and even view their photo.
YOU & ME: Set up your personal CyPage and define a special selection criteria to find someone new.
FRIEND FINDER: Automatically "HyperScan" your entire network every 60 seconds. A VIBE-b-b-r-r-ation alerts you when someone is nearby.
LOST IN LABYRINTH: Search for the "Spiral of Knowledge." Play alone or simultaneously against multiple players.
CYLANDIA DEMO: Your Cy-B can be teleported, fall in love, get married, and even have baby Cy-Bs! Download the entire game FREE.
WIRELESS CHECKERS: Play this classic board game - but there's a twist: your opponent can be anywhere.
SOLITAIRE: You're never alone with this favorite!
BILLIARDS: Keep in "dead stroke" and master this classic bar game.
ALARM CLOCK/CALCULATOR: "Number crunch" with this full-function calculator and alarm clock.
PHONE/ADDRESS BOOK: Now you can store and retrieve hundreds of names quickly.
PERSONAL PLANNER: Plan your day with the "To-Do List."
TEXT EDITOR and JOURNAL: Create notes and send them to anyone in your wireless network; use the journal to keep track of your ideas.
START-UP WIZARD: Learn quickly how to get your CYBIKO "up and running."
SETTINGS: Control all of your major settings, including Password, Sounds, Screen, Units of Measure, etc.
POWER SAVER: Save power via the special power-saver electronics, which reduces battery consumption when the unit is idle.
FREE INTERNET DOWNLOADS
Download EVERY DAY ONE NEW game or application free at www.cybiko.com. (See inside panel for a partial listing.)
[BOTTOM OF BOX]
In an effort to continually improve CYBIKO, the product inside this package may include additional programs and applications not listed on the package.
ATTENTION! Your CYBIKO can use hundreds of games and applications, but can't hold all of them at once. The number of resident applications depends on the program size and the memory capacity of your unit. Check www.cybiko.com for availability for memory expansion cards.
This device complies with Part 15 of the FCC Rules. Its operation is subject to the following two conditions: (1) This device may not cause harmful interference; and (2) This device must accept any interference that may cause undesired operation.
MADE AND PRINTED IN TAIWAN R.O.C.
|ISBN / Bar Code number||6 86312 64212 3|
|Video Format||1.78:1 (16:9)|
|Audio Format||Mono (????)|
|Video Specification||Monochrome (Dot Matrix)|
|Licensed by||CYBIKO, Inc.|
|Other Console Versions||Cýbiko Xtreme|
780 West Army Trail Road
P.O. BOX 147
Carol Stream, Illinois 60188-9297
TM, © & ® 1999 CYBIKO, Inc. All rights reserved.
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