by Alan Sheckter, Videomaker news editor

As COMDEX was just getting underway in Las Vegas, National Semiconductor unveiled Origami, a new hand-held consumer electronics device that it said integrates a digital camera, video camcorder, smartphone, MP3 audio player, PDA, Internet access or Internet picture frame, e-ail device and video-conferencing terminal.

Flaunted at a weight of just 10 ounces and measuring 7.5 inches by 4 inches by 1.5 inches, the National Geode Origami Mobile Communicator (full name) is a flexible unit, the company said, folding and unfolding in order to perform each specific function. The device was named after the Japanese art of folding paper into birds, animals and other artistic shapes.

Exhibited as a proof-of-concept device for original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), Origami was developed under a joint agreement between National Semiconductor’s Conceptual Products Group, Studio RED Inc. and CoCom International Ltd.

A company executive said the multi-tasking device would be perfect for people on the move who want to stay connected to family, friends and business associates, while accessing the information they need.

Key Origami features, the company said, include a 4-inch 640 x 480-resolution LCD display, integrated 16-bit stereo sound capability with built-in microphone and speaker, headphone and headset connectors. Origami also boasts Bluetooth wireless technology for network connectivity.

Origami runs Microsoft Windows Embedded XP, the company said, and utilizes many of that platform’s applications, including NetMeeting for videoconferencing, Internet Explorer 6.0 for browsing and Windows Media Player.

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