The USB is the Key
Let’s look beyond the operating system and instead turn our attention to the device itself, the Windows Mobile 6.5-based Toshiba TG01. As you can see in the accompanying image, it is a slick-looking handset not too far removed from some of HTC’s Windows Mobile devices from 2008.
Also known as the Toshiba Tsunagi, the TG01 features a 1GHz CPU, 256 MB RAM and 512 MB ROM (making it just about able to run Windows Phone 7, as a matter of fact) but the most interesting thing about this phone is that it features a USB host, thereby enabling a device such as the ultrasound wand to be connected.
As things stand, the majority of mobile devices that feature a USB connector only do so as slaves – meaning that the phone itself becomes subordinate to the device it is connected to. This is best demonstrated by the problems that can be faced in trying to connect a USB keyboard to a mobile phone running Windows Phone or Android. The reason for this, it seems, is that host functionality is removed in the majority of handsets.
Mobisante’s technology is pretty remarkable, although it is somewhat ironic that they should be based in Redmond on Microsoft’s very doorstep and using the old and ignored version of their operating system. In truth, of course, Windows Mobile is a hugely versatile operating system based on the same Windows CE platform that is found in portable devices around the world such as those used in casinos, race tracks, by couriers and in warehouses.