Two years after their ‘Eureka moment,’ a bunch of IIT graduates are set to announce the country’s foray into the Complete Product Development market, a territory hitherto uncharted by any Indian company.
Among the new fangled technologies to be displayed at the Las Vegas Consumer Electronics Show scheduled for January 2010 will be a sleek gizmo, tentatively named Adam, conceptualised and designed in Hyderabad and Bangalore.
So, what exactly is Adam? To quote one of its creators: “It is a ‘smartpad,’ small enough to be carried anywhere and big enough to do anything.”
It is a brainchild of Notion Ink, a Hyderabad start-up launched by seven Indians (six IITians and an MBA graduate), who left lucrative careers to realise their dream of designing a next-gen device at an affordable price. And if the 67 patents filed for the product in various categories are any indication, they have come a long way.
Weighing 770 grams, the 0.6-inch-thick, 10.1-inch scratch-resistant touch screen device comes loaded with features that are likely to impress Eve.
The device will be among the first to feature Pixel Qi display, a low-cost, power-saving screen that can operate in three modes. Besides the LCD mode, it can run in a low-power, basic colour trans-reflective mode and a very low-power, sunlight-readable e-paper mode that mounts no pressure on the eye. The screen comes with fingerprint-resistant oleophobic (oil repelling) and anti-glare coating.
“We are the only ones to use Pixel Qi screens for Tablet technology. It consumes one-tenth of the battery compared with conventional LCDs,” reveals Rohan Shravan, founder, and director, Creatives, Notion Ink.
The company reckons that the integral Lithium-ion battery will hold good up to 48 hours standby, eight hours of high definition video playback or 16 hours of Internet surfing over WiFi. At its heart will be NVIDIA’s powerful, yet energy-saving, eight-core Tegra system-on-chip, which will drive the system at astonishing speeds while ensuring battery longevity.
“We collaborated with the best in the industry to provide days of computing,” says Sachin Ralhan, another co-founder.
The device will almost be entirely manufactured in Taiwan. TPK Touch Solutions (Xiamen) Inc. has been roped in for touch screens, and talks are on with major Original Device Manufacturers (ODMs) for the final product.
Squeezed into Adam are water, ambient light and proximity sensors, accelerometer, assisted GPS, digital compass, built-in speakers and microphone. However, it will be loaded only with Flash memory (16 or 32 GB) augmented by Secure Digital (SD) card support.
It will have three interfaces: the touch screen, an on-screen virtual keyboard and a track pad located behind the screen, allowing users to manoeuvre the cursor from the front or the rear. A rotatable three megapixel camera at the top can effortlessly take pictures or videos within a 180 degree angle.
The developers were assisted by the National Institute of Design (Research and Development campus, Bangalore) in elements of next generation operating system (OS), user interfaces, usability issues and product concepts. For starters, Adam will support gesture control, thanks to the Android user interface. “We wanted to adopt an OS which would make our device ‘talk’ to any other device. And we chose Google’s Android,” says Rohit Rathi, another co-founder.
But, originally designed for mobile phones, Android’s interface would appear stretched on the smartpad’s screen, and this issue will have to be resolved.
Notion Ink is talking to telecom providers (in India and the U.S.) to test the device for connectivity issues on delivery of the first batch of 60 Adams.
The best part: price. Notion Ink promises it will be Rs.15,000 when it is out in the U.S., European and Indian markets in June next year.