Check out this awesome video interview with ARM President Tudor Brown conducted by Rob Symes of Campbell Black, hear Tudor Brown talk about how ARM was founded 20 years ago, a sometimes hilarious interview about ARM’s Cambridge British/European technology company attitude:
We assumed it wouldn’t work. That was the nature of our British Cambridge attitude. Here we go again, this would never work. But never mind, it’s fun, let’s make a go of it. And that was kind of the attitude that had been bred into us at Acorn. Many of us had been working at Acorn for many years, we created some great technology, but commercialy it had been a flop. And indeed the first products that were based on ARM, when ARM set out as a separate company, were all flops commercialy. It was a set of sales flops, I can list them:
- the Acorn computers which were really not very successful,
- the Apple Newton which was the first PDA which was the whole raison d’etre for the company that was clearly a flop,
- the 3DO multiplayer first CD based games machine in the world, based on ARM, commercial flop,
- the Sega Dreamcast, games machine, flop
- and so it went on.. we were kind of used to that.
It was a very important point that we were running the company as a bunch of pessimists, very lean and mean, on the basis that we weren’t going to build the company up on the hope of some future growth, we were going to run the company on the basis that what we had today had to last.
Both of the new amazingly priced Nook Touch ($139) and Kobo Touch ($129) seem to use the new Freescale i.MX508 (I first filmed i.MX508 a year ago) to facilitate smooth touch interfaces using Infrared Touch technology (first used in the Sony PRS-650) but also to easily enable those to be the first Android powered e-ink e-readers! Basically i.MX508 and Android makes first real useful use of WiFi and Touch on e-ink e-readers! Using Android on e-ink is awesome to provide for great files support, web browser, easily add apps like news readers, rss readers, Chrome-To-Phone functionality (just beam any article or any text from your Chrome browser on your laptop to your e-ink e-reader in one click!), synchronizing of bookmarks, wireless beaming of web based ebooks, all in one click. Android on e-ink just increases the e-readers potential greatly. Using infrared touchscreen technology is a great way to provide the best possible readability, not adding any layers on top of the screen.
An interesting thing to follow though will be to see how open Android i.MX508 e-ink e-reader makers will be towards allowing for alternative e-book stores, and allowing for full open Android apps installation and full unrestricted access to the web browser. As it may be that part of the profit margins on these new low-cost e-ink e-readers may be subsidized by the hardware makers expecting to make later huge profits on selling e-books, like Amazon does with their Kindle e-book store, it will be fun to see if all the e-ink e-reader makers will seize the opportunity to be open with Android on e-ink and at the same time find new interesting ways to monetize those. I for example would prefer paying less than $10 per month for unlimited legal access to all e-books, all newspapers, all blogs, all websites, everything, perhaps even certain 3G bandwidth included, but will content owners and hardware makers be open minded enough to let that happen quickly?
When will Google officially announce open source Android optimizations for e-ink devices and with deep integration of Google Books, Google Reader, Google Fast Flip and more?
Here’s how I think those e-ink e-readers could be sold in the best way: $99, $10/month optional pre-paid plan gives 100mb 3G data (upgradable bandwidth for $1/100mb or less) and full unlimited access to all e-books, all e-newspapers, e-magazines, blogs through RSS/search and more. Full unrestricted web browsing on e-ink. And nice complete cloud syncing with your Smartphone, Tablet and Laptop. While e-ink e-reader market is doing great perhaps reaching 20 million units to be sold this year, if they price them right and open them fully, I think they’ll do even better.
Archos hacker Bubu just released the multi-boot menu support for the Archos Gen8 Tablets, it reportedly works great on Archos 70 Internet Tablet and Archos 101 Internet Tablet, find the release here: http://www.openaos.org/archives/739
Then you can install alternative firmwares and have them right there available in your multi-boot menu on your Archos, so you could for example today choose between Archos official Android firmware, Debian Linux and Angstrom Linux.
If more software hackers contribute, Archos tablets may also run Ubuntu 11.4, Chromium OS, Gingerbread and any other embedded Linux OS through this multi-boot system.
Bubu and the team at OpenAOS.org previously released this solution for the Archos Gen6 and Gen7 tablets as well.
Check out how ShiZhu’s new Pixel Qi tablet series perform outdoors and indoors against other regular LCD based new Android tablets such as the HTC Flyer (with an anti-glare coating) and the Archos 70 Internet Tablet, you can see how the Pixel Qi screen is much more readable outdoors. This tablet is based on the Samsung Hummingbird Cortex-A8 processor. They are releasing also a 7″ and they can provide them in several different designs.
A quite small modern solar panel can produce 1W of power, enough to power both the Pixel Qi and the whole ARM Powered tablet motherboard behind it. Think for a second how amazing this is. They can put solar panels on the bezel and the Tablet could basically be fully solar powered, have a bigger solar panel on the back of the tablet if you want to just charge it and not use it. This compact 1W Solar panel is $3. OLPC could be using this for the upcoming OLPC XO-1.75 Laptop and the XO-3 tablet.
While this is not yet with the anti-glare anti-reflective coating and the reflective mode for touch is not yet implemented in this ZTE sample, this is how the ZTE Light with Pixel Qi might look like, the fully optimized version should be shipping in the third quarter of this year.
Ian Drew is the Executive VP of Marketing at ARM, here is my recording of most of his keynote at Computex 2011 in Taipei today. Sorry about the missing first 3 minutes, sorry for the slight shaking in the first few minutes (as I was trying to get to a better chair) and sorry that I don’t have direct sound recording from the microphone. I couldn’t see if Computex organizers were actually recording these speeches on official video to publish on their website, if you find another better recording of this keynote please post the video link in the comments.
Tudor Brown, President of ARM, delivers a keynote speech on the status of the ARM industry and where it’s headed. Here at the Computex 2011 trade show in Taipei Taiwan, look forward to a whole bunch of new ARM Powered devices. As 25 Billion ARM processors have been shipped thus far, look forward to even more uses for these ARM Processors, with the Internet of Things and infinite other uses to turn everything smart.