We loved the response and appreciation we have got till now. But more is yet to come. Right from more than one product to be there at CES, to the recent patents we have filed, there are going to be more disclosures on the work we are doing. A special thanks to the open source community, nVidia and Pixel Qi, for supporting us and helping us make this into a reality. (Special thanks to slashgear for covering us.)
So, who are we? What do we do? When are we going to launch the product? I know you all have lots of questions.
We see ourselves as the usability firm, one which will always keep the user at the core and design everything. Right now the product which is to come at CES will showcase only Android. But was it not designed for smaller mobile phone? What about those full screen alert boxes? There are lots of issues for Android to be used on the big screen. We are going to fix it, but will not showcase in CES this time. There are going to be a lot of User Interface changes in the final product.
We believe that the ‘window’ concept is gone. The UI which we are using is some 4 decades old, but we are yet to get rid of the folders, hierarchy and drop down menus! All this is going to change. A lot of new user interface ideas are coming. One of the few one which we like are this and this. In fact, TIME’s project Manhattan is an early response to the same. The UI is going to change, because the needs have changed. Now we need our devices not only to browse internet, but also to read the books.
Some of the concept designs have made us smile in awe and in anger as well. Awe because they were able to solve a lot of problems, and anger, cos they were able to showcase it to the world before us. Yet, this new UI needs to evolve. And the community would play a very big role in the same. We are thinking of involving the community in a bigger way, where they get to choose which rules are to be adopted, what UI element makes a lot of sense and what compromises are to be made, if efficient usability is to be achieved.
iPod brought music to life, then videos as well. Soon internet and applications saw the surge. Amazon came out with Kindle. But what’s next? We believe its the media. Newspapers at go. Delivered every morning to your home screen.
We recently went to Taiwan. And to our understanding, and major ODM’s fear, we can definitely say, that Apple IS cooking up something. Even if one of the ODMs is their manufacturer, the fact that their other non-Apple group would suffer is a big burden for them. We talked to all. And we tried to explain them, that product is not going to win the next generation of computing device race. It’s the CONTENT. We tried our hard to make them realize, when Apple launches their product, they will have a very beautiful device, the best UI which a tablet can feature, and to support all that, one of the best content delivery systems (their recent acquisition are big hints). All this would again usher a big group of people making application for them. And then again the normal product manufacturers would be left.
We are not going to do to this mistake. That is why we have already made quite a few collaborations, and many more are in the pipeline. We would release our own SDK later next year for the bigger screen application development. We would help the open community as much as we can, so there is already lot of content there, before we hit the market. Designing on Android if way easier than on any other OSes.
We have a comments section on the website, would love to hear from you. And love to answer your queries. You can also mail us at info AT notionink.com
The Unbalanced World
World is unbalanced at many places. We see droughts and floods. Its same for the electronic industry as well. We see products around embedded with components which are far more powerful than what current consumers can make use of. We see 4GB of RAM in PCs now a days, and not one time you will notice system consuming more than 2GB. Yes there are application which can make use of this extra horse power, but how many of we actually use them?
What is the size of HDD installed in your PC? Are you running short of more space lately? No, probably. What about those dual and quad-core processors? That would roughly give you more than 4GHz and are you using these for running internet browsers and songs?
We call these configurations Hummers for City transportation. We all live in cities and not in rendering farm houses. And how is the software industry responding to this cult? By giving us more resource hopping applications. Even OSes would tell you “Your current configuration is not our OS capable”. But there is a change in this trend.
Netbooks, UMPCs and MIDs are on rise not because we are in recession (or were in?). But, people are realizing, they need bikes and scooters. They are choosing mobility and maneuverability over real life animation rendering capabilities and complex OSes. And yes, they are cheaper.
But these new trends are presenting us with very different questions. Since resources now have to be optimised, what is the perfect configuration? How much storage should I have? How many simultaneously running applications would make me happy? What is the perfect screen size for me? Do I need a keyboard sticking on to the screen? How much RAM, since I’m not using bloatwares? What if I get stuck somewhere because of the different resources I have at my disposal, can cloud computing be a solution for me then?
If you look closely, you can draw a similarity between Oil and computer industry. First, if you make lot of oil available, you get lot of cars in the market. Lot of oil gives these car manufacturers freedom to make more powerful cars and hence consuming more fuel. And what would more demand would do the the oil prices?
Same is with the application writers. If you get freedom to use more resources, you would concentrate on how to use it, and not on how to use less of it to do the same work. In the end you get application which demand more, and we give them a systems which in the end are just, More.
And solution as we ponder upon is, Simple.
One of the most important application of the Operating Systems was organizing and displaying data. And the failure in doing so is represented by the number of the softwares installed to do so on our computers. Picasa being one of the better examples (for photo viewing /editing). People have different idea of what suits them in context of music players and libraries, and use it. And again here, in the context of the storing, organizing and using the multimedia content, OSes have lost the battle. And finally an ares which we intend to solve on a bigger scale, managing documents, there is not even a 3rd party software catering to our needs.
Today we have moved beyond OSes. We run applications for hours. Read with them and sleep with them. We have been using them so much, that what OS you are working on will not matter a thing if in the end it displays the content you are familiar with or prefer. Recent switching of people towards Mac is an example. Millions of net books are being released in the market with pre-installed ubuntu OS, after careful tweaks. The cloud computing is still 2-3 years away from solving the “problem of adoption”, and the Hype Cycle predicts the same.
Everyone on the subconscious level would agree that the significance of ‘kind’ of OS has vanished, or vanishing. The limits on what OS could do have already been breached. What remains next is the innovation in the way data is transferred, wireless. We are not far from reaching this stage as well. The notion that you just have a screen in your hands and everything is being done on ‘clouds’ is a strict function of the wireless capabilities and the related economics. But still future is not impossible, its just not completely predictable.