Experience is the king!

While at CES, I got some time to go out and see “The Phantom of the Opera”. I have no inclination towards Operas neither I had seen one before. Yet the combination of the words Phantom and Opera was intriguing enough for me to go there and say “let’s check it out”.

It is a dream of every artist to see the eyes of people glowing big while appreciating their art. And there is nothing which can beat the feeling at the instance when they realize that they have actually surpassed all the expectations of everyone. I know, it’s a dream statement. But that’s how I would have felt had I been the director of such a show.

The sets were fabulous, and there was one for every instant. You could see the effort which went into the details. There was water on the stage. There was fire in the air. And there was excitement in all of us. For those few lucky ones who directly sat below the chandelier, knew that they were just cms away from wonderful death when it actually fell over them. Everything was in front but no one could believe that there is yet bigger set coming up!

And I haven’t even started speaking about the story! And actually that’s the whole point. Every story is great if the orator decides. Experience is the king in the end. Unless you can feel it, unless you don’t believe that you are the protagonist, that you, yourself is the theme, there will no difference, no love, neither any accolades.

I might be raw, but I know what I want. I know what people want. And I have got some time. My aim is more than just beating the best. I have a vision. Of unification of different mediums, of convergence, and of being the genesis of a revolution where experience is the focus and not the content.

My first target is the Digital Publishing Media, which I think has been left out. There is no other way in which we can engage people in all the 4 domains, text, images, videos and interactivity! And I believe there will be a new class of people dedicating their careers in developing exactly this kind of new experience. New, because now the front pages will be videos stopping at Kodak Moments, because now you can ask the characters in the comics to tell you their history, because the stories are always updated, and because never before there was a seamless flow of knowledge and thought.

The transition is going to come soon. And like the Phantom of the Opera, there will be many beautiful upcoming unknowns. And the best part! I am also one in the Audience but get the chance to set the actors free to unfold the story!

37 thoughts on “Experience is the king!

  1. Don’t forget the wider developer audience who are champing at the bit to deliver apps for your platform.

    The key to a good director is to set the stage and let the actors unfold the story – rather than being a one man show 🙂

  2. I’m glad you’ve seen it. The 2005? movie was excellent too, to fill in your void of Phantom. It’s an amazing story and i’ve been in love with it for many years now. I kinda grew up with musicals i guess, because my sister and mom were obsessed. Les Miserables is also amazing. Guaranteed to love it if you have a chance. Those are probably two of the best present day musicals in the world. It’s amazing to me that one story can be so popular across multiple cultures worldwide, but almost every major city: San Fran, LA, NYC, Chicago, Las Vegas, Miami, Paris, London, etc have a Phantom & Les Mis showing. it’s insane. but they really are terrific. Good luck against Apple’s ipad. I think you have a chance, because the new press release is kinda boring in appearance. Not at all what i was expecting. No SD card slot??? lol. Huge Black Border around the screen? 10 hour battery life? Naturally no mention of removable battery pack. It’s just another crappy apple product. And i’m a huge iphone fan so it’s sad really. i was hoping for greatness we’ll have to wait and see for Generation 2, but at least that keeps notion’s Adam alive 🙂

  3. Rohan,

    I am excited about about your product Adam. This is technically significantly better than any other product – iPad or Kindle or countless other e-readers. I am just concerned about the media management of these companies might sway the public in their favor.

    I suggest that you create specific white pages which compares your product with market leaders and post those on your blog. There are many tech bloggers who will find those useful. Bloggers can do the best advertisement first product from a company located in a third world country.

    Also create a set of demo videos and upload those on youtube. These should be 6-10 minutes long which shows specific features and how they compare against Kindle, iPad and so on.

    Apple and Amazon have good library of books in their proprietary format. You would need something comparable.

    Also you should use facebook, twitter etc because word-of-mouth is the best marketing tool these days. I posted on facebook the details of your product – but slashgear video doesn’t compare with Steve Jobs’ big presentation.

    I am sure you already are working on the points I mentioned. I wish you luck and success.

  4. The Adam is an amazing product no doubt, and is right up there when it comes to an ideal blend of form and functionality. I was following the Apple ipad launch and it turned out to be a damp squib … a pretty product, but too predictable to be revolutionary.

    Gizmodo has a good article comparing Notion Ink’s Adam to other tablets :


    One thing that intrigued and concerned me was the lack of Flash support in the Adam which contradicts NVIDIA’s take on the sweet Tegra 2 processor. I wish you All the Best for the Adam and future products. It’s truly refreshing to see such designs emerging from a country that has always been acknowledged for it’s talent pool, but lately been branded solely as an outsourcing/service hub.

  5. I am glad that The Adam at least promises and delivers more than the “Apple iFad” which is so much like an Ipod touch with a growth potion put on it. I hope and look forward to a very good launch and also a very good response.
    When can one Beta Test it?
    I am in Hyderabad and really want to get my hands on the devise.

    Good luck!

  6. Question about the Adam:

    How good will the video player app be? Just MP4 files, or is there a chance we might get some MKV going?

    Apparently the Boxee Box, also using a Tegra 2, will be running off a variant of XBMC. Any plans to get that program up and running on the Adam? (it would be REALLY nice 😉

  7. @ smellygulti

    So that means that Notion Ink is Android-only?

    That’s fine, I really just wanna know if the video player is gonna be limited to MP4 files, which tends to be the norm for small devices. MKV and even M2TS would be nice (especially if it covers a moderate spattering of audio codecs and subtitle formats), but not necessary.

  8. I am sure you have heard a lot of great ideas about the perfect tablet. But here is another one, especialy now, that we know what a dissapointent is the iPad. So the specs of let say a perfect tablet for me (I am not going to say nothing about the processor or memory, because I don’t know enough about what is needed for my idea)

    Display at least 9 iches, HD definition
    SOme kind of internal storage in the range of 32 GB

    Comm:WiFi, Bluetooth 2.0 (EDR compliant), 3G (UMTS, HSDPA, GPRS…)
    Built in microphone and speakers
    Camera at least 3 MP, better 5 MP
    Possibility to use it as a phone (with bluetooth or usuall headphones)
    HDMI output,to connect it to a HDTV, possibility to use a bluetooth mouse and keyboard
    Extra storage card slot
    Possibility to watch MKV movies
    FM radio
    GPS, proximity sensor, movement sensor, compass
    And then some..

    More or less what the iPad is missing put it in and you are a winner, and I am the first buyer.

    Have fun and great work. Even the one Notion Ink I have seen is actualy great.

  9. Hi Rohan,
    Please do a favour to the student community and add native support for pdf ( with annotations) chm, epub and djvu formats. This along with an awesome browser with flash is all that we need to utilize the awesome screen for academic purposes.
    Kudos on your decision to launch a non 3g version in India, it would have been useless because of lack of availability.
    Don’t restrict this device like other tablets by not adding usb ports and allow memory extension by sd cards.
    Just out of curiosity I want to ask why you didn’t opt for linux (maemo like platform ) and went for android.
    I dont want to criticize but you need to be more aggressive on the marketing.

    Best wishes!


  10. Hi,

    The only thing in which Apple is better than you is content.They have got an army of app developers. You need to focus on content. I suppose you have a marketing plan ready. Just doing my bit by informing every single friend of mine about the adam.

    Best wishes


  11. Pixel Qi is refusing to make a 1024 x 768 display for Notion Ink “Adam”. I find this unacceptable !

    I found out from an unofficial source that Pixel Qi is doing this because they want to test their weird screen (1024 x 600) on Adam tablet first and then make a 1024 x 768 display and sell it to the competition (e.g: Apple Second edition of i-pad or to a laptop/net-book maker) in an exclusive deal.

    All Notion Ink fans should know this and sent e-mails to Pixel Qi in order to convince them to provide 1024 x 768 to “Adam”.

  12. ursuletul, you’re a troll. You’ve completely fabricated all of that information, and I’m not even sure where to begin.

    The thing is, everyone but Apple has moved on the widescreen 16:9. It’s the standard for DVD, Blu-Ray, HDTV, the PSP, the Zune, and pretty much every device not made by Apple (The iPod Classic, iPhone, and iPad are all 4:3).

    While A4 paper is 4:3, the Qi3 screen easily makes up for the slight disparity by having a higher (not counting any enhancements from turning off the backlight) DPI count than the *Kindle (but not the Kindle DX) itself. An e-reader doesn’t really need as much of a margin as a book, so you could easily fit text in the exact same arrangement as a paperback book. Or better yet, simply don’t leave top/bottom margins (who needs them?), and end up with substantially more space at the top and bottom of the “page” (as the Qi3 has 224 more pixels horizontally than the Kindle).

    In addition, most Android devices have a 1.5 or 1.7 (16:9) pixel ratio, and as far as I know, none run at 1.3 (4:3/Apple). There’s very little reason to shoot for a resolution no Android developer has really targeted. Basically, ursuletul, I’m asking if you’re sure about your “unofficial source”, specifically, if you’re sure it isn’t… nothing.

    The Adam is a device that’ll be capable of reading books, comics, and watching practically every movie you throw at it (I hope). It has little need for a 4:3 resolution when you consider the full gamut

    * The Pixel Qi screen the Adam’s getting is 1024×600. Compare to the Kindle at 800×600, or the Kindle DX at 1200×824. If Pixel Qi was working on a successor to the Qi3, it would either be closer to 1464×824 (16:9 version of the DX) or even to straight-up 1080p. There’s no way in hell they’d waste the R&D time on the extra 168 rows.

  13. Mukiex ask Rohan yourself he will tell you. They wanted to make a 1024 x 768 but because the Pixel Qi only made a 1024 x 600 screen they had to use that instead.

    Notion Ink tried hard to convince them to design a 1024 x 768 panel and not 1024 x 600. And they are still trying right now !

    Notion Ink also said that probably in the future they will have 1024 x 768 because that is what they wanted in the first place. Like a computer desktop.

  14. That part I could believe. As I mentioned, the extra 168 pixel rows put it in line with paper aspect ratio. I’m not questioning a desire for the Adam to be closer to real paper.

    However, the idea that Pixel Qi themselves are saving their mythical 1024×768 screen for an exclusive deal of any kind is ridiculous. They don’t really have the kind of financial backing where they could currently *afford* to dedicate development resources to a screen that only one manufacturer has access to, and even if it was Apple and they ordered a ton, manufacturing for that refresh is at least six months away, as the iPad 1.0 itself isn’t due ’till March.

    As I mentioned, I doubt they’d even go 4:3 when the time would be better spent working on the next resolution step of 16:9 or making a smaller screen with their current res. 1024×768 wouldn’t open up a single new market segment for them, and at the moment, that’s probably of *far* more importance. If the current res they’ve chosen means that the Adam is only as sharp as the Kindle, so be it; that’s far more than enough for me.

    I’m just reallying hoping on that matte finish.

  15. Can you check out the blioreader.com project? It will be launched this month but I don’t think they have an android version of it. Maybe you can partner with them or something, unless you have something similar or better coming up for comic books and digital magazines and all other color books.

    I think the PixelQi screen is a great alternative to e-ink because it allows you to use LCD color mode too, but I don’t think the future will be having to switch betweeb screens on and off, don’t you think? It seems a bit unnatural. At leat I hope you will make it very intuitive to do so.

    But as a future display technology mirasoldisplays.com might be a better fit because it can allow you to read colored books without backlighting. However, I assume it’s at least a few years until it will have competing colors with LCD. But you should consider it for future versions of Adam, once it becomes good and cheap enough.

  16. Blioreader sounds like a nice idea. I think I’m more into something that syncs with Calibre, myself.

  17. first of all, really nice work guys. The device looks very promising especially with the price point and the open source operating system. As a student(CS) I think an announcement of SDK should be somewhere down the line. I will be looking forward to that.

    finally, again i have to say – awesome work guys, and yes a lot of thanks for bringing INDIA one step ahead on the consumer electronics map along with you, that was long due.
    Lage raho……….hum tumhare sath hai…….

  18. Mukiex if you read the comments you will find the answer on that article.

    Adam is not Linux, and it will not be.
    It is Android and we are changing its User Interface cos we know, you cannot just scale 3.2 inch OS to 10inch display.

    2.After some discussion with Rohan:
    Notion Ink will not officially release a full Linux for it, like Ubuntu. This is expected since it was said that it comes with Android. The device will not be locked so you will be able to put Ubuntu in a dual boot config or replace the stock Android completely (although it is likely worth keeping it as a fallback option).

    3.As far as running Ubuntu software. Dude, it’s coming with the Android OS. By the time Ubuntu appears as a shipping option (not a hacked option), if ever, Apple will be onto the iPad 4G or some other derivation of it’s hardware.

    I have a question: “2 Cortex A9 cores running at 1 Ghz” means 2 x 1Ghz = 2 Ghz ( so each cortex has 1Ghz) or does it mean 2 x 500 Mhz = 1Ghz ( each cortex runs at 500Mhz)

  19. @ursuletul
    Given that 1Ghz per A9 is the Tegra 2 dev kit’s default, and that the Tegra 1 accelerating video and running a 3D interface used up 1.5 watts (the Tegra 2 is supposed to be like a third of that), I’m doubtful they’d make such a conservative underclock. The processor doesn’t even get lukewarm at that thermal envelope.

    If they’re really not doing anything major to stop an alternate boot or dual boot environment, I really doubt it will take a year to get a distro running on it. Always Inovating said they wouldn’t support anything but their own Linux variant on the Touchbook, but given how much software support was available for OMAP3 by the time they launched, this month (they launched in Sep., I think) they’ve gotten a multi-boot (4 OS’s) with options for Ubuntu, Android, Gentoo, and Mer (open source Maemo), and they’ll looking into Maemo proper and Chrome OS.

    If the Adam doesn’t have any odd code-signing limitations, I would be surprised if we didn’t see Ubuntu inside of 3 months (and easily inside of 1). By June Nvidia should have some solid Tegra Linux driver support, and getting a Linux build working at that point would be as simple as figuring out the Adam’s boot setup.

    Personally, I’d rather be running a solid, official, dependable Android build. Bluetooth pairing has always sucked in a desktop environment, and save for any upcoming miracles, I don’t expect any current Linux distro to be very touch-friendly in the near future. However, my video playback requirements (I like MKV files, I like soft-subs) might not be met by whichever video player is available for Android. At the moment, the Droid seems to be the closest in chipset capability to the Tegra 2 (It’s OMAP3; h.264@720p accel. ‘n Cortex A8). It could easily play accelerated MKV (and does in the Touchbook by Always Innovating) if the stream gets software-demuxed. However, and there’s no such player out for Android yet. It’s not part of the “Core Media Formats” for the Operating System, as such:

    That’s pretty much the only reason I’d want an alternate OS running. In all honesty, if there’s a community project to fix this limitation of Android (as there was with Maemo on the N900, another OMAP3 device which can now play pretty much anything you throw at it that the chips are even remotely capable of playing) I probably won’t give Ubuntu another thought, save for the prospect of running a couple of Linux games that wouldn’t make easy Android ports (Stepmania, anything running on the Quake 3 engine, Blender Game Engine, etc.)

  20. I like soft-subs myself. I hope the player that comes with Adam will support soft-subs and as many formats (video/audio) as possible.

    If Notion Ink makes changes to the Android UI it would be nice if they give firmware updates like PlasyStation 3 has. Meaning that you can simply go to Notion Ink website and update to their latest Android custom OS.

    In this way i would know that Adam works the way it was meant to work.

    I strongly believe that the OS (in any system) should use the lowest possible resources from the hardware. So in this way you have plenty of free CPU/Ram to use other programs that give you at the same time: freedom of choice and a robust platform.

    I totally dislike Windows. If you add a real time anti-virus to it + open the web + Office say goodbye available resources.

    And if you think you have a fast computer then they give you more bloatware (Vista,7).

  21. I m probably one of the first few to check out the .in version of your website. Its really nice. just one ques to rohan; Will you be showcasing adam on any tv show(llike gadget guru) in near future?

  22. Fantastic new Website !

    I see now that Adam will come with: 10.1″ TFT Liquid Crystal Display module with LED back-light unit.

    LED is great !

    If you are going to sell more then 1 version of Adam (standard and Pro version for e.g) will their be other differences then the storage capacity (16 / 32 SSD ) ?

  23. I just read this article : http://www.slashgear.com/notion-ink-adam-flash-ipad-comparison-app-competition-0873197/

    So the Pixel Qi Screen will come with LED. They are speculating that you may want to try to use a normal LCD version for the second version.( one that might have 1024 x 768).

    I shall wait for more official news on the Notion Ink Website. I will probably buy the more expensive version of Adam.

    I wish you all the best and hope all your dreams come true Rohan !

  24. The iphone/ipod touch etc are 3:2 not 4:3. The ipad is the only one thats 4:3.

    Further, you are wrong about 16:9 being the best format. 16:9 is the “best” only for video. For all other uses the screen is too wide and not tall enough. Sure you can read any standard book no problem because its just text… However, try displaying a technical manual/college textbook that his diagrams. You need to fit the entire page onto the screen at once in portrait mode to see it properly. A 16:9 screen would have large amounts of blackspace at the top and bottom and the document would be significantly downsized. The notion adam is a way better device than the apple ipad but apple actually was *right* to use 4:3 (16:10 would also be acceptable IMHO) as the devices primary use it supposed to be portrait style reading, not watching HD videos in widescreen.

  25. Hi,

    I am Cdr KK Varma, IN (Retd). & I have been keeping track of ADAM, with great pride, as I do of other contributions of other IITians as well, (I am ex-Kgp, 1968 batch).

    I don’t normally find it necessary to make any comments as such, as I find the youngsters are doing so much better than us ‘oldies’ already. But your post, which I came across only now, has made me to share some of my thoughts with you. I hope you will take it as a compliment; to place the philosophical part of “Experience is the King” in the right perspective.

    In my experience, a real ‘creative’ person has inherent love for the theatre, (I was one of the ‘founding fathers’ of TDS Hindi, way back in 1965; till then Kgp had only TDS English & Bengali), & Phantom of the Opera is one of the best examples of theatre. Incidentally, when I saw it, in late 70’s in London, I got reminded of the story of “Usne Kaha Tha”, not the bollywood movie with which you may perhaps be familiar, but the original story of the great Sanskrit scholar, Pt. Chandradhar Sharma ‘Guleri’, which I am sure, you would not have read. If you haven’t, you must. I can send you the original Hindi version; also available on the net.

    As you know, we don’t have the opera-culture in India; only the Bollywood-movie culture, which is a different ‘creative’ form altogether, more commercial than art. “Usne Kaha Tha” has an opera-like story line, played out in the battlefield, rather than Opera hall – both being symbolic, Life being a war as also a play – it would have made a great Opera.

    Any way, thats not the point; the point lies in the fact that it is not the “experience” but the “experiencer” who is the King!!! One is more than the sum total of one’s experiences… And that clearly comes out in your thinking!

    I am sure, I will soon be making use of ADAM & you will go much beyond it. Good luck & God Bless. You are doing us proud!!!

    Cdr. Varma

  26. Hey i am Ajai dev from Shimla i gave you my resume some days ago and awaited for a call 🙂 but now i am leaving for mobile world congress in 1 day and i do hope you dont call around that time when i am not here.

    I made a thread about ADAm in XS:


    BTW I do hope you could take a telephonic interview before deciding anything…

  27. This is probably filed under “questions we can’t answer yet”, but just in case it isn’t… the price range. Do carrier discounts count in that range? I don’t mind going 4-500 for a contract-free Adam, but 600 might just be a bit much for me. =(

  28. Thank you very much Sir!

    We have tried our best to maintain the culture in our years, and hoping that the future generation will make us proud as well 🙂

    Warm Regards

  29. I agree – demo videos on YouTube will go a long way to generate excitement about it, and will reassure people who want to “see it work” before they buy.

  30. I agree – the usefulness of a device such as the Notion Ink Adam only goes as far as it can replace thousands of pages of reading material. Adobe accomplishes part of the task by allowing .pdf’s to be annotated, highlighted, and tagged. This functionality will be essential in the Adam. It seems like the device hardware is plenty strong for this, so perhaps someone just needs to produce a more fully functional .pdf reader for the Android platform? As far I am aware, the .pdf readers for Android are currently just that – readers – and provide no annotation functions.

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