Notion Ink

The Color I want!

Posted in Uncategorized by Rohan Shravan on September 28, 2010

Hello there!

This post is in continuation of the last one were we discussed about the color options. I am placing few images here, you can check all and then vote for the ones you like later in the post! (Don’t forget to read the names on the images!) (Also remember, we will be choosing the best ones for production! The final Pantones might differ slightly)

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Here goes your poll! (Remember you can vote for at max 2 designs)

With Regards

Rohan Shravan

Week-End Special – Part II

Posted in Uncategorized by Rohan Shravan on September 25, 2010

Hello Everyone!

This is in the continuation of the last week’s post. I thought I will be able to finish it in this one, but I think I will continue this week-end special for a while. In this post we go further in the product.

This is the 3D drawing of the camera module. There were few very important issues which were to be resolved. We designed it for 185 degrees rather than for 180 (in most of the cases you will be holding it in such a way that it is not exactly facing you, so providing a little bit of offset). You might feel that 5 degrees isn’t much, but then for Adam its 5+3 degrees of natural inclination, so around 8 degrees (some relief when it’s on table) There are 2 rings on each side of the camera shaft which stops the module at all the angles. For connectivity, we designed a very special FPC which could sustain the usage cycles we were looking at. Believe me, this was THE most difficult job in the whole project (moving components always cause problems like Blackberry’s trackball). There are tremendous possibilities in the combination of Swivel design and Auto Focus Feature (from surveillance, notes while taking images, notes while taking video lectures to augmented reality!).

Next comes the batteries. It’s a 3 cell battery which you find in the laptops. There are very serious laws and regulations which one needs to follow while designing product with batteries as they are dangerous! We have 3 level of protection to stop any leakage or damage. First is on the batteries itself. Second comes from the body of the device and third from that green section (mesh plate). Ever wonder why is it there? It has beautiful automobile mesh texture which helps you grip, adds class to the over all design and acts like the 3rd protection for batteries. You will find that there are 2 parts in this product (one is this mesh plate) that you can customize with your choice of color!

This is the exploded view of the whole device (not updated). At the bottom you will find the device casing which holds the track-pad as well. Above this you will find the mother board (not visible in this drawing) and the screen (dark brown part which is visible). The green part is a Magnalium Alloy Chassis which provides the strength to the whole device. Its light, strong and designed to resist shock propagation to other components (due to which they are used heavily in Aircrafts). And the top most section is your capacitive screen (4 Layers in all) with the protective Glass (THE costliest component). Your Tegra chip nicely sits below the screen (Tegra module is extremely small!).

I have tried my best to pay heavy attention to the detailing in the product and the UI (and hoping you might like it!). It took us some 11 iterations before we finalized this +/- key design. Even for the toggle button (deep sleep/turn off), there were loads of iterations.

It has been an extremely fulfilling experience to see the product taking shape from sketches to rough mechanical prototypes, to CAD files which can be used to mill product out and finally to the complete render of the product.

Below is one more render of the product (mesh plate)(I know you have seen a lot of renders and now waiting for the final pictures and in the post to come on 9th Oct, I will show you the final device right from our factories).

I was thinking of posting a poll to understand your color choices for the devices. Let me know if you all are up for the same (in the comments). I feel that is one more way to get you all closer in designing Adam!

Here is the final image of this post.

(Apologies for the mistakes you might find in the renders like aliasing etc. I have personally done all these renders for you and time is in a bit of shortage here).

Warm Regards

Rohan Shravan

Week-End Special!

Posted in Uncategorized by Rohan Shravan on September 18, 2010

Hello All,

This is the week-end special and I personally was waiting for long to write this up. (Its in 2 part and a long one!)

Before starting to work on Adam, I used to wonder, how actually it is done?  How so many engineer from different fields, continents and culture, come together and create things in coordination? One of the most interesting truth in this journey is, that what is initially planned, is not always what everyone end up designing, at least not on the first instance.

Today I will take you inside the Adam. Explain the design, why exactly Adam was designed in a way it is and more. Lets talk about the overall dimension of the device first.

I will start with the Concept of 3 Degrees elevation. There are 3 issues which were to be solved at the same time:

  1. Provide a Natural Angle of Viewing (else the device is horizontal and will face severe reflections, your hands obstructs more of the screen view and every thing specially test looks like a perspective view instead of straight )
  2. Provide an easy way to hold the device (some devices are there are not there to hold, either too slippery or you don’t have confidence that you can hold it for hours), and
  3. Swivel Camera (which will require a rotating arm and from here the cylindrical area emerged)

This cylindrical section solved more purposes like placing traditional 3 cell batteries (and make it easily  replaceable), good stereo speaker location (instead of at the bottom of the device), GPS antenna location (which should always face top in portrait and landscape views if you want good reception).

There is a very beautiful principle of physics which is involved here. If you hold a plank of wood with uniformly distributed weight in left hand and in another plank in right in which most of the weight is concentrated near your hands (but total weight same as of the other), you will feel that the plank on the right hand is lighter (see image below):

Try it out, and you will definitely smile! :) We have used this cylindrical section to place the batteries (which are one of the very heavy components), so now most of the weight will be in your hands and you will feel device is much lighter and easy to hold.

But there was an issue here, the camera placement (initial design suggested exact middle location [June 2009]). Initially the idea which was chosen was to split the batteries into 2:1 (cells) [Dec 2009]). In this location the camera was again closer to the mid-section and the remaining section for GPS. But as it proved, there was too much of interference with the batteries and the performance wasn’t expected to be good. This called for the final and current design change. Please see the 2 images below explaining the June and Dec designs.

I think I will share the final design in the next series.

You might have noticed the automobile style grills on this cylindrical part as well! That was actually the work of an automobile designed who was involved in the designing of automobile (in one of the earlier post I mentioned about how engineers from different specially from automobile, fields are coming together to work in electronics domain). The main purpose is to provide better grip and futuristic design.

The next section is about the ports and why I feel they are really very primitive for Tablet technologies.

Lets talk about USB ports.

This is a normal Standard Female side USB port. And take a look at the new USB drives which are flooding the market:

There is a mismatch, isn’t it! Even though we have more advanced designs for USB, HDMI, mini-USB and even Power Connecting port, but we were unable to implement those, being a start-up! But this is something which we are adamant to do in the next release. I call this primitive design since because of them I’d to trade-off the z height of the device. To give you an idea they are 5.2-5.5mm thick. Add to that the margin you need to give for the assembly, it will become 6mm.

The last topic of this post is on the topic: 16:9 vs 4:3

This is my personal observation and I believe many might agree as well. Look at the 2 images below

On the left is a device with 4:3 screen ratio. The extra thick edges (generally black as in iPad) are also there. You can observe the huge margin which is there? If you see on the right image with 16:9 ratio, the margins are already provided by the design itself (again black thick edge). I personally don’t see a need of using a screen which is 4:3 unless you can design a product without a thick edge. I wont talk about movies on 4:3 screen cos you all know about that.

In the next section I will take you further deep inside Adam discussing more about other parts, designs and lot more.

With Regards

Quick Update

Posted in Uncategorized by Rohan Shravan on September 14, 2010

Hello All,

Seems like a long time before I updated anything. Here is a quick review:

  • We will officially announce the Graphic Engine Deal we have had for Adam. Now you will get complete GL acceleration for the UI and developers will be able to use it in their codes as well.
  • Coming up on Adam along with other stores is a brilliant Comic Store! We will again go public on this in October.
  • Just came back from Taiwan and will release the live pictures.
  • Crossing the biggest milestone on 6th October (actually it was 1st October, but for first 5 days there is Chinese National Day)
  • Battery back-up reports extremely impressive.
  • 13 people joined Notion Ink in last 3 weeks.
  • Received computer systems from Dell a week late than what we were expecting at Bangalore Center :|
  • (I am really waiting for October when we will have the go ahead from our partners to update you all a lot on the SW and deals side)
  • We had already decided to keep the design same for LCD and PQ models. There were a bit of mechanical issues which were solved with the help of Magnalium alloy chassis. For the PQ models we had ab “LED On/Off” switch which will also be in the normal LCD models. Benefit? Now its in your manual control to switch off the screen when you are just listening to music or downloading something. LCDs consume somewhere around 1.8-2.4W an hour! So you will be able to save a LOT!
  • The best news: according to new schedule we will hit for FCC certifications a week earlier than scheduled and over all the project is running 7 days ahead of its schedule.
  • There are few details which we had not shared earlier like the replaceable Batteries concept and more. I think I will update you on this one with images (lots of text already)!

There are a lot of comments which I receive on this blog and due to time constrains I am not able to accept all. The acceptance format was only because, it allowed me to read all, else we all are lazy sometimes! But I think I need to open it for all the comments so at least you all can communicate when the blog is silent.



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