Notion Ink

Week-End Special Part – X

Posted in Uncategorized by Rohan Shravan on November 27, 2010

Hello Everyone,

Here we are with our 10th week-end special (little late though)!

It’s really interesting to go back and see,  how we have come together on every Saturday with some expectation from this blog. It’s been a live documentation of the Adam Coming to life!

Let’s start with a few updates:

  • An additional section on the website is up (I was waiting for this section to go live before clicking on the publish button for this blog)! We have been listening to you and making the required changes. Hope you like the new one too! Here is the link :
  • Calendar has Entered Beta phase, now it supports contacts management, quick “add-event” (only 6 taps for extremely detailed entries)
  • Fonts have improved, and there is no  color banding (we solved this issue some 4 weeks ago, but were waiting for some time to give an update on this, some more details given below).
  • On FCC, you guys are following much better than us! One heads-up. Earlier we wrote down all the tests which FCC and CE will do and performed them in-house in our labs. Adam passed all the tests, so expecting glitch-free certification.
  • There is a LONG LIST of items and tasks one needs to do to get the online payment gateways. We just cleared all, so before time it will be tried & tested and will be available as the default payment option for everyone.
  • Panel Engine is in beta since long, multiple instances of application was the last we were testing.
  • Now Programmers can do more with CPU Hot Plug feature enabled by default!
  • LiveShare by cooliris on Adam! (some more details given below)
  • More Document Format Supports (See Below)

I hope many of you have seen “The Prestige”. There is a scene in it there where Christian Bale shows his wife a “bullet catch” magic. It looks incredibly intriguing till the point he explains how it can be done, and from there even the magic looks trivial. We don’t do these many things in a week, it takes months and sometimes quarters to finish applications and develop mature relationships. I can’t explain all everything in one week as well, so will keep this tradition of sharing something every week.

The Calendar

Calendar Application in Quick Add mode

While designing for touch screen devices we need to understand that irrespective of how well we design the keyboard (more on this next week, we have 4 variants!) people won’t like typing a lot. And if in this case you need to enter a Calendar Entry, the fields you’d need to fill up, will be just too many!

We integrated your contact list with the Calendar and entered a list of all possible events (with grammar! :) ), all scrollable, and now in 6 taps you can save an entry like “Meeting with Nikolas Tesla in Missouri on 10th July 1856 : High Priority”. Things are changing because of “touch environments” as we can see in applications, but to see how you can interact with wireless technology is yet to come,  and you will have to stretch your imagination a lot!

The Fonts

I haven’t done any formal courses in typography, but I really love fonts and designs which can be created using fonts (like the word cloud). My first presentation to our investor was made on “Prezi” (we are trying hard to get them on Adam, but I think it will take a little more time). Android was designed for phones which in general have higher DPIs and expectation of spending long hours of reading is less. If you take any Android tablet (who has not done R&D on font rendering and most out there fall in the same) you will see that on bigger screen the rendering is really embarrassing. The font hinting is not perfect, and sub-pixel rendering kills whatever sharpness is there in the portrait mode (where the pixel orientation changes physically). Anti-Aliasing do work, but text will not be as crisp. We have spent night-outs fixing and now we finally have. Its beautiful now and better than the rest out there (Android Tablets) but there is still some improvements which have to be done. (I am little out of time today, but will post the images next time).


You all have been following up with FCC a lot better than us here! :) I would let you guys tell us that we have got the same! To ensure that we do get it in time and without any glitch we designed an internal test plan replicating all the tests which FCC labs can perform and ensured that Adam will pass all (same for CE).

The Payment Gateway

Ideally this should have been made available to all the EAPs as well. But the devices are not yet certified and can’t be “sold” as such. That is why the agreement sent to them said ‘its been licensed till we get certification or launch’ and after that they own it. Some laws prevent direct payment gateway solutions for licensed products and that’s the reason of direct wire transfer. Having said that, it’s really sad that the selected ones are not following the Confidentiality Agreement they have signed. Four EAP applicants have already been dis-qualified on the grounds of information disclosures. My investors are really angry at me, and now suspect that before the release in the market, all the images and reviews will be out. I am hoping against it, lets see.

The Panel Engine

Few applications will require multiple instances (have you heard of this on other non-PC devices?) for better functionality, like File Browser for faster file transfer, web browsers in incognito modes, etc. Hence, Panel Engine will support multiple instances.

CPU Hot Plug

This topic will interest geeks more, so I won’t write much about it, but would like to share the fact that its supported and you can do some cool power optimizations. On low battery (and one more area where we are awaiting patent) we are already using it.

Liveshare by cooliris

Liveshare from cooliris

Real-time collaboration is missing in events, there are multiple applications for various tasks and sponsorship exposure is limited. That’s what Liveshare might change for you. And with the special camera design on Adam, you can definitely do a lot more! You can find more here!

The Format Support

I read a lot of comments on “what all file formats and languages will be supported?”. The Office suite supports 35 Languages, all major formats (including docx, pptx, pdf, etc) and zip files as well. Its pretty handy when it comes to business. We might do some custom templates for you, so it becomes much easier for you to create production quality documents, faster.

When Programmers are not programming they design! :)

The Canvas

You see here the screen shot of the opening page of our photo editing + paint application. The launch screen shows the last art you created. There is a reason why we merged photo-editing and paint. We saw a lot of repeating components and felt the need. Did we tell you it supports layers as well? (We are also working on different brushes for you, specially the ones you see in HTML 5 Canvas examples)

Layers was little difficult for us to implement because of native Android’s memory management (it’s not build for Photoshop kind of applications). We have done little optimization on the way we are handling layers here and you can really do wonders!

Something about Notion Ink and our vision: We believe we are at the transition point where machines will do a lot more for us than we expect them to. Media, office suits, video telephony looks completely trivial as soon as our mind starts imagining the future. We can see developments all around and many firms are striving to integrate the latest, but that’s not what Notion Ink is all about. We wanted Apple to introduce their 3D touch technology in the iPad 1, which would have forced us to work even harder on our technology (both are wonderful yet works quite differently), but everything takes time to reach maturity and production quality. I spend hours looking at the recent patents and if you also do so, you will be as excited as I am, by just adding little extrapolations and imagination.

Notion Ink is about bringing that ‘future’ faster towards us (but not rushing by releasing sub-standard products, we are here to stay for centuries). Its time we start making intelligent machines and companions which can help us do more, learn more, than just creating copies of hot selling products (I wish I could exactly share here what I meant, but..). That is why Adam is not a tablet, it’s a seed for us, the first one which will help us lay the grounds for what is yet to come. I have designed the complete blueprint of an application called “Bliss”. You will find its components and traces on Adam and I think it will help us change our expectations & experiences from the machines we interact with.

(I apologize for being little mystic in this post, but I want to point in the future, back to this post and tell you that I shared a secret and  hint with all of you, and it all happened in front of your eyes! :) )

With Warm Regards

Rohan Shravan

2,884 Responses

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  1. Greg said, on November 27, 2010 at 18:46


    • Sowmya said, on November 27, 2010 at 18:49

      :) :) .. it feels good to leave a msg before u read….

    • Sowmya said, on November 27, 2010 at 18:51

      now we know.. Nikola Tesla is perfect…. on the dot !!!:)

    • yogi said, on November 28, 2010 at 21:04

      it could also be a deception… as all of us have been following that theory rohan chose to play along… if I was him I would do that..

    • levpius said, on December 1, 2010 at 06:21


    • Rtm said, on December 4, 2010 at 21:13


    • John Sheldon said, on December 5, 2010 at 01:19

      Tablet is really looking promising. We are planning on using these for students to access distance learning programs.

    • Phillip said, on November 27, 2010 at 19:17

      Smart to leave a :) instead of a claim to be first, which kind of looks, well, you know, if you, like, aren’t. I left some extra props to you below.

      By the way you do realise its 6:40 or something in the morning where you are, get some sleep man!

      Its quarter to 1 in the AM here, so I should shut my mouth.

    • shiva said, on November 27, 2010 at 19:38

      you made it!!

    • Greg said, on November 27, 2010 at 19:49

      @Rohan, with every post I learn more and more that you really pay attention to all the details. I can’t wait to get my hand on an adam!!!

      One thing for sure, adam is already a second generation device and it hasn’t even made it to market yet. I prefer having to wait a little while rather than to be disappointed with a device when I get it because it was rushed to market. But with that said. Please hurry! (Actually I know there is not much you can do yourself but wait for FCC, etc so you can start shipping.)

      @Phillip… It was 6:15 and I’ve been up for a while. I have some work to do today. And getting to browse through Rohan’s post before I leave will make that work go by real slow since I want to get back here and take part in the discussions.

      @Sowyma, I’m still missing the Tesla connection, but maybe I’ll get it someday…

      For those who tease about creating a comment place holder (because they actually wish they were first ;-) ) I think it was my turn to be first today! :-D I was second last time and third the time before that… The only way to do any better is to have Rohan let me write the next post. LOL

      Well, off to get my work done. I’m looking forward to reading all your comments when I get back…

    • Greg said, on November 27, 2010 at 19:52

      PS: Somebody please do some research on Apple’s 3D touch technology while I’m gone. We may learn something about the adam by figuring out what Apple has in mind…

    • Sowmya said, on November 27, 2010 at 19:55

      Well the the code is a unix time stamp which points to Tesla’s bday .. and it may be related to some wireless technology that he is talking abt.. not very sure..

      btw.. as u said, with every information regarding adam, you fall for this product all over again…..I wouldn’t mind waiting.. i would be happy to have a nice b’day present when it releases in India by Feb atleast !

    • RK said, on November 27, 2010 at 20:16


      This patent gives the technology for the user to get the actual feel of a real keyboard while using a touch screen keyboard. 3D touch/haptic feedback via touch screen etc looks like similar buzz words.

      And definitely NI has something up it’s sleeve in that regard. That’s one thing that no mobile device has for now. “DarkWinterNights” was the first to talk about haptic feedback in these blogs. But many didn’t pay attention and a few make a mention of haptic feedback now and then. He’s missing in action these days.

    • Sid said, on November 28, 2010 at 02:43

      yeah the keyboard’s the first thought that came to mind, but then on the chassis I couldn’t figure out how the adam might have it?
      as for the waiting, i’m so ready for the tablet to be in my hands. i’ve written so many apps with the Adam in mind (I just hope they’ll run on the adam). so far i’ve only got my iPad to test them on. @Rohan can’t wait, i’m so close to knocking on your office door ;)

    • Ben Smith said, on November 30, 2010 at 08:04

      I am probably pointing out the obvious (or something listed below), but to me the obvious connection between Tesla and the Adam would be a built in wireless charging system.

    • Caleb said, on December 1, 2010 at 08:39

      What about TeslaTouch? Its a thin layer that simulates textures. It could simulate a keyboard or many other things such as paint. It works with touch screens and doesn’t have to have a specialized chassis.

    • Caleb said, on December 1, 2010 at 10:06

      What about TeslaTouch? This is a way of feeling textures on touch screen surfaces. It’s paper thin so it doesn’t require a change to the chassis and can make it feel like you’re typing on a real keyboard!! It can also simulate a very wide range of other textures such as paint! Since he mentioned Tesla in this post it goes together. He also talks about how “touch environments” are changing! Just an idea.

    • earthzero said, on December 1, 2010 at 13:15

      Looks fantastic. Please make the entire OS viewable on a secondary screen through the HDMI connection–not just videos. It would make the entire experience more enjoyable and it would enhance the productivity as well as multimedia capabilities of the Adam.

    • Sid said, on December 1, 2010 at 20:17

      now there’s a though. i love it. telsa touch :)
      that would indeed be awesome wouldn’t it. imagine the possibilities with gaming

    • Greg said, on December 1, 2010 at 23:19


      > Please make the entire OS viewable on a secondary screen through the HDMI connection–not just videos. It would make the entire experience more enjoyable and it would enhance the productivity as well as multimedia capabilities of the Adam.

      I believe Rohan has stated that that it will work that way. What you see on Adam’s screen is output to HDMI…

      Mesides mutimedia capabilies, you can hook up a keyboard, mouse, and monitor with HDMI input and you have a basic workstation.

    • gecko said, on December 1, 2010 at 23:35

      > you can hook up a keyboard, mouse, and monitor with HDMI input and you have a basic workstation.

      In fact you don’t even have to hook up a monitor – every Adam will come with a built-in screen!

    • darkwinternights said, on December 2, 2010 at 04:31

      Not so much MIA as just having a little trouble keeping up with the blog all over – its getting rather bloated these days. :P

      I’m surprised you remembered that post on the Apple patent on the shape shifting membrane – I’m still somewhat surprised they were able to get a patent for that, since I didn’t think it met the standard patent criteria, since it’s really just a modification of existing current-shifting membranes.

    • albert wertz said, on November 27, 2010 at 21:23

      I have a question to the community. What is going to prevent Apple or anyone else with deep pockets to step in the day before release and file a patent infringement lawsuit (without grounds, you can take some one to court just for the sake of postponing the release of a product in the US)? This would prevent any sort of release this year or early next quarter and hurt a newly emerging company like this to the point of depleating their assets and bankrupting a company…

    • gecko said, on November 27, 2010 at 21:30

      > What is going to prevent Apple or anyone else with deep pockets to step in the day before release and file a patent infringement lawsuit

      Nothing. As a lawyer friend (this sounds like a contradiction, actually) says, anybody can sue anybody for anything. But they’d have to get an injunction to prevent NI from selling, and that’s rather more difficult, and they’d risk a countersuit of major size (for tortuous interference with business, and I don’t know what else), plus it would be a public-relations nightmare. Apple has shown itself to be very sensitive to this last.

    • Prantha said, on November 28, 2010 at 00:04

      Lawyers generally will not file a suit without some kind of evidence to back up the claim. In this case, it is clear that the Notion Ink team has been working on their own hardware and software R&D (this blog is counter-evidence to the claim that they infringed.)

      Apple would not want to be accused of “abuse of process” or malicious prosecution, as the penalty Apple Would pay for that would be very high. The elements of a valid cause of action for “abuse of process” in most jurisdictions are: (1) the existence of an ulterior purpose or motive underlying the use of process, and (2) some act in the use of the legal process not proper in the regular prosecution of the proceedings. (More at )

      This is not to say that someone might not do that, but it would not be wise. Besides, why wouldn’t they have sued other tablet makers who already have their tablets on the market??

    • Vishesh Doshi said, on November 28, 2010 at 02:44

      Deep pockets!….hmmmm!!

      Who could have a deeper pockets than that of the “Reliance” Ambani.. backed ‘Notion Ink’ they them selves? the richest Billionaire’s backed firm.

      It’s no surprise to hear Rohan say all this with so much confidence, though it may sound mistic.
      He dares to speak stuff!… Apple happens to be just another big fish in the ocean…they will face every once a while. But petty little things like these, come & go.. & wouldn’t even effect, a tiny speck to the NI’s strong foundations. While they(NI) r here to stay much longer :-)

    • Bigendian said, on November 28, 2010 at 05:09

      Is there anyone old enough on this board to remember Sony’s Clie NX70V

      They had swivel camera back than. Wonder how that worried in the Sony PDA.

    • yogi said, on November 28, 2010 at 21:13

      I remember an asus latop with a swivel camera.. can’t recall the model but it was 2-3 yrs ago!

    • wathouse said, on November 30, 2010 at 09:38

      Nook color is pretty good but for a reader it gets tiring To read! Pixelqi hopefully is much Better?

    • nd said, on November 30, 2010 at 12:58

      Hi Rohan and Co.

      Seems like the device will not support RarLab’s *.rar archive files? This type of archives is still very popular.

      Also, will it support Lizardtech *.djvu format? this is essential as most of books I read are in *.djvu.

      Thank you and good luck.

    • gecko said, on November 30, 2010 at 20:51

      Nice – I didn’t know about Lizardtech before. Best advertising gimmick imaginable!

    • nd said, on December 1, 2010 at 02:31

      gimmick? Really didn’t try. But DJVU is essential as it provides maximum compression for books and is a standard format in e-readers.

      In fact, the more formats are supported, the better, of course. Did I mention *.flac and *.cue audio formats?

    • Paritosh said, on December 1, 2010 at 02:42


      I do not think the flac and cue formats are hardware(Tegra) supported. So, any app which allows you to play those formats will use a lot of raw processing power and drain the battery much faster than a hardware supported format like AAC or mp3.

    • nd said, on December 1, 2010 at 13:39

      Sometimes it’s not about the battery.

      I agree, however, that MP3 should be quite enough for a mobile device.

      In my opinion, FM-transmitter would be a nice option too, especially in your car. Or if you just want to listen music via your HiFi home system without cables.

    • Juan said, on November 30, 2010 at 15:04

      Have you considered support openOffice documents?
      I’ve read about microsoft documents but nothing about open office


  2. Punit said, on November 27, 2010 at 18:46

    oooohhhh. finally!! i was wondering where you disappeared to!!

  3. Simon said, on November 27, 2010 at 18:47

    I want adam on my trip to Thailand next week.. please Rohan, just send me one and surprise me ;)

    • VB said, on November 28, 2010 at 03:22

      If you don’t get an ADAM in time for your trip, well, you can always please yourself with the ADAM facade made from the DVD covers as shown in the previous blog comments.

      No one needs to be disappointed anymore :-)

  4. Manish Sabharwal said, on November 27, 2010 at 18:48


    It’s never too late here….

  5. Tarwinia said, on November 27, 2010 at 18:48

    Kewl, came in just before I head off to work. Will read on my cell on the bus :)

    Glad to hear of the work being done on the fonts. That will really help the e-reader and PixelQi functions.

    Can’t wait to see what the rest says =)

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