Gao makes the obvious comparison to Apple, which has fewer adaptation
problems because all its devices are designed to work in the closed
"Our goal is to make this work in an
open-system environment. And we need to make sure that this experience
[using μPad] will satisfy most people," said Gao. At the moment, Apexone
has 1,000 customers in China testing μPad for its user experience.
out all the necessary components in a very thin layer was another
challenge. Gao said that Apexone hired away a couple of engineers from
an unnamed company that reportedly developed a 6.2mm thick smartphone
While Gao did not name the company, ZTE's new
smartphone, codenamed Athena, has been teased in a series of snaps on
China's Sina Weibo social network (the Chinese version of Twitter) as
the "world's thinnest smartphone." It will essentially make the 6.68mm
Huawei Ascend P1 S look bloated by comparison. ZTE isn't talking about
the Athena's detailed specs, but the company has revealed that it will
feature a 720p display, multi-core Cortex-A15 processor and Android 4.0
Ice Cream Sandwich, with up to 64GB of storage.
While becoming a
$1 billion chip company is a well-stated goal for many China fablesses,
Gao said that he doesn't see this as his endgame.
What if kids in
China, not just his own 13-year old daughter and 6-year old son -- who
both attend the Shanghai American School, originally with iPads and MacBook Pros, and now are already avid users
of μPad -- but kids living in far-flung cities and rural areas, get a
Forget one laptop per child. Gao can make his dream, of
accomplishing something that changes people's quality of life, come
Even when he left China in 1991 to get his master's degree
and build his work experience in the United States, Gao said he knew he
would eventually go back to China to run his own business and do things
that matter. After his last U.S. job (founding GlobeSpan's design center
in San Diego), Gao returned to China in 2002. Ever since, his sights
have been set on the progress of the human interface. While many
industry observers suggest that "touch" has already replaced the mouse,
Gao demurs. "A lot of people don't even realize that an optical sensor
is used in the trackball on a smart phone." Further, Gao envisions a
time when "optical gesture" will dominate the human interface. Optical
gesture should be able to add mouse-like accuracy to gestures. "Much
better than touch," said Gao.
Does Gao ever lose sleep worrying that his μPad might get copied, with millions of μPad knock-offs cluttering the market?
really, he said. One of the secret sources in his μPad is Apexone’s
optication navigation chip. What separates Apexone from other typical
China startups is its command of a host of patents. Gao holds twenty-six
U.S. and international patents, with another ten pending patents. So,
go ahead, pirates. Try and rip off James Gao.
All I see on their website for "optical navigation" is the module that goes into a normal optical mouse ie an led and a low resolution camera sensor to see which way textures are moving on a table etc. Is the navigation device just a mouse with a long wire, or bluetooth, or wifi?
How different is this from a Roku or an AppleTV, especially once both of those start supporting 3rd party apps ? Seems like both of those enable abroad swath of connected TV and have a pretty good price point (less than 100$), plus have the interoperability all figured out (HDMI).
MS Kinect connection anyone? ... I own a Google Revue (Android based) on my 46" LCD TV ... not bad, as it does a lot (games, music/video streaming, wireless, hackable!). However, I have two problems with it: (1) resolution when Web browsing and (2) interface. I can get around #1 by zooming in, but I have to do this constantly. #2 - interface is a bit more troubling. It is a 3/4 keyboard with a mouse pad. It is OK and gets the job done, but what I would really like is an MS Kinect interface, so that I can use hand gestures to manipulate movement (scroll, zoom in/out) and select items. Any device that connects to the TV - namely Pocket TV and uPad - would seem to suffer the same interface issues.
Yes, avid game fans would naturally resort to game consoles. But the beauty of this concept is in enabling TVs to download and run apps.
When I recently asked a Taiwanese TV chip vendor how they define "smart TV" versus any other TV, they had a very clear answer. The difference is, they said, whether your TV can download and run apps that are proliferating everywhere these days.
not quite, i'm chatting with two minipc vendors in Shenzhen now. the device only has 4GB storage so you will need a server for storage to say the least. this is more like mini-player for your TV. if TV has android/etc built-in you really don't need this small STB. I think it's useful for Kiosk though.
Join our online Radio Show on Friday 11th July starting at 2:00pm Eastern, when EETimes editor of all things fun and interesting, Max Maxfield, and embedded systems expert, Jack Ganssle, will debate as to just what is, and is not, and embedded system.