Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Smart Book

While following some links that I had received from a conversation on Diaspora* Alpha, I ran across the Smart Book, a great product from Always Innovating. While they offer them for sale, they do not yet have a shipping date. Reading their press release, it does not look like they plan to sell them in mass quantities. Imaging having a hand held Internet device, a tablet, a netbook, and screen that can be plugged into another computer, all in one device. Along with all of those features it runs multiple operating systems all at the same time. On top of everything else it is Open Hardware and Open Software. The complete package is listed at $549. I would love to get my hands on one. The following has been copied in from the Always Innovating Website: http://www.alwaysinnovating.com/home/index.htm

"ARM-optimized advanced platform
Our devices come with multiple Linux-based distributions, running on an ARM processor. This includes our home-made Angstrom-based OS, Android, our own adaptation of Google chromium (while waiting for a stable and complete release), Ubuntu.
Tremendous work was necessary to adapt all these distributions to our devices, especially because of the need to optimize the support of our hardware (accelerometer, screen rotation, touchscreen, and more). All OS are running on the 2.6.32 Linux kernel, and got several optimizations to take benefits of the advanced instructions available in the chipset. Note that you will not be able to install Windows OS or Mac OS on the Touch Book or the Smart Book.

Hot multi-OS switching: You won't have to chose any more!

Several OS on the same machine at the same time? Yes, that's possible and without any performance loss. You can indeed choose and switch between several OSes installed on the device at runtime.By just pressing the magic AI button, you get a simple menu, letting you literally switch between several OS running at the same time on the same machine on a single processor. Instant-play, you can take the most of each OS, which means in our case: our AIOS, Android, Ubuntu, and ChromiumOS. Best of all, you can share your documents between those side-by-side instances.
Being able to switch OSes to best meet your need with out rebooting looks like a great plus.

Smart Book®: the most versatile device ever manufactured
It's a tablet. It's a keyboard. It's a MID (Mobile Internet Device). It's a free VOIP phone. It's a PC dual screen. It's a USB keychain. It's everything! It's like an electronic "Swiss knife". And for the price of one single device.

Save money, space, time, and headache.

Take your mobile out of your pocket to surf the web with your fingers, thanks to multi-touch technology support. Plug it into the back of the tablet to take full advantage of the larger touchscreen, as well as enhanced features and connectivity. Then attach the keyboard to enjoy the benefits of a full laptop allowing you to be as efficient as you have to. Want your life to be even easier? Connect your wireless keyboard to any other computer, or use your tablet as a second screen - with a simple USB cable. The Smart Book is the most incredible all-in-one device ever manufactured!

Four OS fully optimized and configured for the Beagleboard
Always Innovating is pleased to announce Super-Jumbo for the Beagleboard family (also compatible with Touch Book & Smart Book). Super-Jumbo a single image which provides four operating systems fully optimized for the OMAP3 chip, and aggregates hundreds of applications already set up for you across the four major ARM operating, i.e. AIOS (complete full features Angstrom fork), Android Gingerbread v2.3, Ubuntu Maverick 10.10, and ChromiumOS (first time ever released for OMAP3). Our single kernel is compatible across the whole Beagleboard and Touch Book families.
Last, Super-Jumbo includes the feature to switch at run-time between those four operating systems without any performance loss.
Beagleboard info found here: http://beagleboard.org/
Super-Jumbo can be downloaded here: https://www.alwaysinnovating.com/beagleboard/

We will provide to the press and blogers a few units for review. We would like to point out that our primary focus is to sell our design and our expertise to OEMs, manufacturers and projects which want a customized tablet or portable device. We don't intend to compete directly against top-tier players in the consumer space because we don't have the scale, nor the access to the same production chain. But we do offer our products to the public, especially towards the open source and open hardware communities who are interested to experiment innovative products. In other words, we don't consider ourselves as the next iPhone killer, but we still offer an incredible concept at a very affordable price. And we publish all our schematics and source code on our website: we don't know so many companies which do that...


  1. Dear Motorola,
    This was what my Atrix should have been. Please fire your current developers. They do not know what they are doing. Please hire these people. They have a clue.

  2. I like the Smart Book concept very much.

    The only grief is that the hw is very weak by todays standards. At least OMAP4 should be in it with 1GB of RAM.

  3. Since the license the technology I would like to see some one like Google or Ubuntu part with them and make it a phone combo.