Techcrunch Web Tablet Part #2

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Continue comments here. The discussion has been very interesting, thank you to everybody. We are taking it all in and organizing the new dev site which will be up in the next few hours.

Forking comment thread here. Thanks!

  • Rafe

    I’m interested in interface design if you need it, though interest seems to be abundant, if not overly so, and I’m sure others are much more qualified. Shoot me an email though…

    • Alexis von Blumenthal

      I’m interested greatly in this project, I would quite like to try writing my own linux distro for the machine but i would first need some technical specications -I’m guessing this thing will have an arm processor as standard, but with half a gig of ram and the memory capacity, a powerful lightweight distro could be written with a lot of applications.

      Will it have bluetooth? I think that a lot of people would like to be able to sync this with either a bluetooth GPS device for navigation or to their 3G phones to surf the web when there isn’t a hotspot…

      • Michael

        just let me know when and where I can buy one, or two. If I have one I know my daughter will have to have one too. I think it is a great Idea, the perfect lazy boy tablet. Make sureit can be used in direct sunlight as well please.


      • Paka

        make sure its solar powered. something this low powered could easily be solar powered and that makes its a really usable device in developing countries.

    • rob knight

      I am college math professor using the MyMathLab and Mathzone course management systems software. A tablet PC like this would be extremely useful in education where the latest big advances are in the elimination of standard textbooks. It would be very helpful to be able to write on the tablet screen with anything (like a pencil or pen) and have the writing recorded as it is input. Also, being able to change the screen resolution like they do on the iPhone would be great so that students could see the entire problem page or quikly and easily zoom in to a specific area. Being able to write would allow students to submit their work woth different Hw problems, etc. I would like to help in some way. I can beta test or give input into what features might be desireable for this to be come a great educational tool. It could be called the iTeach.

      Rob Knight

      • Kevin B.

        I love the idea of this. The only forseeable problem is that an onscreen keyboard would quickly wear out the display, and possibly leave ugly fingerprints on the screen(I’d hate having fingerprints on my screen if I was in the middle of browsing) I also think that it’s too much to incorporate so much software off the bat. Up the memory a little, and let the consumer decide what to install. Software is what makes a computer cost so much in the first place.

        I hope to see these on the shelves soon!

      • Eric Lee Elliott

        Zooming & scaling are good. Changing screen resolution is not. Electronic screens have only one resolution. Learn the controls your desktop software provides for image sizing, including fonts.

    • Sam Clark

      You should make a big screen wall mount version. That’s once you have the original out to consumers. You should also consider adding touch sensitive light buttons like on the Lenovo Thinkpad series. Have them automatically switch for Skype and Firefox. You should add email support. You should also develop an application like Windows Tablet PC Input for handwriting purposes. Also an application like OneNote or Windows Journal should be included. You should let it have GUI support. Have a button inside the battery case to get FireFox or any other application out of Kiosk mode. Have a higher end model for like gaming purposes or a person who likes to run more intense applications. You should add multiple OS support. Make the hard drive replaceble in case consumers want to get a larger size in gigabytes. Add a figerprint scanner for multiple user support, so that way, each user can customize the application settings.

      Definetly email me when they will be available.
      Hope you like my ideas,
      Sam Clark

    • Neil

      Great idea…! I’d def buy one…!

      Not sure if its been mentioned, but would it include the ability to play media streaming from a NAS or another computer…? UPnP/ DLNA device…

      • whizkid515

        I’m pretty sure VLC can do that.

  • Lee

    This is a product I want, would like to help as much as possible

    I’m in college for computer science and have job experience with Javascript, vb.NET,, sql

    other languages: java, python, c

  • Zach

    I would be more than happy to beta test =] I’m not into coding anymore, but I sure can debug like none other!

  • Andrew

    I’d love to help in whatever way possible. Also, I’m really sure I can get my super-brilliant friend to do some work too. :P

  • Alex Guichet

    I have redone (and help design) several intranets, applications, and tools with User Interactivity in mind. I can work with every step of the process to be sure that this project is just as intuitive (if not more) than the iPhone.

    Actually, it sounds like so many people are wanting to work on UI design, why not ask for people to design a usable UI and have the community choose which one is the best. It sounds somewhat like a textbook answer, but it will get the best UI out there.

  • Ryan Gonzalez

    I just whipped up a little advertising thing for the $200 web tablet; it features a lot of adjectives on what you guys could do with the thing, and also asks for everyone to contribute to the project:

    • Alex

      I think the link is broken its not working for me.

  • Darnell Clayton

    I’m all for beta testing as well. Also, is there a way we could include more languages, such as Hebrew, Arabic, Japanese, etc.?

    I would hate for this to be just an American thing.

    • Yishay Haspel

      I’m with Darnell on this subject.
      I would be happy helping (or at least trying to help) to add languages and more then happy to beta test it in Hebrew :)

    • Ilkka Sipilä

      I’d be happy to help you translating this to Finnish :D

    • Asbjørn

      If a danish translation is needed i’d love to help.

  • Crudpuppy

    I’m a freelance web developer these days but dabbled back in the day with more “standard” app development. I’m an open source freak from my gentoo desktop to my linuxmce HTPC. Cool thing about your request is X11 doesnt NEED a desktop manager to function…you can start it right into pure x with the firefox as main app. One real major software need would be the “lcd/touch screen keyboard” would require knowing more about the exact hardware to be used before a driver could be pulled off..but yeah sweeeeeet deal guys keep us in the loop and hit me up for anything I could do.

    • Stoney3K

      Although that would make the software particularly lightweight, I don’t think many consumers will appreciate that since it lacks the eye candy neccessary for selling the thing.

      It would be a cool idea, however, to have the entire UI as vector graphics, allowing for seamless zooming.

      If it comes in black, I want one. With LCARS on it, preferably. ;-)

  • BlinkSense

    I can build anything with these languages – PHP, C, C++, Java, Perl, C#

  • jooxy

    wow, i brought a eeepc, but all i want actually is this TC netbook, pls count me in, i am in China, i think i can do some help, thank you!

  • derrick

    something like fast dial ( may work well for the “home page” basically it’s a rip off of opera’s speed dial, but it works pretty well and is very customizable.

  • Kevin De Laere

    Let’s crowdsource several UI’s then. I run my own consulting company (UsableXperience) doing interaction design and I would be happy to input if you’re interested.

  • Chris Sears

    Am I the only one who’s a bit skeptical about your chances of actually pulling this off?

    Some issues come to mind…
    – No open source hardware project has really taken off
    – Crowdsourcing doesn’t work that well
    – Major companies have no doubt considered making such a product and haven’t for some probably good reason
    – There’s a lot more to delivering a product to market than just getting it spec’d out and manufactured
    – Once Mike has one, what reason do you have to continue with the project?
    – You’re effectively taking on the iPhone, the EeePC, Nokia tablets, OLPC, and the UMPCs for hardware and OpenMoko, Android, Palm OS and others on software
    – You’re a blog

    I certainly wish you luck, but I’m not going to be holding my breath.

    • matt

      sadly I have to pessimistic as well, if you can get some major investors you could have a chance, but anyone who put money into this would prolly see that 200$ price point as a deal-kill, i know i would, I know more than a few of the big names in internet marketing and I could talk around and see if I can generate some interest, e-mail me if you want

      • Pwnzord

        How will you guys fit a battery? And if it is capable of running photoshop I WANT IT.

      • Alex

        i highly doubt it that requires high specs

  • Lucractius

    Its an ideal concept… and to put it into relative terms… its a macbook air tablet.
    Who could want more.

    Im in.
    I’ve got python & java experience & my background is in mobile computing devices.

  • Hiroshi Taniguchi

    It’s great idea.
    Need pdf & flash data support.
    Bluetooth headset support (for Skype Conversation, Flash ** Video ** contents)
    If Mini-DVI is there, we can use it for presentation.
    support double byte language (CJK: China — Japanese –Korean) support.

    Can we discuss about this in TechCrunch50?

  • Khepin

    I can’t see it proposed anywhere, but there should be a way to change screen orientation. Either through a sensor like in the iPhone or via a button (maybe in the tray).

  • Ted Erickson

    I’m In!!! Ya’ll have got the ultimate road warrior tool brewing here. Light enough to go anywhere and still net ready to access critical content. Who needs a laptop? I’ve got a wireless security background for what it’s worth…

  • Khepin

    Also, I live in China now and I realise how many device and services designed in the US are not at all ready for this market. There should be Input Methods adapted to countries with non-alphabetical writing. (via keyboard or handwriting).

  • Shyam

    The organization where I used to work did a device like this. However, since we did this in India in early 2002, funding and other things were hard to come by and ultimately, we were forced to abandon this project. I wrote the device drivers on Linux for wlan, touchscreen and a for a few keys that we had soldered on to the main board. I volunteer to pitch in whatever way I can.


  • Fenomenale Group

    Interesting, Please send email

  • khan

    I think it would be really cool to have an option of linking this to a laptop/desktop acting as a server. Basically it would be a VPN into a personal box, with the VPN being the only thing running on the tablet. I’m not sure you could get enough performance out of this setup (maybe a lot of buffering/prefetching to the ssd) but it would definitely expand flexibility.

  • jared brodsky

    Interested in the financial backing of such product. What sort of initial investing are we talking… let’s discuss.

  • Allan Smee

    Would like to help with marketing etc also think it need flash and pdf support + google gears

  • Roman Quijano

    I’m a college student, with knowledge of embedded design and hardware design. I’ll be glad to participate with the development of this project.

  • Yuchia

    please include me in the loop.

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