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Rubicon SmartBook e-book reader 1997 prototype
The brainchild of David Collins, the Rubicon SmartBook was a groundbreaking idea conceived in Australia only one year after Home windows 95 was released. One design parameter was that the SmartBook was to look, feel and odor like a e book.
What: Smartbook was designed to be a self contained electronic e-book (book) reader and content supervisor that would connect with the web to provide the consumer entry to eBooks, newspaper and different digital content material.
Expertise Challenge: To build a handheld reader with touch screen functionality and handwriting expertise providing 4 plus hours battery life weighing beneath 800 grams for underneath $1000 USD. By comparability, laptops had been priced from $2200, battery know-how primitive by today customary with laptops fortunate to run for a hundred minutes on battery and weighing 2500 plus grams.
Product Problem: The idea was radical with a price point well below comparable applied sciences. eBooks were relatively new, so the concept of a portable e-book reader was was even less understood. To productise SmartBook required a whole rethink of manufacturing, design, content material acquisition, distribution and assist.
End result: A prototype was produced in 1997. The unique design was based mostly on a two display screen mannequin (remember it was to appear to be a ebook) working a StrongARM Atom processor and using monochrome cholesteric displays. The display technology allowed the rendered web page to remain on display even when the power was turned off. A complete content administration, publish and subscribe system was developed. Two SmartBook customers may very well be attending a meeting, one user recording the minutes by handwritten notes and the minutes rendered on the second customers SmartBook in actual time. A single display screen model was on the drawing board which was in concept a forerunner of the trendy iPAD.
Associates: Adobe, Motorola, Carnegie Mellon College