Saturday, February 14, 2009

Android on E-ink device: proof of concept

MOTO Development Group’s releases video “Android Meets E Ink” explaining and demonstrating their integration of Google’s Android operating system with an E Ink electronic paper device broadsheet kit.

Google developed Android explicitly to run on cell phones, but it is robust enough to run on other devices. Because Android is open source, and supported by a robust development community, it is a candidate to grow beyond its mobile device roots. MOTO Labs developed a custom USB driver to bring Google’s Android OS to the E Ink development kit.

The E Ink broadsheet development kit is connected to Beagle Board via USB. E Ink is an electronic paper display technology with a paper-like, high contrast appearance, ultra low-power consumption, and a thin, light form. It is “bi-stable” - meaning it only uses power when it refreshes the screen. The advantages of this kind of low-power screen device updated via wireless internet access could bring this connected technology to wearable computing or other screen uses that demand long-term deployment before recharging. Now a new world of creative developers can extend the functionality of and write applications for this low-power screen technology.

MOTO labs is working towards customized solutions that employ not only Android but Ubuntu, Linux, and Adobe AIR platforms for custom web-connected application development. We are actively extending our multi-touch and gestural interfaces expertise to these platforms. MOTO is also developing prototypes for better remote management of connected devices with a range of approaches from Mac & PC based device management applications to over-the- air wireless firmware and software updates. Stay tuned to labs.moto.com for more on this thread.

Google developed Android explicitly to run on cell phones, but it is robust enough to run on other devices. Because Android is open source, and supported by a robust development community, it is a candidate to grow beyond its mobile device roots.

The development of a USB driver brings Android operating system to the E Ink development kit. Now a new world of creative developers can extend the functionality of and write applications for this low-power screen technology.


Android Meets E Ink from MOTO Development Group on Vimeo.

Why E Ink?
E Ink is an electronic paper display technology with a paper-like, high contrast appearance, ultra low-power consumption, and a thin, light form. It is “bi-stable” - meaning it only uses power when it refreshes the screen. The advantages of this kind of low-power screen device updated via wireless internet access could bring this connected technology to wearable computing or other screen uses that demand long-term deployment before recharging.

Digging Deeper
MOTO labs is working towards customized solutions that employ not only Android but Ubuntu, Linux, and Adobe AIR platforms for custom web-connected application development. We are actively extending our multi-touch and gestural interfaces expertise to these platforms. MOTO is also developing prototypes for better remote management of connected devices with a range of approaches from Mac & PC based device management applications to over-the-air wireless firmware and software updates. Stay tuned to labs.moto.com for more on this thread.

Building a Bridge
Picture below shows how the E Ink broadsheet development kit is connected to Beagle Board via USB. A custom E Ink driver acts as the bridge.
The E Ink screen image shows the signature Android clock-scape.

Components
A diagrammatic view on how the application processor (Beagle Board) connects up to the display co-processor (E Ink Broadsheet) via USB.

Ideas for next generation connected devices? Email collaborate@labs.moto.com or leave a comment here.

Links
TI Beagle Board development kit
E Ink development kit

5 Comments:

Anonymous Samsung CLP-300 toner said...

Great Review! Well written and quite descriptive as well.. If any item or topic comes out then you should be the one releasing it to the public and make it known! The way you describe it is very intriguing and feels like candy to my ears, if that really makes any sense :) but you catch my drift.. In one of my classes, we were given a paper with instructions of how to build a swan made of aluminum foil and we had to explain to our group verbally how to construct the swan.. It was difficult! But, manageable and we came second in place, but it was tasky :) Nevertheless you are very descriptive and if you post anything else up I will most definitely check it out! Great review!

12:04 AM  
Blogger Dio said...

Hey! This is great! But, I cannot see the beagleboard's part. Could you update me if you did? Thanks!

6:02 PM  
Blogger no said...

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Keep up the good work,so far I've clearly understood and followed up with your writings. until the next time I run across your page.Update me...Thanks

9:22 AM  
Blogger alfred said...

Saving this to my reading list (you gotta love the new Safari feature on iOS 5!). Great post.... P.S. Happy Friday, everyone :)

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