Students design smartbook

11 August 2009

Freescale drives innovation around future netbook concepts and form factors
Freescale drives innovation around future netbook concepts and form factors

Freescale teams up with industrial design students to create practical designs for smartbooks and smartphones.

Smartbook devices based on ARM technology are rapidly emerging to fill the gap between smaller-screened smartphones and traditional, PC-like netbook or notebook products. To develop product concepts for this new device category, Freescale has teamed with a North American industrial design program, resulting in an array of smartbook prototypes.

Sporting larger screens than traditional smartphone devices, smartbooks are cloud-computing-centric and characterised by all-day battery life, instant-on functionality and persistent connectivity. They are commonly powered by processors based on ARM technology, such as Freescale’s i.MX515 device.

To demonstrate new concepts that leverage these advantages, Freescale engaged with the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) for a program to explore requirements related to ergonomic issues, user interfaces, alternative form factors and even accessories for next-generation smartbook devices.

"As the smartbook market emerges, new form factors and product categories will evolve to support and better align with user needs, and our engagement with SCAD demonstrates Freescale’s intention to lead this evolution," said Glen Burchers, Consumer Segment marketing director for Freescale. "This initiative has given Freescale valuable insight into how end-users prefer to interact with smartbooks, and this knowledge will be fed back into our chip design processes, ultimately resulting in future i.MX processors that enable compelling consumer experiences and entirely new classes of consumer devices."

Tasked with creating new models and paradigms that improve on the designs and user interfaces common to most first-generation netbook products, the participants developed a range of innovative, practical designs optimal for leveraging the small, fanless dimensions and low-power operation of Freescale’s i.MX515 processor.

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