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Korean vendor readies Android MID, clamshell, STB

Nov 25, 2009 — by Eric Brown — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 10 views

Korea-based Inbrics is readying several Android-powered devices for a CES unveiling in January. The devices include an M1 MID, a dual-screen clamshell, MID-like device called the Dual, and the SoIP Homestation, which combines the functions of an IP set-top box, DLNA-ready media server, and videophone, says the company.

Inbrics is primarily a VoIP phone vendor, but is in the midst of rolling out a number of consumer electronics devices based on its own Android-based stack (see farther below for an architecture diagram). The company posted a spec sheet for the Dual, and it also offers some information on the SoIP Homestation, but it has provided very little on the M1 MID (mobile Internet device).

According to a report in CNET Asia, however, the M1 is the closest to market, and will be shown by Ingenics at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2010, to be held on Jan. 7-10 in Las Vegas. It is unclear which of Ingenics' other devices will be shown, but the slick YouTube commercial farther below suggests that they might all be on display as prototypes, if not fully functioning demo models.

Inbrics M1 MID

According to CNET Asia, the M1 (pictured above) is built on an ARM Cortex-A8 processor clocked at 800MHz. This is most likely the Freescale i.MX51, which clocks from 800MHz to 1GHz, but could also be the new Samsung S5PV210, which clocks at up to 1GHz. The story also mentions an AMOLED (active matrix organic light emitting diode) touchscreen and a slide-out QWERTY keyboard. Additional features are said to include WiFi, GPS, a digital compass, and a T-DMB receiver for "local-market" (presumably Korean) wireless video.

Inbrics Dual

The Dual is more interesting, offering a clamshell design that incorporates dual 4-inch WVGA touchscreens, somewhat like a smaller version of the Android-based Entourage Edge e-reader from Entourage Systems. The 5.1 x 2.4 x 0.6-inch (preliminary) clamshell offers a 360-degree flexible screen that can lay flat or be propped up in sandwich-board fashion.

Inbrics Dual
(Click to enlarge)

The specs list the Dual as offering a slide-out keyboard, although Inbrics may intend to suggest that one of the touchscreens can be used as a virtual QWERTY keypad. It's hard to imagine that a 0.6-inch thick device packed with all the functionality found in the Dual could fit two displays and a physical keyboard slider, but we've been amazed before by the ongoing shrinkage in the device world.

Inbrics Linux/Android software architecture, used by M1, Dual, and SoIP
(Click to enlarge)

Inbrics lists the Dual's processor as being "ARM Cortex," with support for OpenGL ES 2.0, which suggests one of the above-listed Cortex-A8 SoCs. The device offers 512MB RAM, 16GB to 32GB flash, and a micro-SD slot for expansion. A three-megapixel camera is also included along with audio/video connectivity.

Wireless to the max, the device provides WiFi, Bluetooth, and WiBro, the Korean flavor of mobile WiMAX. It also offers the aforementioned T-DMB mobile TV capability, says Inbrics.

The company makes no mention about 3G service, although the Dual is billed as being a smartphone, as well as a PMP (portable media player), game console, and VoIP phone. As can be seen in the annotated photo above, it is also billed as offering "dual activation," although this may be referring to functionality as opposed to cellular service. It is unclear whether the two screens have dedicated functions or whether both displays provides access to the full list of features.

Specifications listed for the Inbrics Dual include:

  • Processor — ARM Cortex with OpenGL ES 2.0 support
  • Memory — 512MB RAM
  • Flash — 16/32GB NAND flash
  • Flash expansion — Micro-SD card
  • Display — 2 x 4-inch WVGA, 262K color touchscreens
  • Camera — 3-megapixel autofocus and VGA CMOS
  • Wireless:
    • WiFi
    • WiBro
    • Bluetooth
    • T-DMB 174-240MHz, TPEC mobile video
  • Other features:
    • Mini-USB port
    • A/V Out
    • 3.5mm earphone jack and earphone
    • Stereo speaker
    • Power jack
    • Stylus pen
    • Korean and English language support
    • MPEG 1-4 playback, among other formats
  • Battery — Li-Poly Standard (min. 2400mAh)
  • Dimensions — 5.1 x 2.4 x 0.6 inches (130 x 60 x 16mm) preliminary
  • Operating system — Android

SoIP Homestation

The third Android device, the SoIP Homestation, is listed as a media convergence device for IP-based infrastructure and service integration. That appears to suggest it will be sold by service providers.

The DLNA-ready IP set-top box (STB) can share digital content from mobile phones, IPTV services, the web, home network content from PCs and other devices, as well as security camera feeds, says Inbrics. Features are said to include mobile video calls, IPTV control, and video calls.

SoIP Homestation

Based once again on an ARM Cortex processor running Android, the SoIP Homestation is further equipped with 1GB RAM, 2GB internal flash, and an SD Card expansion slot, says Inbrics. The device offers a 7-inch, 800 x 480 touchscreen along with a 2-inch, 220 x 176 pixel "Handy" screen, and it supports IrDA control for a bundled remote.

Equipped with WiFi, as well as LAN, WAN, and USB ports, the device connects to an HDTV via HDMI. Other features are said to include a 3.5 Watt stereo speaker, an earphone jack, as well as an IC card reader for SmartCard support, and a two-megapixel webcam.

SoIP Homestation in typical use scenarios

(Click to enlarge)

The SoIP Homestation is based on a WebKit browser, and offers "web application sharing and distribution," says Inbrics. It also supports messaging features including SNS, as well as MPEG, H.263, and H.264 video, says the company.

Inbrics YouTube commercial


More information on the M1, Dual, and SoIP Homestation devices may be found at Inbrics, here. The CNET Asia story on the Inbrics M1 and Dual should be here.

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