Vega: The Kitchen-Friendly, In-Home Android Device

We’ve talked a LOT about Android operating on devices beyond mobile phones, MIDs and netbooks. You know – places like your kitchen counter, home entertainment center, vehicle – could all have various Android-based devices to serve non-telephonic purposes. It looks as if a company called Innovative Converged Devices (ICD), based out of the UK and Seattle, is looking to be one of the first to offer such a solution. They call it Vega.

vega

Don’t underestimate the mass-market reach of such a device: when it becomes available for sale in the first half of 2010 they say it will be available through Tier 1 carriers in North America, Europe, Latin America and the Middle East. And you won’t have to wait until June to get a glimpse – they’re showing it off at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas from January 7th to 10th.

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vega3

What the heck will it actually DO? We’re not sure – at first glimpse it doesn’t appear to serve a ton of specific purposes beyond other MIDs like the ARCHOS 5 Android Tablet.  Check out the specs:

  • Android 2.0 Eclair
  • 373mm x 254mm x 16mm
  • 15.6″ Touchscreen
  • NVIDIA Tegra
  • 512 DDR / 512 NAND
  • 1.3 MP Web Cam
  • Micro SD
  • Bluetooth 2.1
  • Wireless 802.11 b/g
  • USB 2.0
  • 2g/3g Data
  • Cellular
  • 3.5mm Audio Jack
  • Magnetic Docking
  • Tablet/Dock Charging
  • Accelerometer
  • Ambient light sensor
  • Dual digital microphones

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A few more of the specs were featured in the PowerPoint presentation:

vega-specs

This is cool and all I suppose, but what I would really like to see is the device integrated with other specific devices in the kitchen or home, offering accessories or 3rd party hardware that is controlled by this “hub”. Whether it be controlling your television, the temperature of your house, the shades/skylight, security system, coffee pot, doggie door, etc… I want to see some REALLY unique innovation – not just an Android MID with a front facing webcam.

We don’t have long to wait! Here is the full press release:

Innovative Converged Devices Unveils Sleek,
Kitchen-Friendly Android Touch Device

ICD Combines Design and Engineering Expertise with
User-Friendly Features While Cutting Average Time to Market

SEATTLE, WASHINGTON – November 11, 2009 – Innovative Converged Devices (ICD), a world class design and engineering company in the mobile and computing industry, today unveiled Vega, their first in a future line of Android products of low priced, full featured High Definition entertainment and information devices that feature 3G connectivity, a Tegra processor, full streaming media, and a touch interface. The 7-inch, 11-inch and 15-inch devices are scheduled for distribution through Tier 1 carriers across North America, Europe, Latin America, and the Middle East in the first half of 2010. ICD will provide full specifications and demo the Vega device at the 2010 International CES Show, which takes place January 7-10 at the Las Vegas Convention Center/Las Vegas Hilton.

With an emphasis on ease-of-use and sleek and attractive design, ICD is focused on melding both engineering excellence and high-end design into no-compromise experiences for consumers and added value for OEMs and ODMs looking to cut custom development time from years to just months.

“Each year the device user experience ante goes up exponentially, leading designers and engineers to look for ways to get new, quality products and features out the door,” said David Hayes, president and CEO of ICD. “ICD’s expertise is in tightly integrating award-winning design and engineering with a deep understanding of what customers want that allows us to cut the time it takes other companies to bring fully realized, no-compromise products to market.”

With offices in the US and UK, Innovative Converged Devices (ICD) brings high-end design and engineering expertise that delivers no-compromise experiences and value for both consumers and partners by shortening the development cycle, a unique process for identifying the right mix of hardware, software and technology and decades of experience in understanding what consumers want. ICD is responsible for award winning products such as the Momento, one of the world’s first wireless picture frames and Velocity Mobile phones.

We’ll let you know when we learn more!

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  • David

    I am curious why they think this needs to have a cellular connection. It does seem like it will be a mobile device you are carrying with you. Can’t it just make use of the user’s wireless router for its internet connection? It seems like they make the cost go up considerably by using the cellular service. Also, as we saw with Verizon’s device, people aren’t rushing to pay for another line of service just to have an in-home device.

  • SL

    What’s with the resistive screen ?

  • Vlad

    I wish they remove all the cellular and 2G/3G garbage from there and sell everywhere. WiFi – all it needs! I’d be first to buy this thing, if it had nothing to do with the cell service providers.

  • chewtoy

    Why are most people on the android fan sites so short-sited?

    They shouldn’t be taking *out* functionality, they should be adding it.

    If you don’t want the cell bill, don’t hook up the cell service. “Problem” solved.

    What should they really have added to this device’s specs?

    For starters:
    1. An FM tuner or HD FM tuner.
    2. A more varied media card reader — it’s great that you can read microSD, but on a device that’ll spend a lot of time propped on a counter it seems very short-sighted not to expect consumers to want to slide their existing camera storage cards into the device — and most of those are still not microSD. The obvious choice would have been to at least make it a full-size SD slot instead of microSD, since microSD can slide into a full-sized SD slot.
    3. A better front-facing camera. 1.3Mp? C’mon…

  • basschica

    I 3rd the anti 3G on it. If it’s a kitchen device, my home already has broadband, like most anyone else (or well anyone that might want a device like this in their kitchen). Secondly, I am sick of integrated crappy webcams. Seriously, if it isn’t HD, don’t put it in my screen so you can jack up the price for this “feature” of a camera that sucks. The only value of that camera is if someone writes an app (like the shopping ones currently on Android) that would instead scan the barcodes of what you’re cooking so you can make a grocery list. I guess that *might* be useful in the kitchen. About the only use I have a for a “computer” in my kitchen is to pull up a recipe on recipezaar or similar…which I do with my netbook anyway. Like the author said, this thing better be controlling lights and doing automation, in which case it needs to be smaller, cheaper and wall mount designed so I can have them in multiple rooms. Home automation on a household level is a great idea and it hasn’t been fully implemented at reasonable prices by anyone. I don’t get the niche for this device as it stands based on the press release and trust me, I love gadgets.

  • Cybersedan

    I’m waiting to hear what the hell it does, forget what kind of connection options it has. What enriched functions will it provide in the home or on the road?

  • barry99705

    @SL

    They don’t make capacitive touch screens that big yet. Keeps the cost down.

  • noneya

    one word…femtocell.

  • Andriod Buffet

    Since there was no Android Compatibility Definition Document for 2.0 they made a best effort against 1.6 which requires devices to be equipped with a cellular radio. As of Android 2.1 the CDD does not require a cellular radio.

  • Andriod Buffet