Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 16th Apr 2014 09:06 UTC, submitted by arsipaani
PDAs, Cellphones, Wireless

As it turns out, Nokia developed an internet tablet all the way back in 2001. It was called the Nokia M510, several thousand units were made, and it was functional. Sadly, market research showed that consumers were not yet ready for a device like this, and so the project was cancelled. It had a 800x600 display, ran EPOC (Symbian), and sported wifi. The stories are in Finnish, and since I don't speak Finnish, I had to rely on Google Translate (as a translator, this made me feel dirty).

Now that Nokia's devices division is essentially dead, it wouldn't surprise me to see more of these stories to come out. There must be some truly outrageous stuff locked away at Nokia.

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well hello there...
by hobgoblin on Wed 16th Apr 2014 11:37 UTC
hobgoblin
Member since:
2005-07-06

Do wonder how much this influenced the Series 90 GUI used in the 7700/7710, and carried over to the Maemo devices (770, N800, N810).

The specs at the bottom of the article seems to indicate a 10" device with a 4 hour battery life.

And it seems to have a full size USB(!) and what is either a s-video or ps2 keyboard port.

Edited 2014-04-16 11:39 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE: well hello there...
by daedalus on Wed 16th Apr 2014 14:17 UTC in reply to "well hello there..."
daedalus Member since:
2011-01-14

And it seems to have a full size USB(!) and what is either a s-video or ps2 keyboard port.


That's PS/2, so most likely for using a standard keyboard with it instead of a touchscreen one... Full-sized USB would be awesome to have on modern tablets - those OTG adaptors are all well and good but are pretty flimsy for serious work...

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: well hello there...
by hobgoblin on Wed 16th Apr 2014 17:26 UTC in reply to "RE: well hello there..."
hobgoblin Member since:
2005-07-06

I know, i got a european variant of the Toshiba Thrive partially because it had a full size USB port. Sadly i had to get it serviced for some mechanical issue, and it came back with a US chipset ID but European firmware. End result is that the Toshiba update servers can't make head or tail of it, and it is stuck on 3.1. I guess i could attempt a root tho, but right now it is just sitting on a shelf.

Reply Score: 4

RE[3]: well hello there...
by The123king on Wed 16th Apr 2014 18:34 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: well hello there..."
The123king Member since:
2009-05-28

iPad and Apple bluetooth keyboard, or Camera Connection kit (for 30pin devices) and USB keyboard. Of course, if you jailbreak, you can use the CCK to connect USB storage devices, and even mice. Sure, it's not as practical as having one built-in, but the support is there.

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: well hello there...
by hobgoblin on Wed 16th Apr 2014 18:45 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: well hello there..."
hobgoblin Member since:
2005-07-06

Heh, i got more than enough bluetooth enabled android tablets sitting around (one reason why the Thrive is shelved).

Actually i try to go out of my way to make sure the device is bluetooth enabled, as i have found the system very practical over the years. I honestly wish that WIFI Direct would incorporate the OBEX set of protocols at some point.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: well hello there...
by REM2000 on Thu 17th Apr 2014 07:45 UTC in reply to "RE: well hello there..."
REM2000 Member since:
2006-07-25

the surface RT and Pro both have full sized USB ports and work exactly how you would expect on Windows, i.e. plug in USB Hard disk, recognises and installs, plug in a USB hub with keyboard and mouse and it works fine.

It's a small thing but when you have it on a tablet you realise it opens it up to being a lot more versatile.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Now availabe in english
by chamel on Wed 16th Apr 2014 16:14 UTC in reply to "Now availabe in english"
chamel Member since:
2011-06-17

I disagree on their praise of Linux as base for phones : "And finally they made the right operating system choice." Symbian kernel is realtime and very small in comparison to Linux kernel. People are blinded by Android success.
I hope, one day, someone with big money will invest into Symbian to resurrect it and maybe PalmOS/GarnetOS will be treated too.

P.S. Thank you for link.

Reply Score: 3

Translations
by cpuobsessed on Wed 16th Apr 2014 15:22 UTC
cpuobsessed
Member since:
2009-06-09

The most surprising part of this story is the fact that Thom doesn't speak/write Finnish.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Translations
by WereCatf on Wed 16th Apr 2014 15:59 UTC in reply to "Translations"
WereCatf Member since:
2006-02-15

The most surprising part of this story is the fact that Thom doesn't speak/write Finnish.


Being a finn, no, it's not surprising. Finnish is a god damn difficult a language for a foreigner to master.

I'll just leave this here: https://www.riemurasia.net/teksti/Suomiko-muka-hankala-kieli/130771

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Translations
by kompak on Wed 16th Apr 2014 16:11 UTC in reply to "RE: Translations"
kompak Member since:
2011-06-14

And there are only about five million native finnish speakers mostly located in Finland so I really don't see a point learning finnish if you don't intend to live in Finland.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Translations
by cpuobsessed on Wed 16th Apr 2014 16:41 UTC in reply to "RE: Translations"
cpuobsessed Member since:
2009-06-09

aaahhhh.....derp
I get it now, english speaker with the barest smattering of German and Arabic

Reply Score: 1

If you had to have an external keyboard ...
by Sabon on Wed 16th Apr 2014 15:23 UTC
Sabon
Member since:
2005-07-06

If you had to have an external keyboard there are a LOT of things people use tablets (and cell phones) for now that you'd never have been able to use this device for. At least not in the way people are using tablets and phones "on the go" now. So only based on this, I would have said I wasn't interested either.

Reply Score: 1

moondevil Member since:
2005-07-08

On the other hand I see lots of people carrying tablet cases with builtin keyboards.

Reply Score: 4

Concept Well Ahead of Its Time
by BlueofRainbow on Wed 16th Apr 2014 15:50 UTC
BlueofRainbow
Member since:
2009-01-06

From the photos, it appears that a stylus was almost a requirement for the "touch" screen and that keyboard input would be optional.

The concept was well ahead of its time given that the current touch screen technology with virtual keyboard interfaces became reality around 5-6 years ago.

By the way, didn't Be attempted something similar, including keyboard, with the BeIA (Be Internet Appliance)? Also ahead of its time although the supporting shift in strategy from desktop to internet appliance somewhat sparked the spiral of death.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Concept Well Ahead of Its Time
by Alfman on Wed 16th Apr 2014 16:55 UTC in reply to "Concept Well Ahead of Its Time"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

BlueofRainbow,

"By the way, didn't Be attempted something similar, including keyboard, with the BeIA (Be Internet Appliance)?"

It's very interesting that so many different companies were pursuing these things so early on. Here is another early internet tablet with stylus input + wireless keyboard that I played with some years ago:

http://www.digibarn.com/collections/systems/audrey/index.html


Sadly, market research showed that consumers were not yet ready for a device like this, and so the project was cancelled.


I think there were two main impediments holding back the demand for these early internet devices:

A) Price: These things were simply unaffordable for mass market.

B) Connectivity: broadband was still rare in any shape or form. It's extremely difficult to make the case for tablets prior to widespread deployment of broadband + wifi (ie most of us were on dialup, which was no only wired, but could only be used for intermittent internet access, yuck!).

I suspect consumers probably would have been "ready", if not for these two problems, both of which would eventually be solved over time. The market would appear to be transformed overnight, yet there was really an evolutionary progression that enabled it all to happen.

Edited 2014-04-16 17:03 UTC

Reply Score: 4

RE: Concept Well Ahead of Its Time
by Lennie on Wed 16th Apr 2014 17:49 UTC in reply to "Concept Well Ahead of Its Time"
Lennie Member since:
2007-09-22

It wasn't so uncommon. Here is an other example from 2001. It's called the iPAD :-)

http://archive.linuxgizmos.com/lg-demonstrates-wireless-linux-web-p...

There are a lot more devides mentioned on LinuxDevices.com:

https://www.google.com/search?q=web+pad++site%3Aarchive.linuxgiz...

Edited 2014-04-16 17:50 UTC

Reply Score: 3

hobgoblin Member since:
2005-07-06

I am really glad he was able to reacquire the Linuxdevices archive once the company that bought the site was clearly going nowhere with it.

Here is one beauty:

http://archive.linuxgizmos.com/device-profile-pepper-pad-2-wireless...

Note that it is the second model of its kind, and the article is from 2004.

Reply Score: 3

tanishaj Member since:
2010-12-22

It wasn't so uncommon. Here is an other example from 2001. It's called the iPAD :-)


The best part of your link is this sentence:

The popularity of Web pads, once considered the ideal solution for home Internet use, has waned in recent months with 3Com pulling the plug on its Internet Appliance product line this week...

Reply Score: 2

Lennie Member since:
2007-09-22

I noticed it as well.

Not sure if it is a good part, it is kind of sad part in way.

Reply Score: 2

puenktchen Member since:
2007-07-27

-> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sony_eVilla

"After less than three months in the market, Sony discontinued the product on September 13, 2001"

There were several other similar products released in 2000/2001 which all failed miserably. Most were no tablets but stationary terminals, but there were also tablets:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/EPod

Nokia was rather late and the management didn't need to be very bright to see that the whole concept crashed and burned in the market.

Edited 2014-04-17 08:03 UTC

Reply Score: 3

It was called Joshua
by Snial on Wed 16th Apr 2014 18:30 UTC
Snial
Member since:
2011-12-30

Hi folks,

The baseporting project for Nokia's Web tablet was called Joshua and was developed by a small embedded team in Manchester, England.

I was part of that project - working on Bootloaders, Wlan (802.11b), USB HID drivers (yes you could connect USB keyboards to it as well as PS/2; however, USB OTG didn't exist then though it could be programmed to switch to device mode).

It was a really exciting project to work on - hard work, frantic hours, but the hardware inside (based on an Intel StrongArm 1110 at 206MHz) would have been relatively affordable.

The system used a stylus for pointing, but you could use your fingers, except that finger-based UIs hadn't been thought of (or at least we weren't aware of it). The UI of course was a UIQ precursor the one later adapted to the Sony Ericsson P800 / P900.

All real, and decent performance for the day.

We were sworn to secrecy about the project - Looks like Thom's broken the wall of silence, good on him :-) !

Reply Score: 14

Apple Newton
by Kishe on Wed 16th Apr 2014 20:06 UTC
Kishe
Member since:
2006-02-16

Apple had a tablet out back in 1987, but like how Nokia tablet wouldn't have, Newton couldn't do half the stuffs modern tablets could and flunked. Technology just wasn't ready.

It's all the matter of releasing right product at right time.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Apple Newton
by puenktchen on Wed 16th Apr 2014 20:30 UTC in reply to "Apple Newton"
puenktchen Member since:
2007-07-27

1987? 1993-1998 actually. The Newton 2000 from 1997 can browse the web, I don't see how this prototype is so different from it and countless other "web appliances" later.

It is the eco system which really made the difference for the iPad. Well size and price might have helped too.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Apple Newton
by hobgoblin on Thu 17th Apr 2014 11:11 UTC in reply to "RE: Apple Newton"
hobgoblin Member since:
2005-07-06

And new internals. The batteries were more energy dense, and the SOCs more potent. And wifi was by now everywhere.

Reply Score: 4

Re:
by kurkosdr on Wed 16th Apr 2014 21:31 UTC
kurkosdr
Member since:
2011-04-11

I am starting to think Scott Adams got inspiration for it's Dilbert cartoons by looking at Nokia.

In the cartoons, Dilbert's innovative projects get constantly shut down by the Pointy Haired Boss, only to be replaced by doomed projects.

Nokia had a fully working touchscreen interface, Series90/Hildon, which they shut down just before the touchscreen boom. It was replaced by a project that attempted to graft touchscreen support in S60 (S60v5 it was called). S60 was a Symbian interface which was never meant to support touch.

The reason? The PHBs at Nokia thought touchscreens were a passing-fad and the fad didn't warrant a seperate interface http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/03/10/nokia_ui_saga/

The real-life Dilberts who made Series90/Hildon must feel terrible.

PS: Then there is internal competition (Symbian vs MeeGo, even the Nseries and ESeries departments had some internal competition) and downright weird products (Nokia 7600) completing the DilbertCorp picture.

Edited 2014-04-16 21:38 UTC

Reply Score: 6

RE: Re:
by hobgoblin on Thu 17th Apr 2014 11:13 UTC in reply to "Re:"
hobgoblin Member since:
2005-07-06

Meh, this is large corporations (or any large organizational structure) in general.

Some companies dodge this by keeping things simple and focused, but most inevitably sprawl.

Never mind the whole innovators dilemma. One you can find in all kinds of fields, including entertainment and personal technology.

Reply Score: 4

v Just seen video LOL
by Tony Swash on Thu 17th Apr 2014 11:26 UTC
This makes me so sad.
by helf on Sun 20th Apr 2014 21:42 UTC
helf
Member since:
2005-07-06

EPOC is still one of my favorite mobile OSes. It was ridiculously efficient, fast, and advanced given the time and constraints of the hardware it ran on (My MX = 36mhz arm710, 16mb shared ram. My netBook wasn't much better at ~190mhz strongarm) and always snappy. OPL was simple to learn and how many devices, at the time (even now), came with their own programming environment built in?

*sigh*

I'd probably still be using my netBook if a power surge hadn't fried it.

Reply Score: 2