By >Daimaou - G.G-B
[Hands-On] NTT East new Android i-Frame concept
Announced last week in Japan, we finally had the chance to spend some quality time with NTT East new Andoird i-Frame concept in order to give more information on this new and interesting concept.
First of all, it is important to remember that this product is so far a concept and not final, meaning that both the actual design and name may change at its launch around March 2010.
The most commonly mistake that we all made with the i-Frame is that in fact our product is not your average Digital Picture frame but rather a Hybrid between a web tablet and a mobile phone. Technically speaking, the i-Frame is very similar to many other Japanese handset, but features a nice 7” (800×480) touchscreen and look very similar to a MID or Webtablet (call it whatever you want). Specs also includes a USB 2.0 port, Wifi BG, support of JPEG, MP3 and Flash, as well as being 100% build on Google android OS.
With a mostly active females target in their 20 to 34, so despite running Android, this i-Frame is not intended to the geek in you, and to be more precise this i-Frame is intended to people who does not want the burden of a PC at home but want more than their Phone.
Also it is very important to keep in mind, that in Japan things are very different from the rest of the world, where in fact young generations are for the most past computer illiterate and does everything, from web surfing, email, purchasing goods and Mp3, watching Video to SNS on their phone, wherever they want and whenever they want.
With this in mind, NTT East came with the i-Frame where NTT will offer, unfortunately, a close experience with at the beginning a limited number of application targeted to this audience, ranging from the recipe app, News App, Photo and Mp3 player, Web browser and so on…
At the beginning, there will be not Office like suite or solution (and maybe never), or email client, everything will have to be done via the Web.
Granted this i-Frame is just a concept and many thing will change in the near future, so only time will tell us, but so far NTT will only provide a simplistic and close experience in order to make sure that its client target will not be too much lost when booting up the i-Frame.
Despite the fact that NTT decided to choose an Open platform, mainly in order to reduce both development time and cost, NTT will lock the i-Frame out of the Android market, not because the i-Frame is not capable technically speaking to support applications offered on the Android Marketplace, but rather than NTT has nothing to win by offering this service, indeed, NTT is thinking of providing its very own marketplace where all revenue stream will be taken care by NTT. So basically if you want to propose a software for the i-Frame you will have to contact first NTT who will decide whether or not to accept it on its i-Frame store and get most probably a certain fee from your work… Exactly like what Apple is doing witch its iTunes store.
Now this said, the i-Frame is still for me a very interesting product, and not opening the i-Frame to the Marketplace (I love the irony here of closing an Open OS), this product is dedicated to a very particular target, which has very different needs from ours and controlling the user experience here does not seems to me a bad idea at all.
NTT knows what is doing and they are clever enough to make sure that the product they will put on the market will perfectly fit the needs of their future clients in many aspects. Now for the rest of us we just hope to see something equivalent coming from either NTT or another company with a more appealing line-up and solution.