seattlepi
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Pure Devices - RPi based appliance

Fri Aug 10, 2012 12:22 am

Hey - check it out - the company from Seattle is building a touchscreen device based on RPi. The claim is to build an Internet acccess device that is easier to use than iPad and apparently cheaper. puredevices.com

archisgore
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Re: Pure Devices - RPi based appliance

Fri Aug 10, 2012 7:57 pm

I'm one of the people involved in this project. Ever since the RPi came out, we were completely fascinated by what it can do. We took an early bet on putting it in a mainstream product that we think the world needs - guess the raspberry pi captured many many more imaginations too.

We do hope you check out the page and let us know what you think - all comments/criticisms/concerns are welcome.

sirkope
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Re: Pure Devices - RPi based appliance

Mon Aug 13, 2012 9:17 am

Pls, give us a link.

bredman
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Re: Pure Devices - RPi based appliance

Mon Aug 13, 2012 9:22 am

sirkope wrote:Pls, give us a link.
The address is in the first post.

xtramural
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Re: Pure Devices - RPi based appliance

Mon Aug 13, 2012 9:22 am

sirkope wrote:Pls, give us a link.
The clue was in the first posting - puredevices.com - which currently redirects to The Pure Device: A Simple Way to Stay Connected by Pure Devices — Kickstarter

Edit: beaten to the punch again! ;)


ghans
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Re: Pure Devices - RPi based appliance

Mon Aug 13, 2012 9:57 am

Why did you choose the Pi as base ?
I mean , the Pi is meant as educational device which motivates active exploring (breaking !) and fiddling around , not as a natural solution to communication needs. I think it might be hard to make people solve problems which evolve out of the Pi's nature if they want get things done in a easy and understandable way.

Anyway , love the concept and wish you the best of luck !

ghans

PS.: What does cloud mean ? Does no computation happen on the device itself ? That might be easier ?
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eluskin
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Re: Pure Devices - RPi based appliance

Tue Aug 14, 2012 8:13 am

Ghans - thank you for your comments. There are several reasons why we decided to go with RPi. Some of them we tried to cover in our video update that you can find here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v_qEWw4K-T4

First of all, we love the design of this board. It basically gives us everything we need at absolutely unbelievable price point and without the need to spend cash upfront for additional PCB manufacturing.

Second thing (which is definitely not less important) is a tremendous support from RPi community - the majority of questions we had were addressed almost immediately. So this allowed us to put together a prototype (which is closer to the final release than most prototypes I ever dealt with) very quickly and with minimal expenses. Having in mind that we are self funded at this stage - it was a big deal for us.

Yes, the majority of computation is offloaded to the cloud. This is one of the key elements of our solution. The GPU provides us with everything we need for client side final rendering, however pre-rendering for many things (web browsing, for instance) happens in the cloud. So we are ending up with almost desktop-like experience.

We'll see how Kickstarter campaign goes. A lot depends on it. If we get enough support from both the community and end customers then we can really turn this RPi-based product into mainstream.

Just for reference - here is the link: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/pur ... -connected

Thank you!
EL

archisgore
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Re: Pure Devices - RPi based appliance

Tue Aug 14, 2012 7:48 pm

You know, our pick of Raspberry Pi is an interesting story in and of itself. We first hit upon the problem of connecting people at home. Even now we're having trouble getting our story across on kickstarter because anyone who connects to kickstarter, already is connected. My mom however, still hasn't been able to visit our page to pledge for a device - because browsers don't always work, proxies in India are horrible, ISPs run bad DNS servers, etc. So it is a legitimate problem.

As we mentioned on the page, when working on this, and quite unrelated, the raspberry pi had begin shipping and it just naturally happened that three factors suddenly converged at the same time. Had the Raspberry Pi began shipping even a month later, we may have missed it.

We were looking for ways to manufacture our devices in the USA. We needed a standard board we could work off of. A lot of the good boards were either too obscure, or entirely (and unnecessarily) too complicated. We would also have to maintain ridiculously large in-house code repositories for fixes/ports that we made for those custom boards. The beauty of the raspberry pi is that if we do manage to aggressively optimize X Server, or get Wayland running on the GPU, we can push changes upstream and avoid maintaining our own complex repositories in-house and also obtain support from the community at large. Once we test something on one Raspberry Pi, all we need to do is image that on an SD card and can be reasonably sure it would work on any raspberry pi in the world.

So we whipped up a prototype over the weekend by putting the raspberry pi there, adding some glue logic to hold some software together, port some existing code we had running on other boards, and image it. It brings immense benefits to just about anyone really - the board has already passed any certifications it may require to be sold in the US, so we save on that whole complex cycle. The board provides standard ports so we don't have to go fiddling with wires and GPIO pins.

We get to focus on getting my grandma to talk to me with the touch of a.... virtual button.

(Incidentally, my next Raspberry Pi is another 6 weeks away, so it'll be some time before my grandma gets the next prototype I can build.)

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DexOS
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Re: Pure Devices - RPi based appliance

Fri Aug 17, 2012 8:54 pm

This topic made me laugh, the first post for example made by someone that's just joined, post about a project.
Then the second poster that just happened to see the first post, also just joined.
Maybe if the PI was such a big part of your project you would of joined before now and would of posted more than twice.
Why did you not just post that you are part of a project that maybe of interest to forum members ?.

I am just waiting for Jeremy Beadle to pop back from the grave and say you have been framed, its that bad.
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ghans
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Re: Pure Devices - RPi based appliance

Mon Aug 20, 2012 7:52 am

@DexOS
Couldn't it have been a honest mistake ? They could have just forgot to join before.

@others
This makes sense to me - thanks for explaining. Sounds all way cooler now.
Sadly i'm currently utterly broke :(
Wish you the best of luck !

ghans
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DexOS
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Re: Pure Devices - RPi based appliance

Mon Aug 20, 2012 10:52 pm

ghans wrote:@DexOS
Couldn't it have been a honest mistake ? They could have just forgot to join before.
But the main problem is the idea is wrong, a lot of talking without saying anything.
I mean look how fast it is in the mock ups, but thats all it is, look at the time, it never changes.
Example, you have 20 members all highly trained in IT, so why do they not just put $7,500 each in of there own money ?, if they think it such a great idea.
And if its cloud based it should work from any device with a browser.
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mikegrimwade
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Re: Pure Devices - RPi based appliance

Tue Aug 21, 2012 7:36 am

@DexOS

Hi DexOS

I'm not a part of this project but I have been aware of it for some time and I've been a member of the RPi forums even longer. Firstly let me point out that Pure Devices are not a 20 strong team, just look at the photo. There are 12 of them (13 if you count the baby).

Secondly they most likely have already invested a lot of money between them to get to this stage. Even when working from somebody's garage It is not cheap to build a prototype such as this.

Why you doubt the speed in the demo's is beyond me. Is it really so unbelievable that someone can produce slick non-bloatware code that runs well? Surely we all remember the videos of quake running beautifully on the RPi. Did you doubt the authenticity of those videos too? Maybe the clock is not working yet but it's called a prototype / mock up for good reason. It's still in development.

I would have to agree with your statement that any device with a browser could run a cloud based OS but I feel you're missing the point. Such a device running Windows OS or some Linux distribution also comes with wonderful tools such as YaST, Control Panel, DOS and bash. While these tools are great fun for us tech heads to play with they are a mine field for non technical users such as the elderly. A wrong click or accidental command could lead to a $1000 desktop brick that will most likely cost them $100 in engineer call out fees alone.

All that aside look at what you're getting for your money ... A 19"-21" touch screen integrated computing device that just works. If you know of another similar device at that price point ($399) please point me to it. Plus if you back the project with $200 (limited offer) you are getting it even cheaper. Even if you don't like the cloud idea it's worth that amount just to have the hardware to hack around with.

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rurwin
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Re: Pure Devices - RPi based appliance

Tue Aug 21, 2012 8:38 am

There's two things that would stop me buying one for my mother-in-law.

1. How long are the cloud services and support going to stick around for? $399 is a lot of money for a tablet that will die when you go bust.
2. At 19-21" it is a major piece of furniture. I can see why you have gone that big, but I really don't see she has anywhere to put it.

Another concern would be email. A lot of the ladies this is aimed at will have serious typing skills (aged fingers permitting) that you or I could only dream of. Are you limiting them to a touch screen keyboard mounted vertically? I can see that driving them crazy.

$399 is a one-off cost, but support and hosting are ongoing. Is there an annual fee that you haven't mentioned or is your cash-flow bug-ridden?

So the solution I would like to see would be a box to connect to the TV with a magic-wand pointer and a real keyboard. But to really seal the deal, an arrangement with a major company to provide hosting and support for at least three years after purchase, or for the hardware to be leased with a monthly fee covering support, hosting and connectivity.

mikegrimwade
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Re: Pure Devices - RPi based appliance

Tue Aug 21, 2012 9:46 am

@rurwin

I can totally see where you're coming from with your comments. As I've previously stated I'm not a part of the project so cannot vouch for the interface but hopefully they will provide at least a couple of USB ports for connection of devices such as the Visionboard2 keyboard (http://www.touchbrite.com/products/visi ... y-keyboard).

The ability to connect such a product would certainly make typing easier for the older user although not all elderly people would need it. Not everyone over the age of 65 loses their manual dexterity and a lot of would have no problem typing on screen. Although to be frank even at the tender age of 34 (yes I'm not elderly but I still want one) I would rather use a proper physical keyboard to type anything longer than a short SMS message. So yes I would hope the device includes some USB connectivity.

As for not having somewhere to put the device? I think that's a little unfair if your dear old granny is going to get online she is going to need a device of some kind and the footprint of this one is looking far less substantial than some of the alternatives. Personally I was considering placing mine on the kitchen wall. So I can watch video, make Skype calls or lookup recipes while I cook.

I also think it's worth mentioning that the CEO of Pure Devices also founded another company called Lagotek which specialises in home automation. It's only speculation but I can see the potential for some crossover of the technologies here. With future development I can foresee the device also serving as a control device that can turn out the lights or control the heating etc.

Remember the device is still at the development stage and the final details are not yet set in stone. They haven't even made a final decision on the screen size yet (I for one would like to see it ship with a lovely 21" of screen) and decisions such as "do we include USB ports?" can still be influenced by the feedback of the community.

You also mentioned that you would like to see would be a box to connect to the TV with a magic-wand pointer and a real keyboard (Sounds like a Wii to me). The good news here is that you can already get TV's with this technology built in (Take a look at the Samsung or LG website). The downside here is not only that these systems are a little slow and clunky but that they are accompanied with massive price tags. Plus wouldn't the same users that are struggling with the touchscreen keyboard also struggle with the magic wand? My experience of using the Wiimote as a point and click device is that it can be really tricky to hold it still enough to click on the average web hyperlink.

Pure Devices are not promising to bring computing to every OAP out there. The device would probably not be suitable for somebody suffering with advanced parkinson's disease or severe visual impairments. They are simply trying to bridge this generational gap somewhat and make the technology we all are so used to using less intimidating for those that grew up without it. I think it's a good cause and they should be applauded for trying what many of the bigger companies shy away from because there is just not enough profit in it for them.

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rurwin
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Re: Pure Devices - RPi based appliance

Tue Aug 21, 2012 10:01 am

I think you mis-understood my keyboard point.

My point is not that they couldn't use a touch-keyboard, but that many of these people are used to using a real keyboard at upwards of 60 words-per-minute. Even if stiff joints prevent them attaining the same speed, they will be used to the technique, which does not transfer to either touch technology or a vertical keyboard.

The solution however is, as you state, an available USB port and software capable of using an external keyboard. One can hope.

I wish them well; it's a laudable goal. I just hope they don't leave loads of customers with an expensive brick.

mikegrimwade
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Re: Pure Devices - RPi based appliance

Tue Aug 21, 2012 10:27 am

:oops: I just re-read your post slowly and you're right I did misunderstand your keyboard point.

I think it's fair to say we both agree on the need for a keyboard though. Anyone watching me try to send a text message to my wife on my touch-screen phone would agree I need a full size keyboard too. Especially with my fat fingers.

I also totally understand your concerns over ongoing service continuity. I still don't exclusively trust the cloud with my photos and I don't think I ever will. Who knows when flickr will have to pull the plug? and then bang, there go all those precious memories. Always backup to DVD I say.

The concerns of Richard Stallman aside though the cloud does seem to be the way of the future. Major phone manufacturers have even started shipping phones without removable SD card storage offering instead Gb of online storage with sites like dropbox. How we are to trust the companies providing these online services not to fly by night is still somewhat of a mystery to me but I want to at least try and get on board.

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DexOS
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Re: Pure Devices - RPi based appliance

Tue Aug 21, 2012 2:44 pm

I do not want to pick on this project, the people behind it may have put a lot of work into it, but it will not work.
At the same time there is a need for such a device, but to make it work you have to think out of the box.
You seem to of banded the right words, but theres nothing in this project thats not in 1000 of others.
Cloud for example, its the latest buzz word, lets add that investors will love that, just like in the good old ".com" days, that was the buzz work back in the late 1990s.
If you want a device that's easy to use by anyone (note: some of the most geeky people i know are 60 + ) who's not a geek, then you need to make it easy to use, not just say its easy to use.

Now to make something easy to use, you need to go against what geeks want and as most geeks develop these devices, theres the problem.

First what devices do non geeks find easy to use, answer games sys and i-pads, tv's, mobile phones, washing machines, micro waves etc.

You maybe surprised to see i-pads and game sys in theres, but i have found non-geeks can in next to no time workout how to use these devices.

Now you need to find the common string that runs through these devices.
From my observations the answer is single-tasking, people by nature are single taskers.
And visionaries like Steve jobs new this, game sys are single taking too.
For a OS to be easy for non geek, it needs a single path of execution.
I mean the i-pad is not a single tasking OS, but it only runs a single task at a time.
And we all know what the biggest selling device is and the richest Co is.

Heres some articles that may help you:
http://www.techradar.com/news/software/ ... ems-934484
http://royal.pingdom.com/2008/09/26/10- ... he-future/
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rurwin
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Re: Pure Devices - RPi based appliance

Tue Aug 21, 2012 3:14 pm

but, but, but, this device does seem to be single-tasking, in precisely the same way as an iPad and game system.

This device does bring something new to the table, and that is the mediated experience. (See In The Beginning Was The Command Line -- Neal Stephenson) Amstrad tried it once, but with telephones and a horrible screen. Strangely enough they must have made money from it because it's still going.

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DexOS
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Re: Pure Devices - RPi based appliance

Tue Aug 21, 2012 5:47 pm

So, so, so how much have you pledged rurwin ?
rurwin wrote: Amstrad tried it once, but with telephones and a horrible screen. Strangely enough they must have made money from it because it's still going.
And that was a big flop, its only still going because sugars got a warehouse full of them :lol: .
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mikegrimwade
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Re: Pure Devices - RPi based appliance

Tue Aug 21, 2012 7:27 pm

DexOS wrote:Cloud for example, its the latest buzz word, lets add that investors will love that, just like in the good old ".com" days, that was the buzz work back in the late 1990s./
Yes and we all know how .com completely disappeared into complete obscurity never to be seen again. Cloud may indeed be a buzz word but there is no smoke without fire. People throw the word around as though it is the future of computing but the truth is that cloud computing has been around a lot longer that the word itself and we've all been using the cloud for some time.
DexOS wrote:First what devices do non geeks find easy to use, answer games sys and i-pads, tv's, mobile phones, washing machines, micro waves etc./
Depending on your definition of non-geek here I'd agree (although I'm about as geeky as they come and I often struggle with washing machines) but the target market for this device is the elderly and I'm afraid you're sorely mistaken if you think that all elderly consumers get on with these devices.

Mobile phones in particular can be terribly hard for some to use. Hence if you look carefully you will find a whole market of mobile phones that try and cater for the older market. (See http://www.thecheaplaptops.co.uk/big-bu ... p-120.html for one example).

What many people seem to forget is that having grown up with technology, just how much intuitive knowledge we have acquired about these technologies. For example we recognise the universal symbol seen on almost all power buttons without even thinking about it. We also almost all know that to turn a mobile phone off you usually hold down the power button for a few seconds. Having spoken with "Care in the community" workers as part of my job in the NHS. I know a that for many elderly people this intuitive knowledge is just not there. I suppose they could read the manuals but most devices tend not to come with them anymore if you're lucky you'll get a Getting Started card and a PDF file on a CD.
DexOS wrote:You maybe surprised to see i-pads and game sys in theres, but i have found non-geeks can in next to no time workout how to use these devices./
Again I think the reason we (geek or non-geek) can pick up and use these devices without any formal training on that specific device is that we have been trained how to over many years. We look for that power button symbol to turn it on and within an hour or two we've mastered it. These devices are designed to be intuitive and easy to use for the mass consumer market.
DexOS wrote:And we all know what the biggest selling device is and the richest Co is./
Yes yes and we all know that company is also rapidly losing out on market share for their mobile phone devices to their increasingly cloud based competitors.

I think your focus on the ease of use is also leaving you slightly blinkered to the other big point here. The guys at Pure Devices want to make a device that older users will not be afraid to mess up by clicking on the wrong icon or downloading the wrong app.

No one device will get all the older generation online, the needs of this rapidly growing market are too disparate for any one device to achieve that. But any attempt to do so deserves a little support in my book.

Also as a geeky tech head who loves his Raspberry Pi's I really want one! I mean come on, it's a RPi with an integrated touch screen that can be mounted on the wall. Even if you tear off the Pure Device OS, re-image it with RaspBMC and never use the cloud service itself it has to be worth the pledge of $200.

One final point. This is a commercial device with the potential to sell thousands of units worldwide every one of them containing a RPi. Assuming as forum members we are all behind the Raspberry Pi Foundation and it's primary goals then this project should be seen as a positive thing. Each device Pure Devices sell will mean more money for the foundation. Remember the foundation is a registered charity and every sale counts.

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DexOS
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Re: Pure Devices - RPi based appliance

Tue Aug 21, 2012 9:52 pm

mikegrimwade wrote:
DexOS wrote:And we all know what the biggest selling device is and the richest Co is.
Yes yes and we all know that company is also rapidly losing out on market share for their mobile phone devices to their increasingly cloud based competitors.
You need to do a bit more reading on cloud computing and Steve Jobs the visionary.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Or7zaUaP ... r_embedded
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mikegrimwade
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Re: Pure Devices - RPi based appliance

Tue Aug 21, 2012 11:45 pm

I refuse to get into an argument with you about the Apple company. I have no problem with the company only those who hold them up like idols and expect all to worship.

You think Jobs was so visionary because he talked of something like the cloud computing model back in 1997. I suggest you look further back in time to the early 60s and examine the works of John McCarthy. Or maybe if you have time look into a chap called Herb Grosch who spoke about very similar topics to Jobs in that video. Except that was back in the 1950s.

thexman
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Re: Pure Devices - RPi based appliance

Sat Sep 15, 2012 9:25 pm

my 10p worth for some one who isn't part of the Pure team why are you posting such feedback to people with the detail you do..

suspect the owner trying to get the kick starter backing it looks good but my parents wont even have a mobile phone BT for them is all they need and why burden them with a system that is Cloud based when it appears clown based..
one armed controls engineer, my grammar is bad but lets face it most keyboards don't suit a one armed man

mikegrimwade
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Re: Pure Devices - RPi based appliance

Sat Sep 15, 2012 11:39 pm

thexman wrote:my 10p worth for some one who isn't part of the Pure team why are you posting such feedback to people with the detail you do..
I don't know how I can prove I'm not a part of the Pure Devices team other than to say I live on the south coast of england and the Pure team is in seattle. That would be one hell of a commute. As for the actual detail of my responses. You'll find nothing in my responses that is not available online and mainly on the kickstarter site itself. If it helps you can see my facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/grimwadem granted I could have gone to great lengths to fake this but if you believe that then there is nothing I could do that will convince you otherwise.
thexman wrote:suspect the owner trying to get the kick starter backing it looks good but my parents wont even have a mobile phone BT for them is all they need and why burden them with a system that is Cloud based when it appears clown based..
If your parents choose not to go online then that is fine. That is their choice. But there are many who would like to get online but are uncomfortable with the technology involved in doing so. My gran would love to have a device that would allow her to easily get onto facebook and see the latest photos of her grandchildren.

On what basis do you claim the system is clown based? It really bugs me when people put down and complain about something being rubbish or useless without proposing any kind of coherent argument to back up the claim.

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