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EGGing on Android

How the Zii EGG OEM Device Points to Android's Future

The Zii EGG has fascinating hardware specs, starting with its StemCell architecture and “multi-gesture” display. If this were a consumer device, it would be interesting. If it were a consumer Android device, it would be a significant advance, due to its processing power, dual cameras, HDMI out, and so on.As the foundation for “creating compelling 'own brand' media-rich devices and applications”, it, and devices like it, are the future.To see what I mean, let's go back in time about one year. An Australian firm, Kogan Technologies, announced that they would be distributing an Android-powered phone. Months later, that device has yet to materialize, in part because Kogan was a bit ahead of the curve.The Zii EGG could not serve as a Kogan device, simply because the EGG lacks a GSM or CDMA radio. However, it seems reasonable that EGG-like off-the-shelf OEM Android phones will follow the EGG into the market. Then, Kogan could have an Android device simply by placing an order, getting their name slapped on the devices, and having a shipping container or two of them shipped Down Under.Now the hardware side of building an “own-brand” mobile device becomes comparatively easy, easier even than traditional device OEM deals. Yet you won't find devices like the Zii EGG sporting many other mobile operating systems, like iPhone or Palm, because those operating systems' owners only use their OS themselves.Android also keeps the software side simpler than the normal domain of OEM deals. Not only does Android offer higher-level frameworks, many Java-based, than do many a home-grown embedded OS, but by being open and being deployed many places, more developers will have Android skills than will have skills those home-grown embedded OSes.So if the hardware and the software get simpler, the limiting factors for mobile technology become  having available ideas and solid execution of those ideas. Those are daunting, but many firms feel confident in their ability to generate ideas and execute — otherwise, they probably would not be in business. The net: we should see an explosion of niche mobile technology, where firms develop apps that can run on some ordinary Android devices but “work best” on devices like the Zii EGG that bear their own brand. Firms who might not have even dared get into mobile technology may find themselves mobile device vendors. Even organizations not traditionally involved in hardware might join in — can you imagine the EFF offering a vetted Android device that is guaranteed not to have malware?An exciting future awaits, as we wait for this Android EGG to hatch.

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