back to article Firm pitches tech trio powered by portable processor

CES 2012 Week Tech-design outfit I'm has unveiled ambitious plans for a collection of mobile devices which all run off a single, keyring-sized processing hub. I'm Core The I'm Core squeezes a quad-core processor, Sim card, GPS pick-up and Wi-Fi radio and more into a diddy unit which becomes the brains for a phone, tablet …

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Hope it's not vaporware

Awful name, but an incredibly nifty idea -- lose your phone? So what? It's just a thin client -- no worries, so long as you keep hold of the CPU attached to your keyring/necklace/ill-considered piercing.

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Coat

"Ill considered"? I think not!

All those piercings in "private" places were obviously smart people getting future-proofed for devices like these.

Now they're all healed up and ready to clip their CPU up to their *ahem*, who's the foolish one now?

You know, it does bring a whole new meaning to the phrase "F***ing computer!"...

Ok, I'm going, I'm going...

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Anonymous Coward

Just one question?

Where's the battery?

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indeed

my thoughts. Power is usually a premium. induction powered? Otherwise a neat idea. Bet it costs more than other fruit branded kit though.

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About time!

Ive wondered before why a "smartphone" needs to contain all the gubbins it does. My own idea was a "dumb" phone which does phone calls and text messages only, in a tiny package, then a "smart" termial, which can do all the cool stuff and uses the dumb phone for connectivity. This goes much further... I like it, I want it :)

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Anonymous Coward

And this stuff doesn't look at all like certain Apple products...

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Have you seen my phone?

Looks like a mess to me.

Which part rings? What happens when you take the screen to work and leave the other part at home? How big is the hub? Why would I want to carry and charge two gadgets to do the work of the one I have now? What happens when the girlfriend wants to watch TV but I'm out with the phone? Or use the computer whilst I'm watching the TV?

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Anonymous Coward

@How big is the hub?

'keyring-sized processing hub.' <<< from the first paragraph, just don't lose your keys! ;0)

Re your last two questions, I would hope that the various screens could be paired with multiple hubs to cover this (but also that some sort of secure pairing is required to prevent the finder of your keys accessing your data!)

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re: Have you seen my phone?

I think you might be missing the point. Your girlfriend will watch TV using her core gadget.

The screens just become peripherals anyone can use.

You walk into a hotel room, and the TV links to it.

You get on a plane/train/car and the display mounted in front of you links to it.

You sit at someones desk and you get your desktop on their display / keyboard / mouse / whatever.

You give a presentation and the projector links to it.

You're going out climbing/skiing/biking, so you take a bulky ruggerdised display to link to it.

You're going to work so you take you thin, large screen, iPhone-esque handset to link to it.

etc.

You upgrade to the new 4G 8-core version, and all the other screens/peripherals still work.

Lots of practical issues (battery life mostly) others have mentioned. But a very cool idea.

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Happy

This is where it's at!

I like this idea, I wonder if they'll allow other manufacturers to add devices to these 'circles' of theirs?

put the processing/identity components out of sight and hang the displays and i/o devices wirelessly off it.

Hopefully there will be some kind of encryption in the pairings so that people can't just use someone else's hub (and bandwidth etc).

Something biometric based on brainwave patterns? Oops, too star trek. Perhaps simply Kirlian field based then? Argh, wrong book this time.

well, whatever, you know what I really mean don't you? Something to authenticate the user properly

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Anonymous Coward

According to their website the matchbox sided core has a fingerprint reader.

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Happy

Interesting

Looks like an interesting bit of design, it may be something worth keeping an eye on.

However it all does look a bit "Apple-ly" and I'm sure that will have been noticed by other people on here. And before you ask, I'm not going to mention rounded corners as that "Joke" got old a long time ago...

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Sounds like a lot of things to lose

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jai
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can't it really stream all that display data wirelessly? or, more correctly, without annoying lag?

while i appreciate the cool concept, i'm dubious of how practical it'll be

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Anonymous Coward

Can it really stream all that display data wirelessly?

@jai - Can it really stream all that display data wirelessly? No

Can it really fit a CPU, wifi chip, sim card, battery, memory in a keyfob-size container? No

Can a keyfob size container really dissipate the heat of a CPU, etc? No

Sometime, maybe, but not this year and not next year.

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Ru

Can it really fit a CPU, wifi chip, sim card, battery, memory in a keyfob-size container? Yes. Do keep up; the graphics suggest quite a chunky keyfob, and there's more than enough room in that for a complete ARM SoC based device and little cell radio.

Can a keyfob size container really dissipate the heat of a CPU, etc? Yes. Heat output of small modern devices is low, because their power requirements are low. If the case is made of metal and thermally coupled to the hottest components, it may well dissipate heat more effectively than your mobile phone.

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Anonymous Coward

Do keep up...

@Ru - the watch made by this company has a useful battery life of 3 hours, and it's a lot bigger.

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Wireless problems

Like the idea, but can't help wonder about the inherent performance/latency issues with wireless. It will be especially noticeable with the displays.

I'll repeat - I would geniunely like to see this working. Even if the core device was Apple TV size, it would still be a practical proposition (though maybe not exactly pocket friendly).

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Not sure if this is just eye candy

...but the concept of a single, portable, ubiquitous computing device has always been something I have been enamored with - from the Atrix to the Transformer.

Don't get me wrong, there are still use cases for real laptops and desktops, but if we're not already here, we're pretty damn close to where 90+% of personal computing can be done with the next gen (like the Tegra 3) mobile processors. Why do I need 5 different mini-computers (smart phone, laptop, tablet, smart tv, in-car navigation) that don't really sync anything when one core device, OS and set of information could power it all assuming, of course, the interconnectivity is available.

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Anonymous Coward

But how good will it be for Angry Birds?

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Anonymous Coward

They do a wrist watch too

The video (http://www.imwatch.it/gb-en/smartwatch/about/) shows an android watch, I assume it needs the I'm Core in your pocket to work, but if so, I don't know why it's quite so chunky, so maybe it's a separate device from the rest of the I'm Circle technology which would be a pity.

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Would be nice if

you could get a watch which either doubled as, or had a space to dock, the "I'm Core". (God what an awful name, I seriously hope they call it something else if they ever make it to market.) Worried about losing it? Strap it to your wrist.

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Unhappy

Awful name

The worst name since "That's" tapes.

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Anny Nugent - But the real question is, Can I watch his girlfriend using her core gadget on TV?

Ideas like this are great, but until hell freezes over and the big hitters agree a common 'core brain' form factor, it'll never happen, because one or other of the peripherals will be utter toot and we'll never buy it.

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Nice idea

Good to see someone trying something new.

Problem is, Apple are going to be after the 'i'm' branding like a gastrically challenged cat after a litter box.

And the watch - the only item that isn't a 3D rendering - is actually kind of thick and ugly.

Will there be a music and content store to match iTunes? I'd guess not. But we'll see.

Still - it's impressive to see a design company trying to out-fruit the malean ones, and apparently succeeding.

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Looks like a promising idea, being able to use the same core for both a smartphone, tablet and a TV trims down the expense, though I'd imagine not by a lot given that screens comprise approximately 50% of the cost of a device, and you still need to include some basic processing power to recieve and authenticate the connection.

What I would be interested to find out is the effect on battery life; particularly as each component presumably carries their own power supply.

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Thin mobile clients

I'd like to see more of this type of tech being used. Who really needs all that power in lots of different devices when one device and a thin client device can do the same? I'd guess devices would need less power too. Hey why not a more powerful variant of these at every wifi access point?

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Anonymous Coward

Great

Now I've got TWO boxes to lug about. A keyfob is only handy if you carry your keys around with you (I don't: my door keys stay in the car, the car keys go in a coat pocket).

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