The most innovative tech company? Hint: Begins with “A”

Not Apple...

I’m gobsmacked.  Over time we have seen some great innovations and just when you think we’ve exhausted all options, someone comes along and offers something fresh.

We’ve seen the iPod come about and put portable music players on the map.  Sure, Diamond had the Rio PMP300 (which the first iPod looks like a streamlined, sexier version of) and Cowon had it’s early offerings as well as Archos with their Jukebox 6000 but Apple really got the market heated up.

We’ve also seen iPhones shake things up over the years – nothing was this slick with touchscreen before.  Yes, there were other touchscreen phones, but this had an ecosystem to go with it, it had the magic that only Apple could bring.

Since then, Android took a massive jump into the scene and has taken cues from iOS and in turn iOS has taken cues from Android.  All the developments have led to larger form factors in both phones and the form of tablets.

In the meantime, Notebooks were shrinking.  Firstly into Netbooks which, for all intents and purposes, are a dying breed.  Then screen size was becoming important again, so ultrabooks made more sense.  Slim it down, keep a lot of screen real-estate.  MacBook Air again was a pioneer in this space.  There was, what many believe, no stopping the Cupertino giant.

But this is not the company I’m talking about.

There are fantastic innovations from companies like Samsung who took the first brave step into Phablet territory.  They are among the main big guys like HTC who have pressured Apple into releasing a 4″ iPhone.  Then they venture into true multitasking.  Windowed apps which allow browsing in two windows, note-taking etc.

Sure, innovations are rife from big boys like Samsung.  But their tablets are tablets, their phones are phones, and, outside of phablet category, that’s about it (even with the S-Pen making sense as it does).

Roll on Windows 8 and ideas aplenty.  Surface RT, groovy, Sony’s efforts, everyone’s efforts, great.  But, oh, look at this… It’s Asus.  Just look at the video below – 8 minutes of your time well-spent:

Yes, the Transformer was genius, the Padfone not so much, but hey, Pad Infinity came out and it rocks, Padfone 2 looks much better and now this?!

The VivoTab is a massive, albeit subtle improvement on the current hybrid form factor.  Easier to detach than the current Android tabs, slicker connection point for the dock, plus it will have MS Office.  That blows Android’s Polaris offering out of the water.

However, the true gem I find is this bit of courageous ingenuity:


The TAICHI is an example of the creativity required to be called innovative.  Simple idea, just implemented so well, with purpose to boot.  The mirror and dual screen modes are a fantastic idea and possibilities have increased exponentially.  More importantly – CONNECT FOUR!

Connect Four! Courtesy of Wikipedia/Wikimedia user Silver Spoon

In any case, Asus were doing magical things before their Windows 8 offerings, but they’ve just trumped themselves again.  Being Asus there is every chance that the TAICHI will be a bit “meh” the first time around, but being that it’s not just another slide, swivel or dock, it’s a totally new idea they’re willing to try.  That is innovative, that takes balls and that’s what’s driving the industry.  Good work Asus.

(Engadget covers specs here for those that want to know, and they originally had a look at this back in June – the link to that is within theri article also – I’ve borrowed the image from their site, which I imagine is a press release image from Asus)


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