This isn’t the finished device though. It’s what team call ‘a reference device’. I guess it is really a prototype model and as such it doesn’t feel finished as yet. You can tell that there are still some decisions that will need to be taken about how the hardware will function, not huge decisions, but some more work is probably needed. However, the core of the design is solid and it’s something I think I could see myself using in the future.
One thing that I’d wondered about was how usable a touch screen above a keyboard would be. But after trying it out this seemed fine and wasn’t a problem after all, and I guess that this just shows that a great deal of work has gone into the design and usability of the Neiro already.
What about apps?
I got a try out a couple of the apps that are running on the prototype, the Korg Polysix (above) and also the Retronyms drum app which borrows a lot from Tabletop on the iPad. I got to see a few other apps as well, but as the screen size is fairly unique for Android there are only a handful of things that are designed to work with Neiro right now. However, expect that to change as they get nearer to their launch as Miselu are working with a number of developers who have plans to port their apps to the Neiro.
Why Android and what about latency?
I asked the team why they had decided to use Android and how they were addressing the latency issues associated with it.
In terms of the OS Miselu decided to use Android early on mainly because of the openness of the platform but recognising the shortcomings of it and the fact that it didn’t have many of the media components that developers have come to expect with iOS.
In terms of the latency that I’d normally expect from Android apps, the prototype was nowhere near as bad as I’d expected at all with the Korg Polysix running on their reference device. I’ve used a handful of Android devices and this device didn’t suffer from the issues that those have in terms of latency. In fact it was really quite reasonable when you take into account that this is not the finished hardware.
It turns out that addressing the latency issue is a lot to do with their SDK which is still in development but is something that Miselu have put a lot of time into in order to enable developers a straightforward solution to bringing their apps to the Neiro platform. This leads to lots of other exciting possibilities, but more of that another day I think.
So what comes next?
Well the Miselu team is getting bigger, they’ve got a lot to work on and some really great ideas on how Neiro will develop over time. The launch is still set to be in 2013 but I can’t tell you when in 2013 or where the price point will be.
It was great to meet the team this week and hear first hand what they’ve been doing and what they’ve got planned too.
And it was great to see the Neiro first hand at last.
I think that the Miselu have a great future ahead as does the Neiro, so keep an eye on what they’re up to over the coming months.
Why is the Neiro on ping pong table? That’s another story entirely.