Central regions | Technology & innovation

Russia to launch shock-resistant and water-resistant tablet computer

4 Sep '12
East-West Digital News, the international resource on Russian digital industries, reported earlier today that last week the Moscow Engineering and Physics Institute (MIFI) presented the prototype of the first Russian-made tablet computer to Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin.

The 10-inch wide device uses a specially designed operating system, named RoMOS (which stands for Russian Mobile Operating System), derived from Googles Android platform. The OS has all the functionality of Android, but does not contain the ability to secretly send users personal data to Googles headquarters, MIFIs Andrew Starikovsky told Rogozin, Interfax reported.

The tablets built-in geolocation functions will combine GPS and Glonass, the Russian satellite based navigation system.

A shock-resistant and water-resistant version of the tablet is intended for use by the military, with its release scheduled for late 2012. A version for the general public will also be launched, at a later stage, at a cost of 15,000 rubles (approximately $500).

Some of the components will be imported, and the assembly will be carried out by a Russian-based leading defense institute. We excluded Google Market from it for safety reasons, said Starikovsky.

Last year, Rusnano planned to introduce tablets in Russian schools based on the technology of Plastic Logic, a world leader in plastic electronics, in which the Russian nanotech giant had invested hundreds of million dollars.

But Plastic Logic announced recently its exit from the e-reader market, under a new strategy focused on making its flexible plastic display technology available to other manufacturers.

Plastic Logics technology was too expensive to compete with other e-reader manufacturers. A robust e-reader that would be safe in the hands of a clumsy child isnt a viable product in this market, said Lux Research analyst Jon Melnick in an exchange with the science magazine Nature. At a cost of four or five times what a traditional e-reader costs, it just isnt worth it. No kid is that clumsy.

As a result of this new strategy, the company will close its U.S. development facility, while a center of excellence for plastic electronics R&D will be developed in Russia.
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