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Singapore's Fusion Garage phoenix to rise from JooJoo

Ross O. Storey | Nov. 12, 2010
New funding achieved for a whole new range of 2011 tablet devices'

SINGAPORE, 12 NOVEMBER 2010 - Pioneering Singapore Web tablet developer Fusion Garage says it has evolved a brand new product line for launch in the first half of 2011, after the lessons learnt from the trouble-prone 12.1 inch touchscreen device JooJoo.

Fusion Garage CEO Chandrasekar Rathakrishnan says the JooJoo will be retired by the end of this year, to be replaced by products a new family of tablets - for which the company has created a user-experience we believe will stun' everyone.

We are striving to re-create the ah moment' of the iPhone and I am sure you will look back at this (new product range) and say it is streets ahead, Rathakrishnan said.

Investors in Fusion Garage have been so impressed and enthused by the new developments, the CEO says he has attracted an additional US$5 million in funding, with a further $5 million to come in the next six months.

Fusion Garage now has a new 7,000 sq ft headquarters in Singapore with 40 staff, plus software development offices in Bangalore, India and Nanjing, China. The CEO said by the end of the year, there will be 60 people working for Fusion Garage.

JooJoo technology evolved

There is a lot of excitement in the air and we are expanding to a new level, he said. After the JooJoo issues, we realised the technology it used was applicable to more than one device and we have evolved it from there.  

Rathakrishnan said that, despite negative feedback about the JooJoo, which he acknowledges was launched prematurely and was a vision ahead of its time, a deal has been clinched which will exhaust the remaining JooJoo inventory.

JooJoo's format has appealed to the medical, transportation, logistics and advertising industries but we have secured a vertical market deal that will have JooJoo disappear from shelves before the end of the year, he said.

Whatever the new JooJoo 2.0 devices will be called, the CEO said they will not be continuing with the 12.1 inch screen format, which will be broadened for the new devices.

Multi-tasking enhanced

The new range, to be announced in the first half of 2011, will take multi-tasking to a new level and also involve messaging, SMS and Skype.

They will also not be backwards compatible because Fusion Garage is starting from scratch with a fundamentally different new operating system (OS).

Rathakrishnan said the OS for the new devices will be based, in part, on Android, using the Android kernel, but with changes to the Android architecture. He said other manufacturers who have used Android have simply wrapped it in a new skin, but Fusion Garage has taken it much further.

We will be a multi-device company in 2011, he said.


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