Ubuntu Edge

Canonical's dual-booting halo device will bring the specs every enthusiast has been asking for, provided it meets the $32 million funding goal

We just got off a call with Canonical, the folks behind the Ubuntu operating system, where we learned all about their latest project -- The Ubuntu Edge. The Edge will be an extremely high-spec'd convergence device, which dual-boots both Android and Ubuntu, and is ready to attach to a monitor and keyboard to make a full featured desktop replacement.

The Edge is being announced as an Indiegogo campaign, and Canonical is looking for a whopping $32 million. Mark Shuttleworth, Canonical founder, spent a while talking about this decision, as well as where Ubuntu is in the mobile world. Read past the break for more, as well as a few videos and more pictures.

The Ubuntu Edge indiegogo campaign page

Canonical feels there is an innovation gap between currently available products and future products. He feels that manufacturers want to build the products of the future, complete with amazing hardware specifications, but they are hampered by companies dictating hardware requirements and a perceived lack on financial backing. In short -- they can't build devices with tomorrows specs because folks like Apple or Microsoft tell them what hardware they have to use, and the average consumer won't want to foot the bill for a true premium device.

Canonical aims to change this through their Ubuntu Edge crowd funding project. Hosted by Indiegogo, Shuttleworth feels they can raise the needed $32 million to build and supply enthusiasts with a phone that fills their need for amazing hardware and design. If the project takes off, it may be handed off to a manufacturer to be built as a consumer device -- Canonical does not want to go into the business of making phones.

There's a lot of talk about the Edge, but what makes it special, and what makes it something people will want to spend $600 or more on at Indiegogo to fund the project and get a device? A look at the specifications answers most of those questions.

  • Dual-boot Ubuntu Edge into either Ubuntu or Android, and convert into a fully integrated Ubuntu desktop PC
  • Fast and powerful device with quad-core CPU and at least 4GB RAM
  • 128GB of storage for photos, music, content
  • 4.5in 1,280 x 720 display with scratch-resistant Sapphire crystal glass, the hardest natural substance after diamond
  • Camera made for low-light, fast response and close up pictures: 8mp rear camera, 2mp front
  • Faster connection all over the world with dual-LTE, dual-band 802.11n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4, NFC
  • Stereo speakers (Active Noise Cancelation)
  • Connect to HDMI TVs and monitors easily with MHL connector, 3.5mm jack

Shuttleworth feels these minimum specs will allow for a competitive desktop style experience from a secure mobile device. Enthusiasts and early adopters will love the hardware, and the enterprise can have a single device that covers the mobile and thin-client PC space.

Folks who agree and participate in the funding campaign will receive one of these beauties come May 2014 -- if the campaign is successful. Keep reading for some videos and the full press release.

 

 

CANONICAL LAUNCHES BIGGEST EVER CROWDFUNDING CAMPAIGN TO DEVELOP GROUNDBREAKING UBUNTU EDGE SUPERPHONE / PC COMBINATION

$32 Million, 30 Day Indiegogo Campaign Kicks Off July 22

London, 22nd July 2013 - Canonical today launches the biggest ever crowdfunding campaign to develop the Ubuntu Edge, converging mobile convenience with desktop power in a single device. The campaign aims to raise an unprecedented $32 million (£21.5 million) over 30 days on Indiegogo, for a limited production run of 40,000 devices.

Ubuntu Edge aims to be a catalyst for mobile innovation as well as hardware and software development. By supporting Ubuntu Edge, the Indiegogo and Ubuntu communities will be accelerating the adoption of these new technologies in mass-market consumer phones. Backers committing $600 (£394) on day one, or $830 (£532) thereafter, will receive one of these groundbreaking mobile devices in May 2014.

“Ubuntu Edge is the ultimate convergence device - challenging established norms for PCs and smartphones,” said Mark Shuttleworth, Founder of Ubuntu. “The crowdfunding approach is a new way to prove demand for cutting edge technologies and new classes of devices; supporting the Ubuntu Edge is the best way to catalyze the next generation of personal devices from the industry.”

The Ubuntu Edge will dual-boot Ubuntu phone OS and Android, and will transform into a PC when docked with a monitor, with the full Ubuntu desktop and shared access to all the phone’s files. For this it needs the power of a PC, so Ubuntu Edge will be equipped with the latest, fastest components and a massive 128GB of storage. The exquisitely crafted device replaces the traditional glass screen with a pure Sapphire crystal, so tough it could only be scratched by diamond. It will also pioneer the use of long-life silicon anode battery technology. A special dual-LTE solution will all allow high-speed roaming with access to 4G-LTE broadband in both Europe and the US.

According to a recent report from The NPD Group1, 37 percent of consumers who used to access content on their PCs have switched to tablets and smartphones. Gartner also reported that worldwide PC shipments in Q1 2013 have dropped to their lowest levels since Q2 20092. Upon completion, the Ubuntu Edge will be the realization of Canonical’s disruptive vision for a single operating system driving phones, tablets, conventional computers and TVs.

“The rise of smartphones and the recognition that productivity still requires a PC form factor suggest a great opportunity for a truly converged device,” comments Victor Palau, VP Mobile Delivery at Canonical. “This campaign aims to deliver the finished article.”

“To make the future of mobile happen we’ll have to smash every record in crowdfunding history,” added Shuttleworth. “But if there are enough enthusiasts who want the ultimate in performance, storage, screen, battery and bandwidth, Ubuntu Edge will be the catalyst for awesome innovation, and a taste of the future of the phone.”

Ubuntu Edge specifications: (subject to change)

  • Dual-boot Ubuntu Edge into either Ubuntu or Android, and convert into a fully integrated Ubuntu desktop PC
  • Fast and powerful device with quad-core CPU and at least 4GB RAM
  • 128GB of storage for photos, music, content
  • 4.5in 1,280 x 720 display with scratch-resistant Sapphire crystal glass, the hardest natural substance after diamond
  • Camera made for low-light, fast response and close up pictures: 8mp rear camera, 2mp front
  • Faster connection all over the world with dual-LTE, dual-band 802.11n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4, NFC
  • Stereo speakers (Active Noise Cancellation)
  • Connect to HDMI TVs and monitors easily with MHL connector, 3.5mm jack

To get involved and become part of this community, visit http://igg.me/at/ubuntuedge.