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FAQ

  1. What is the GoPad’s Value Proposition?

    • It gives you a wearable touchscreen that’s 4 times bigger than the screen on your smartphone.
    • While you’re in motion, you can either snap the GoPad open to use the touchscreen hands-free or else snap it shut to carry the tablet like a shoulder-bag.
    • When you stop at a desk, the GoPad’s integrated stand deploys instantly for increased productivity.  If you connect to a keyboard, mouse and monitor then your desktop experience is like using a laptop.
    • GoPad gives you smartphone mobility and laptop productivity in a single device.
    • Its integrated “GoBag” accessory gives you both a screen protector and a shoulder-bag in one accessory.
    • Its integrated “GoBelt” accessory enables you to wear and use your tablet while doing physically demanding work or play.
    • Wearing a GoPad protects your tablet better than putting it in a hand-held protective box.
  2. What is the GoPad’s target market?

    • Industrial users were the GoPad’s first target market
      • Approximately 1000 first-generation “GoPads for iPad2” were test marketed and a strong majority of those sales were to industrial users.  Here is a list of their business sectors and applications: 
        • Healthcare:
          Doctors working on hospital wards have reported that wearing a GoPad enabled them to access digital patient records more efficiently than when carrying their tablet by hand.  Wheelchair-bound and bed-ridden patients have also benefitted from using a GoPad to hold their tablet.  The trend towards increased telemedicine and homecare will open other health related market niches. 
        • Construction:
          Architects, Engineers, Surveyors, Building Inspectors and various trades workers have successfully used first-generation GoPads on jobsites.  As tablets become more prevalent in manufacturing, GoPad’s hands-free wearability will enable new shop floor applications for tablets.
        • Warehousing:
          GoPads are being used in several warehousing and logistics facilities where workers can now easily switch between administrative tasks on their tablet and physical tasks handling material. Applications include managing operations in a lumberyard and managing overnight shelf restocking in a Big Box store. 
        • Education:
          Several University Professors are using GoPads to enable them to wander about their lecture hall while controlling its overhead projector.  Other public speakers have used it for displaying notes and a music teacher uses one to display musical scores while conducting choir practice.  Several sports coaches have used them as an electronic clipboard, both behind the bench and out on the field. Students have yet to discover GoPad however the latest design improvements are aimed at the fashion-conscious youth market (see FAQ #11).  We expect that the trend towards online learning and digital textbooks will make GoPad a common sight on campus.
        • Service Industries:
          Restaurant workers, municipal workers, door to door canvassers, building maintenance workers and security workers have all purchased first generation GoPads.  A multi-national bank is experimenting with using them to help serve customers as they wait in line as well as for soliciting enrolment into credit card and loyalty plans.
        • Sales and marketing:
          Real Estate Agents are using GoPads for displaying online information to prospective buyers during house tours as well as to gather information for listing new properties.  Several “Experiential Marketers” in Europe are using GoPads to carry out promotional campaigns in shopping malls and bars. We see great potential for GoPad wherever mobile Point Of Sale applications are being implemented. 
        • Commuting
          GoPad commuters report that whether they are web surfing while standing at a bus stop or catching up on email while riding to work, wearing a large touchscreen gives them a more comfortable and productive commuting experience than when using either a smartphone or a laptop.
    • The New GoPad also targets consumers

      Feedback from those early adopters has guided a host of design improvements and the result is the new GoPad mini and GoPad Maxi.

      Watching the musical portion of the video demonstrates why the new GoPad is a powerful tool for both business and personal use.  The scene in which a “golfer” morphs into a “delivery man” shows how seamlessly a GoPad can switch between play and work activities.

      The video ends with a tired old inventor lying in bed while composing emails and reading an eBook.  Anyone who’s tried doing either of those tasks while hand-holding a full-sized tablet will understand GoPad’s unique ergonomic advantage: it’s a new kind of wearable device because it gives tablet users an extra pair of hands!

  3. How does the new GoPad attach to the tablet?

    First-generation GoPads used a pair of aluminum clamps and silicone pads to grip the tablet and while that mounting system worked quite well, it required a different version of GoPad for each new tablet.  That design was therefore unsuitable for fitting the wide variety of new tablets entering the market.

    The New GoPad has a more elegant and versatile mounting solution.  It uses 3M Dual Lock™ Reclosable Fastener to grip the tablet and with over 10 square inches of contact area, it forms a tight bond with more than enough strength for this mission-critical joining task.

    3M Dual-Lock is essentially a 2-dimensional zipper, so once the GoPad and tablet are joined, they can be easily separated.  Applying pressure at a strategically located point initiates progressive separation across the whole fastener (see video).  The two parts snap back together like Lego blocks and if the user ever decides to upgrade their GoPad with a new tablet, the Dual-Lock tape on the old tablet can be peeled off without leaving any residue.

    The beauty of using Dual-Lock is that it enables the new GoPad mini and GoPad Maxi to fit a wide variety of tablet sizes.  An included template facilitates fast, precise installation onto most tablets.  A turnkey GoPad “Omni” is planned that will be factory installed onto an OEM tablet.

    A related improvement that early-adopters requested was that the neckstrap be made removable.  Detaching it prevents the neckstrap from cluttering their desk while the stand is being used.

     

     

    The swingarm extensions now has cord-slots which permit the neckstrap to be easily and securely attached or detached as needed.

  4. How does the GoPad protect the tablet?

    All tablet owners fear dropping and breaking their precious cargo so to deal with that concern, the new GoPad has 7 tablet protection features. 

    1. The primary protective feature is of course the drop prevention that’sinherent to being able to wear the tablet (instead of being forced to hand-hold it).A related advantage is the reduced risk of setting the tablet down somewhere and then having it lost or stolen.
    2. While using the GoPad during vigorous activity, tablet protection is maximized by using the included GoBelt accessory.  The video shows how it holds the touchscreen flat against the user’s stomach, where they will instinctively defend it from being damaged.  While they move about more sedately, the GoPad can be carried like a shoulder-bag so it’s always protected from being dropped.
    3. The folded swingarm forms an aluminum cage that extends past all 6 sides of the tablet.  The metal cage provides excellent protection if the GoPad is somehow dropped.   


    4. While the neoprene GoBag is attached, it provides excellent tablet protection.  The bag also prevents it from being targeted for theft by disguising it as a shoulder-bag.
    5. The elastic GoBelt is stored around the folded swingarm where its cushioned buckle forms a shock-absorbing stand-off on the back of the tablet.  If the GoPad is dropped, the tensioned belt and protruding knob absorb the blow and insure that only the aluminum swingarm can contact the ground.
    6. When the GoPad is being handheld, the folded swingarm provides a secure handhold for using the touchscreen.  While it’s being transported, the folded swingarm becomes a secure handle for carrying the GoPad like a briefcase.     
    7. If the user already owns a conventional protective case, the GoPad’s new Dual-Lock mounting system enables that third-party box to be mounted, thereby adding a 7th line of defence.
  5. How does the GoBelt accessory work?

    The GoBelt gives the GoPad three distinct and complementary wearing modes.

    Wearing Mode 1

    The elastic belt is unspooled from storage on the swingarm so its free end can be passed around the user’s waist and Velcroed back onto it.  This firmly secures the GoPad to their torso so wearing it feels like wearing a buttoned shirt.  This wearing mode enables the tablet to be carried comfortably during vigorous work or play yet it’s instantly available for hands-free use.

    Wearing Mode 2

    The swingarm mechanism is snapped opened so whether the user is sitting, standing or in motion, they always have ergonomic access to the touchscreen.  If they are moving about vigorously, the GoBelt can be worn to prevent the tablet from swinging. 

    By default, the neckstrap cords are routed directly to the swingarm (as shown in the video).  Alternatively (as shown above), the two cords can be easily routed under the front of the tablet for optimal side access to the screen.  Two adhesive friction dots are supplied which prevent the cords from inadvertently slipping off.

    Pushbutton length adjusters enable the neckstrap to hold the touchscreen at any height or viewing angle.

    Wearing Mode 3

    The GoBelt is stored by spooling it around the opened swingarm and then closing it to capture the belt against the tablet.  The GoPad can then be shoulder-carried as shown above (also see FAQ #11)

  6. How does the swingarm mechanism work?

    The video demonstrates the ease and speed with which the swingarm can be locked into its four operational positions.  To actuate the mechanism, the user simply pulls out on the spring-loaded arms to release two rotational locks.  Gravity causes the tablet to swing so the user can simply release the arms to re-lock the tablet as reaches the desired position.

    Learning how to actuate this mechanism takes only a minute.  Once the trick has been mastered, performing it is a tactile experience that many early adopters have called “addictive”.   This instruction video demonstrates proper technique.

  7. How does the GoPad’s built-in stand compare to the competition?

    Most tablet stands must be carried separately.  Very few stands are integrated with the tablet so the stands that are most comparable to GoPad’s are Apple’s “smartcover” and the “kickstand” built into Microsoft’s Surface.

    Below are comparisons between those three competitive stand designs:

    • Ease of use:
      The video demonstrates how GoPad’s gravity-driven mechanism can be deployed or stored faster and more intuitively than Apple’s folding smartcover.  The GoPad’s speed is similar to that of Microsoft’s kickstand.
    • Durability:
      The GoPad’s all-aluminum construction gives it the most robust strength and wear characteristics.
    • Stability:
      The GoPad’s opened swingarm has the largest desktop footprint and therefore is the best suited for use on an uneven surface or in a moving vehicle.  Since the swingarm can lock at four angular orientations, it provides very stable tablet support at three orientations (as shown in this slideshow).
    • Multi-functionality:
      Apple’s smartcover is dual purpose: it’s both a tablet stand and a screen protector.  The Surface’s built-in kickstand is single-purpose however its “Touch Cover” accessory does add dual functions (it’s both a screen cover and a keyboard).

      The GoPad’s stand mechanism has more functions.
      • Its most valuable extra function is of course the wearability that the swingarm adds to the tablet. 
      • The stand can also hang on a wall. 
      • The folded stand facilitates hand-holding the GoPad while either using the screen or carrying it like a briefcase.   
      • The folded stand also forms a shock-protection cage around the tablet. When the user is seated with their legs crossed, the opened swingarm holds their tablet at a comfortably raised position on their crossed leg (see video).
  8. Explain the synergy between GoPad and mobile Voice Recognition?

    Since it’s impossible to get 100% accuracy, using Voice Recognition to dictate long documents has been restricted to a desktop computing environment where a keyboard, mouse and large screen make it easier to spot and correct the inevitable errors.

    Due to the smartphone’s tiny touchscreen, mobile VR has been restricted to simple voice commands.  GoPad extends the productive use of mobile VR because now the tablet’s large virtual keyboard makes it easier to correct VR errors. 

    Large portions of this FAQ were dictated into a GoPad mini while walking about in an office.  Occasionally, VR errors were noted and corrected using the iPad’s virtual keyboard; that level of productivity would not have been feasible using a smartphone.

  9. How does the GoPad “converge” mobility with productivity?

    Developing a single device that provides both the mobility of a smartphone and the productivity of a laptop has become the Holy Grail of computing.

    This recent Crowdfunding project illustrates the industry-wide quest for “convergence”.  To achieve convergence, the Ubuntu Edge proposed building an ultra high-performance smartphone with the internal computing power of a desktop PC.  This new smartphone would of course be highly mobile because (like all smartphones) it’s wearable (by virtue of being carried in a pocket or purse).  To compensate for the tiny touchscreen’s inherently poor productivity, the Ubuntu Edge would dock wirelessly to a keyboard, mouse and large-screen monitor, thereby transforming it into a desktop PC.   Docking is a reasonable strategy for converging mobility with productivity and it's already being implemented by major smartphone manufacturers. 

    The GoPad uses a very different strategy for converging mobility with productivity.  It’s essentially a mechanical prosthesis that equips mobile users with the extra pair of hands they need for productive use of a large touchscreen.  It’s a much simpler strategy that has a fundamental advantage over docking a high-tech smartphone with desktop peripherals.  No matter where a GoPad user goes and no matter what they do; they will always have access to their much larger touchscreen.  

    The GoPad also profits from docking with desktop peripherals

    For many mobile users; even though their relatively large GoPad is somewhat less mobile than a smartphone, having hands-free, access to its big touchscreen makes it a good trade-off.  

    Wearing a device such as Google’s Glass or Samsung’s Gear can compensate for the smartphone’s tiny touchscreen, however each of those “wearable peripherals” has its own ergonomic drawbacks and functional trade-offs that limit overall effectiveness.  

  10. Why not wear the computer on your wrist or on your face?

    Samsung’s Gear and Google’s Glass are examples of wrist-mounting design and face-mounting strategies (as opposed to GoPad’s torso-mounted strategy).  Those three possible wearing strategies invite comparison so below are the advantages and disadvantages inherent to each location on the body.

    • Wrist-mounting:

      The wrist-mounted “smartwatch” is Bluetooth-tethered to a conventional smartphone that’s worn somewhere else on the user’s body.  The smartwatch’s extremely small screen size limits it to displaying sparse real-time data such as the name of an incoming caller.  It’s really a display accessory that increases the convenience of wearing a smartphone however it can’t serve as into an all-purpose “converged” device

    • Face-mounting:

      Google’s Glass has much greater potential for improving the productivity of mobile computing.  The two main advantages of its tethered Heads Up Display are: compactness and the fact that both of the user’s hands remain free.

      The disadvantage of displaying a virtual image is that there can be no direct tactile interaction withan HUD.  Touchscreens remains the gold-standard for user interaction with data.  Glass users are forced to rely mainly on Voice Recognition and VR makes mistakes, particularly in noisy social settings.  To improve control of the Glass HUD, tactile inputs have been added in the form of a head-tilt sensor and a one-dimensional scrolling sensor formed into one of the sidearms.  This sensor configuration has ergonomic shortcomings that are illustrated by three common usage scenarios:

      1. Inability to video conference

        The musical portion of GoPad’s video demonstrates how video conferencing enhances the intimacy of a person-to-person call.  In order for two Glass users to have a Skype or Face Time call, both of them would have to be standing in front of mirrors so they could see each other’s facial expressions.  They would be better served by simply talking with each other on their smartphones using a Bluetooth earpiece.

      2. Ergonomic intuitiveness

        Web surfing is the quintessential internet activity however the need to use a combination of voice commands, head-tilting commands, earpiece tapping gestures and earpiece scrolling gestures make web surfing on Glass far less intuitive than when it’s done on a touchscreen. Touchscreens are in perfect harmony with exquisitely developed hand/eye coordination and no amount of high-tech development can alter that evolutionary fact.

      3. Privacy:

        Much concern has been expressed about Glass users walking about with a video camera recording whatever is happening in front of them.  While there’s merit to that privacy concern, it pales in comparison to the social problem caused by Glass’ need for voice input to drive the face-mounted UI.  Simply stated: people don’t want to blurt out their private thoughts in public!  We like to keep our thoughts to ourselves and that’s why smartphone users everywhere are seen texting messages to people who they could very easily talk to using the same device.

    • Torso-mounting:

      All of the drawbacks associated with wrist-mounting and face-mounting are eliminated by the GoPad’s much simpler, torso-mounted design strategy.

    • A picture is worth a thousand words

          SimpleTech                  HighTech

  11. How will the GoPad gain acceptance with young consumers?

    “It looks geeky!” was the first comment many people had upon seeing a first-generation GoPad.  That fashion stigma has been hard to shake, even after industrial users praised it as an invention with many workplace applications (see FAQ #2).

    Its “geeky” appearance was a serious obstacle to GoPad gaining acceptance among fashion-conscious young people.  Below are images showing how that marketing problem is being addressed.

    This photo shows a prototype of the new “GoBag” and below are CAD renderings that show why production versions will look quite fashionable.

    The production GoBag will have this larger shape to conceal both the tablet and the swingarm.  Its fashion goal is to hide the GoPad behind a relatively attractive shoulder-bag.  Its more practical goals are to protect the tablet and to provide extra cargo-carrying capacity.

    This GoBag uses Velcro straps to secure it onto the GoPad’s backplate.

    The new GoBag is made of a special neoprene material that has a Velcro loop finish.  This transforms it into a shoulder-carried “bulletin board” to which virtually anything can be attached.  As modeled above, small items that have an adhesive Velcro hook patch on them can be very conveniently stored.

    This CAD simulation demonstrates how the ability to Velcro objects onto the GoBag’s surface improves both appearance and practicality.  Optional "Cargo Pockets" can be attached onto the GoBag for carrying items such as a lunch, a make-up kit, a battery charger, sunglasses, etc.

    This image shows how user-printed graphics can be stuck onto it. ("Printable synthetic paper" is ideal for creating these impromptu graphics).  For students, the detachable graphic might be a picture of their beloved canine friend.  For their parents: the stick-on graphic might be a family photo or an enlarged version of their business card.   Whatever they do: their GoPad makes a personal fashion statement.

  12. How does evolving technology affect the GoPad?

    The effectiveness of GoPad’s convergence strategy will benefit from advancing technology (see FAQ #9).  On the desktop productivity side of that duality: the latest IOS, Android and Win8 tablets already provide good performance.  Every year, tablets become increasingly viable as full laptop replacements so GoPad’s integrated desktop stand function will become increasingly useful.  

    The main strength of GoPad’s convergence strategy is the increased mobility that it gives to large tablets and that too will benefit from advancing technology.  Improved voice command software will enable a wearable tablet to perform a wider variety of tasks while on the go.  Another noteworthy advance is that Bluetooth 4.0 extends headset range out to 80 feet, thereby enabling the “base-station” concept shown in the video to be even more useful for communication within a typical home or office environment.

    Another important benefit of advancing technology is that, by making best use of VOIP, GoPad owners can significantly reduce their monthly wireless costs. 

    For example: most people spend much of their time within Wi-Fi range and for some of them; simply using software such as Skype or GoogleTalk can provide an adequate level of phone service over their tablet that’s virtually free.  If the user needs to receive calls at a local phone number, then service providers (such as this one) offer full-featured VOIP telephony for less than $5/mo. 

    If the user also needs to have continuous mobile phone service in between Wi-Fi hot-spots, some wireless carriers now offer data-only plans for tablets that can be used to fill in the VOIP coverage gaps.  Monthly data plans in Canada (such as this one or this one) start at just $5/mo so if a mobile GoPad user talks sparingly while they are outside of Wi-Fi range they can still have excellent mobile phone service for about $10/mo (far less than current typical wireless bills). 

    For people on tight budgets, those cost savings are significant enough that using their tablet for voice communications, instead of a smartphone, is a trade-off that makes good economic sense. Of course any tablet could be used with VOIP to reduce wireless costs, but carrying the big tablet around all the time would be too inconvenient. It’s the GoPad’s ability to make the tablet easy to carry and use while mobile that makes it a viable alternative to using a smartphone for voice communications.