TabCo has been making splashes in the tablet-sphere with a major guerilla marketing campaign and plenty of teasing for an upcoming tablet that they’ll be announcing on August 15th.
Though I’m not convinced that throwing money at marketing will make a successful product out of an awful one, I’m certainly interested to see what they think deserves to be teased so thoroughly.
Until then we’ve got little to go on, but I am immediately reminded of a long forgotten device that used similar methods to build up to their eventual announcement.
Back in November of 2009, we wrote about a company called Emblaze Mobile and their first device which they called the ‘First Else’. There are two reasons why TabCo reminds me of Emblaze Mobile and their announcement of the First Else.
The first is the marketing style. Emblaze Mobile created a number of videos based in urban locations that implied a sense of technology overload that Emblaze claimed it would fix with their new phone. Though the First Else never made it off the launch pad, you can still see their videos and vision for the phone at the phone’s official site.
Similarly, TabCo has been releasing a number of videos on their site, and while they aren’t perfect matches of Emblaze’s videos, the teasing and the production values seem similar.
Emblaze’s idea of fixing our presumed technology overload hinged upon a revolutionary and intuitive interface which brings me to the second reason why TabCo is reminding me of Emblaze Mobile, their insistence on a unique interface.
Emblaze was touting a neat looking interface which they called Splay. You can see a video of it in action that Engadget caught back at CES 2010.
In the FAQ on TabCo’s teaser site, one question is â€œOk, what makes [the tablet] so darn special? inch. This is the response:
The UI, for one is like nothing else out there. It is predictive and draws its inspiration from the semantic web. The desktop is different, almost a canvas that gives you extensive flexibility to organize your life and work. I could go on but my marketing people would be pissed.
The insistence on a unique and intuitive/predictive interface reminds me very much of what Emblaze wanted (but failed) to do.
Of course a number of folks have pointed out some smart connections between TabCo and Nokia, so Emblaze may have nothing to do with this, but I did want to note the similarities between the two (maybe TabCo is simply using the same marketing company as Emblaze?). Only time will tell, and TabCo is expected to to announce their device soon. We’ll be keeping an eye on the site and let you know once we find out precisely what TabCo has cooked up.