The Sphinx - The World's First Intelligent Tablet Dock
The Sphinx - The World's First Intelligent Tablet Dock
The Sphinx allows you to dock any tablet to transform it into a complete and comfortable desktop workstation adding mouse and keyboard.
The Sphinx allows you to dock any tablet to transform it into a complete and comfortable desktop workstation adding mouse and keyboard. Read more
We are excited to announce that the Spinx will be powered by The Raspberry Pi Compute Module, a smaller version of the original Raspberry Pi, specially developed to be embedded in commercial products. A Raspberry Pi is a credit-card-sized single-board computer.
The new Raspberry Pi Compute Module will be integrated in a specially designed I/O carrier board from Dock2Office and be placed in the base of the Sphinx. This combination of beauty and brains makes the Sphinx not only an unique solution using the tablet as a full Remote Desktop solution. Combined with a tablet screen it creates also a full size Raspberry Pi computer with all necessary I/O available that can help bringing many imaginable Raspberry Pi-projects to life.
We decided to expand the usability of our carrier-board so everybody of the RPi community could profit from our work. Beside our own USB, Ehternet and Wifi I/O, we added almost all RPi I/O options (HDMI, 3,5 mm audio, 26 pin GPIO).The carrier board developed for the Sphinx is specially focussed on extended support for USB communication with the RPi Compute Module. Not only are there four USB 2.0 host connections available, but also the power delivery on the USB ports is maximized. And for futher expansion there is even an optional on-board USB pin connector available.
We made 2 pledges especially for the DIY Raspberry Pi community. These pledges consist of the bare Sphinx RPi-CM Board for $98 or the Sphinx RPi-CM Board in combination with the Sphinx housing for $135.
We are excited to partner with Splashtop, one of the leading companies in the remote desktop tablet market, as it shows their enthusiasm in our product. Already more than 15 million people have downloaded Splashtop products to access and control their favorite apps, files, and data via their mobile devices.
Mark Lee, Splashtop CEO, said “With the technology of Dock2Office, iPads and tablets become more powerful with the support for external mouse and keyboard. Our partnership changes the way how people use their tablets, to move beyond content consumption towards content creation.”
Free six month subscription for our backers!
The partnership creates a unique and concrete offer for our backers. You receive a redemption code for a six month subscription for Splashtop® Business. With Splashtop® Business you will be able to remotely access all of the applications and files on your PC and Mac, just as if you were sitting in front of your computer.
When Tablet And Desktop Become One
With the Sphinx, world's first intelligent tablet dock, you can:
- get all your work done on your tablet!
- easily create extra pc workstations with your tablet in your home or in the classroom
- control your tablet with your mouse and keyboard (even iPad!)
- fully interact with your Cloud (Daas, VDI) or Remote desktop environment
- work in a secure data environment as the Dock2Office technology make use of strong encryption and patent pending reverse connectivity initialization. Also SSL transport protocol is used.
- use Bluetooth USB dongle to connect to your Bluetooth-enabled devices like mouse and keyboard
- sit and work in a comfortable and ergonomic position
- become part of the next big thing in consumerization of IT
You Love Your Tablet
It's light, portable, easy to use and a great way to inform and entertain yourself.
But You Get Frustrated While Working On It
Thanks to advanced technologies like Daas, Cloud Computing, BYOD, VDI and Remote Desktop applications it's now possible to run business applications and complete remote desktops on your tablet.
However, when you want to manipulate office documents, technical documents, spreadsheets and other business applications, you still require the use of a mouse and a keyboard.
Also using a tablet too long for doing real work, you could subject yourself to repetitive-strain injuries (the ‘tablet neck’ and 'gorilla arm' - phenomena causing neck, shoulder and wrist pains).
It's Time To Unlock The Working Power Of Your Tablet
Dock2Office provides you with the right tool that helps you to do your work on your tablet, while giving you a real desktop experience.
Meet The Sphinx
The Sphinx is the world's first intelligent docking station which embeds Dock2Office's patent pending technology. With this technology it's possible to connect every input device to every computing device. It’s now possible to use your favorite mouse and full-sized keyboard on your tablet. So you can easily manipulate your documents, presentations, technical drawings or spreadsheets on your tablet. Just like you are used to on your PC or laptop.
- Aluminum based docking station.
- It is suitable for all tablets, even in their cases.
- To be used in combination with Remote/Cloud Desktop Applications.
- Easy to carry - light and foldable.
- It connects with the internet via WiFi or ethernet.
- It provides a comfortable ergonomic working position.
To use the Sphinx you need to install Dock2Office receiver software on your remote PC-desktop. Dock2Office receiver software will be available for Windows, Mac OSX and Linux. This software will be free to download from our Dock2Office website.
Get Your Work Done On Your Tablet Everywhere
Our vision is a total integration of Dock2Office software enabled docking stations within the home, office and various ‘Out Of The Home’- locations like hotels, airports and public office spaces but also hospitals and schools.
The Sphinx - In the Home
Wouldn't it be great if you can use the power of your home computer to create an extra workstation for your family?
It's like having two computers in one
With the Sphinx and your tablet you can easily create extra workstations for your family making use of the computing power of your own home computer.
Computers of today are very powerful and have a lot of unused power. With virtualization software it is possible to use this extra unused power of your home computer for a computer system that can be visualized on the tablet. This allows other persons to work simultaneously on your home computer without impacting you.
Very cost-saving as you don’t have to buy extra laptops/desktops and ideal for your kids to make their homework on their own tablet. Ideal for the whole family!
The Sphinx - In The Classroom
Wouldn't it be great if there are one or more Sphinx in every classroom to transform your iPad into a computer workstation? Not only practical for today's education, but also cost-saving.
In schools, the iPad is increasingly seen as a versatile learning tool that makes knowledge more accessible and enables study materials to be adapted to each student's learning abilities. The Sphinx combines the use of an iPad with the benefits of a desktop so you can work on an iPad in the same way you would on your desktop or laptop.
The iPad stimulates 'playful learning' and promotes student productivity. Using the Sphinx in classrooms enables iPads to be transformed into ergonomic desktops.
The use of the Sphinx in the classroom
Students can work together or alone on papers and presentations on the iPad with a keyboard and mouse. All they have to do is put their own iPad in the Sphinx. Once they've logged in to the school network, they can start working in the familiar desktop environment and get their school tasks done on their iPad.
To use the Sphinx in the classtoom can be cost-saving for schools. The children take their own iPads/tablets to school which makes the investment in extra pc desktops or laptops redundant.
The Sphinx - Out The Home (public spaces)
Wouldn't it be great if you only have to take your tablet with you to get your work done everywhere?
With the Sphinx you can travel light with only a tablet. No need to carry multiple devices. Ideal for the (international) business traveler.
The Sphinx - In The Hospital
Wouldn't it be great if you can access accurate patient information while on the run from one patient to the other and can easily record and securely share patient information on your tablet?
Today the most physicians still have to constantly shuttle between patients and their desktop pc to get status updates, schedule surgeries, prescribe drugs, view X-rays, and perform other important tasks.
The iPad and supporting apps can help physicians interact more effectively with patients and provide more immediate, focused treatment. The hospital’s doctors and nurses have bedside access to everything they need, and can remain in contact with patients and their families while viewing information that is critical to their care.
Using the Sphinx as extra pc workstations in hospitals creates great benefits like substantial time savings, increased efficiency and intercommunication with all hospital staff.
With the Sphinx you can increase the efficiency of processing patients' information. Ideal for medical staff and health professionals while 'running' from one patient to the other.
How To Use The Sphinx
- Install the Dock2Office receiver software on your remote PC-desktop
- Fold open your Sphinx.
- Connect power cable and connect to internet.
- Connect your mouse and keyboard.
- Dock your tablet and open your Remote Desktop application.
- Key Sphinx's unique number (placed on front side) in D2O receiver.
- Start working in your business applications.
- And get your work done on your tablet.
How Your Tablet And The Sphinx Become Your Desktop
In following diagrams you can see how your tablet, the Sphinx and your Remote, Cloud desktop melt together.
Use Your Tablet With Every Sphinx In The World
All the Sphinx workstations are connected to the Dock2Office cloud based infrastructure. A subscription on the Dock2Office Cloud service gives you the ability to use every Sphinx in the world. Just login to Dock2Office services, enter the unique number of the Sphinx you are working on and start working on your tablet. Anywhere at any time.
All Kickstarters who order the Sphinx will get a 3 years subscription on our Dock2Office infrastructure for free!
Give A Pledge And Get A Gift
Why we need you.
You can help bring the Sphinx to the world. Your support will help fund the first production run and get the Sphinx from our warehouse into your hands! The funding will assist with the cost of tooling, manufacturing and distribution.
With your pledge, you become the first to have this amazing and innovative product and to experience this new way of working on your tablet.
We summarized the various backer levels below:
The Sphinx Features
Sphinx Travel Pack
For those who want to create a Sphinx desktop workstation while on the go we have the Sphinx Travel, our all-in-1 pack.
With the Sphinx Travel you have everything at hand: your tablet, the Sphinx, keyboard, mouse and power cable. How convenient for $235.
The size of the Sphinx Travel bag is 310 x 140 x 60 mm.
Share the Dock2Office story and don’t keep the Sphinx a secret.
If you believe in our vision, please "Like" our Kickstarter page and follow us on:
Twitter https://twitter.com/Dock2Office or
We really appreciate your support!
The Sphinx Development And Manufacturing Timeline
Here is our timeline for putting the Sphinx into your hands:
SDK - Developers Tier
Dock2Office SDK for developers
Beside the standard D2O receiver software, which you can download for free from our website and which is available for most PC desktop operating systems (Windows, OSX, Linux), there is also a complete SDK available for developers. With the SDK it is possible to integrate D2O virtual input devices within your own software, even when underlying operating system does not support these type of input devices.
Some examples are:
- Mouse support within iOS applications.
- Wacom pen tablet support in iOS and Android applications.
- Barcode scanner support in iOS and Android applications.
The D2O SDK will be available for all major operating systems (iOS, Android, Windows, OSX, Linux).
For Kickstarter we have made a special Developer Pack that includes a Sphinx Travel Pack, a SDK with developers license, run-time license, documentation and support desk.
Dock2Office launching partners.
We are convinced that Dock2Office and the Sphinx enrich the emerging ecosystem around IT Consumerization, BYOD, Daas and Virtualization. To really emerge this ecosystem we strongly believe in partnerships and integrating each other's technology into total solutions. We therefore have created some special pledges which will enable companies to enforce the launch at Q4 2014.
Is your company specialized in:
- Hosting Daas/Cloud Desktop solutions
- Remote Desktop applications
- Hardware input devices.
We offer 8 special pledges for launching partners. As a launching partner you are part of our development phase and receive the first prototypes, hardware and software (estimate to be ready in the first half of Q3-14). With these prototypes and beta software you can develop your own product embedded with Dock2Office technology. Dock2Office will not only supply you with all firsthand materials, but will also help your engineers during development and integration.
There are 8 partner pledges available. First come, first serve.
Sphinx device plugin SDK for hardware device suppliers.
We are also working on a SDK for hardware device suppliers to build input device plugins for the Sphinx. These plugins will enable the use of specific input devices which are not default supported by Dock2Office.
This plugin SDK will be launched after the first production run of the Sphinx. There are two special pledges available for hardware partners who already want to work with us in the development phase.
Meet The Founders And The D2O Team
The team of people engaged in this project consist of a unique mix of old school veteran’s and new school junior entrepreneurs. Having this multidisciplinary mix of competences and experiences has been one of the key success factors in the development of this unique product, enabling us to cover so many aspects (hardware, software, technology, cloud, user interaction, product design, business proposition and commercialization).
Leendert van der Plas: overall responsible for the technology, software and hardware.
Dock2Office CTO, Leendert is an established Rotterdam-based entrepreneur and computer engineer, specialized in Information Technology and Services. He has a Masters in Computational Physics at the TU Delft where he designed special purpose computers for simulation. For more than 19 years he was owner/CTO of the software company, Expansion. This makes him a specialist in both Hardware and Software.
Liesbeth Brackel (on the right): overall responsible for business development, proposition and go to market strategy.
Dock2Office CEO, Liesbeth’s business passion is to bring unique value propositions to life. She is specialized in marketing strategy and innovation processes, from idea generation to commercialization. Being an entrepreneurial professional Liesbeth's strength lies in guiding multi-disciplinary teams with a ‘getting things done’ mentality.
Caroline Kroon: overall responsible for product design and production.
The Head of Design of Dock2Office, Caroline has a passion for functional design and designing products that people care for. She has over 23 years of experience in designing and developing products for various industries and gained a lot of knowledge in the field of production and assembly of technical products. Her experience with start-ups make her all-round: designing the brand identity as well as the exhibits, from starting into production.
The Team Behind Dock2Office:
Paul Beukelman: Paul Beukelman is taking care of our web presence. He earned his web experience with several freelance projects for companies like het Financieele Dagblad, BNR – nieuwsradio and Offerti. He is always interested in new web techniques and enthusiast about how the web is evolving and not afraid of the idea that the web is becoming our soulmate (for ever, ever).
Simon Desnerck and Alec Momont, Masters students design engineering at Technical University Delft, supporting Caroline in the design engineering and development process and the product visualization. Their expertise lies in start-to-end product development, from strategic product positioning onto the final production-optimized product, and working with CAD Applications (Solid Works).
Ivo Smits: software genius, Masters student at Technology University Einhoven, supporting Leendert in technology and software development process. His specialties are: C# programming, Debian Linux, software hacking (making it work), Linux networking.
Adam Link is the financial business partner of Dock2Office. Adam provides the US-based logistics and fulfillment support of our project. Adam is a serial entrepreneur and global traveler. He enjoys bringing new products to life, whether digital or physical. His background is in finance.
We can’t wait to get the Sphinx into your hands. Feel free to reach out to us in the Comments section if you want to speak with any of us directly.
The Making Of..
A glimpse of our creative thinking and work process:
And the production:
The Sphinx: A Beauty With Brains
Besides a beautiful designed stand, the Sphinx also has some strong brains. The computing device embedded in the Sphinx is responsible for all communication between the connected input devices and the Internet. In essence the computing device within the Sphinx can be seen as an IOT (Internet of Things) -device.
During our software development and field-testing phase, we used a slightly modified version of the Raspberry Pi. As most people probably know, the Raspberry Pi is a standard COM which is very popular for building embedded solutions. The internal setup of electronics in one of our prototypes can be seen in the following picture.
The final production release of the Sphinx electronics will have almost identical specifications as the Raspberry Pi. The core of the solution will also be a standard COM module expanded with dedicated power and I/O components. Setting up the production of this board will be the main investment with Kickstarter fundings. This will be a combined effort of Dock2Office and our electronic partner Metatronics.
The Sphinx may look like a regular tablet stand, but it does much more. The front is made of 3 mm aluminum and is covered with a soft cover to protect your tablet. The Sphinx will be available in a natural aluminum color with a white/grey plastic casing for the electronics. The Sphinx is foldable so you can easily take it with you in your travel bag. In the unfolded position the Sphinx creates an ergonomic desktop workstation.
- It connects a mouse and a full-sized keyboard with your remote, cloud desktop environment.
- It is suitable for all tablets, even in their cases.
- The Sphinx is light and has anti-slip pads to prevent it from sliding and scratching.
- It connects with the internet via built in WiFi or Ethernet.
- It comes with a power cable.
- It can charges the tablet via USB while using it.
- Weight: 460 g / 16.226 oz
- Size (folded) 160 x 120 x 30 mm / (unfolded) 160 x 120 x 160 mm
The Technology Behind Dock2Office
The technology behind Dock2Office is based on the concept of Input Device Virtualization. This patent pending technology transforms any type of input device into a cloud enabled input device which can be connected to any type of computing platform, without the limitations of availability of hardware interface or operating system.
The Dock2Office architecture consists of 3 parts.
- The first part is the Sphinx (the D2O input device virtualizer), an intelligent docking station with input device connectors, transforming the input data from the connected input devices into a virtualized input device format, which is transportable over the internet. All Dock2Office workstations have a unique number to make identification possible.
- The second part is the Dock2Office centralized virtual device hub (D2O virtual device hub) which is hosted on the Internet. All Dock2Office enabled docking stations and connected input devices are managed and rerouted through this centralized D2O virtual device hub. Using advanced encryption technologies ensures that all data is completely anonymous.
- The third part is a software component called D2O receiver. This piece of software runs on the Remote, Cloud desktop that needs to be controlled by the physical input devices connected to the Sphinx. After connecting to the centralized virtual device hub over the internet, the user selects a specific Sphinx using its unique number. Now all input devices are able to control the Remote Cloud desktop.
Integration of D2O´s virtual devices.
At this moment we define three levels of integration of virtual devices within the application environment:
- Integration on system level: In this case the operating system running on the computing device that needs to be controlled is capable of supporting the input devices connected to the Sphinx. For example using the Sphinx in combination with a Windows 8 tablet makes it possible to completely control all software running on tablet with the input devices connected to the Sphinx. If the operating system does not support any input devices, like iOS running on iPad, system mode is not possible. System mode software can be downloaded for free from Dock2Office website.
- Integration on application level: When integrating on application level, a specific application is modified to use the input devices connected to the Sphinx. Even if the local operating system does not support specific input devices supported by Dock2Office it is possible to build applications using them. To make this possible there is a D2O SDK for all the main platforms (iOS, Android, Windows, OSX, Linux). This SDK uses an API comparable to existing Mouse, Tablet and Keyboard interfaces. For iOS, this is the only option to make use of Sphinx devices. With this SDK, business applications, games and also web based solutions can be built to be controlled by D2O´s virtual devices.
Local and Remote use of D2O virtual devices
Local mode means that the environment, which is controlled by the virtualized input devices, is running on the same device that generates the output part of the user interface. Even if the local operating system does not support specific input devices, our SDK enables building applications that can.
In remote mode, the environment being controlled is running remote and the Sphinx input devices are directly connected to this remote environment. This remote mode is especially interesting for Cloud Desktop, DaaS in remote control environments in combination with tablets. No modification of Remote desktop applications is necessary, only the standard D2O remote receiver software needs to be installed on a Remote desktop machine.
In the two figures below you can see the remote mode and local mode solutions how to control a Remote Cloud desktop environment with your tablet. In the local mode, the remote desktop applications are modified by the SDK of Dock2Office.
Dock2Office Cloud Infrastructure
All docking stations embedded with Dock2Office technology are connected to the Dock2Office’s cloud based infrastructure of virtual device hubs. These virtual device hubs can be compared with very large scale USB hubs, which interconnect input devices with computer devices over the Internet.
Dock2Office’s infrastructure is hosted in the major internet exchange locations, to minimize latency between input devices and platform/applications controlled.
Combined with strong encryption and patent-pending reverse connectivity initialization, Dock2Office input devices can only control your platform/application if you want to.
A subscription on the Dock2Office Cloud service will give you the option to use every Dock2Office enabled docking station in the world. Just login to Dock2Office service, enter the unique number of the Dock2Office docking station you are working on and start working on your tablet. Anywhere at any time.
- Bromedo for their advice and help in producing the prototypes. http://www.bromedo.nl/home
- Metatronics: for their advice and help in designing and creating the electronics. http://www.metatronics.nl/
- GeertJan Verhoeff for helping us with the editing of our video.
- PressFriendly, handling our outbound PR in the USA. http://www.pressfriendly.com/home
- DDK, handling our outbound PR in The Netherlands. http://www.ddk.nl/
- Faculty Industrial Design Engineering of the Technical University Delft for the use of the 'green room' to create an atmospheric film set for our Kickstarter movie.
- The coffee machine that keeps us awake and going.
Risks and challenges
First things first..
We will be working hard to promote the Sphinx in everyway we can. We see our first challenge in getting the word out. Through the use of social media, blogs and you sharing this project, together we can drive enough traffic and traction to make the Sphinx a success!
There is always a risk when producing a product that combines both electronic hardware and software. So we made everything to reduce it to a minimum before launching this Kickstarter campaign.
We worked hard on the development of the design and technology for almost a year. The concept has been proven through an exhaustive prototyping process before our list of Preferences and Requirements was met. And we have a patent pending for our innovative technology.
The version of the Sphinx you watched in the video was made on the actual production equipment with the production materials.
We worked closely with our trusted manufacturing partners.
We don’t anticipate any major setbacks and are confident that we will be able to deliver even if our goal is to be exceeded.
We intend to be totally transparent with you about any hurdles that we encounter and will keep you up to date via the Kickstarter updates, Facebook, Twitter and the website.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (45 days)