Lambda: Truly Smart TV
Lambda, the microcomputer that converts your TV to true Smart TV. Allow your media the freedom to move. Welcome to your new Smart Home.
Lambda: Truly Smart TV
Lambda, the microcomputer that converts your TV to true Smart TV. Allow your media the freedom to move. Welcome to your new Smart Home.
Raising the bar of what to expect from a Smart TV, LAMBDA transforms your current TV into a Truly Smart TV, a complete Smart Home Entertainment Hub running an open source Ubuntu-based TV/PC operating system. Nobody is a huge fan of wires everywhere around the house; LAMBDA takes care of this by connecting your media devices in the entire home. LAMBDA unleashes real smart home entertainment and turns your TV, or any connected screen in your home, into a command centre for your entertainment and smart home technologies controlled through a single source via your smart phone. All this whilst expanding your Wi-Fi.
Let's sum it up:
- A bit like a set top box but more advanced and cheaper
- Lets you stream, browse, work, game and more
- It’s a PC in your wall
- Compact, safe, secure
- Removes wires
- Expands your Wi-Fi
- Plug-and-play: Super easy to use
- Comes with its own smart phone app that turns your phone or tablet into the only remote you will need in your house
- Use it to control your smart appliances
We call it innovative convergence but it means True Smart TV. Quick, Cheap, Simple. For everybody. Anywhere.
Innovative. Universal. Lambda.
Primarily, the LAMBDA is a powerful and beautifully user-friendly microcomputer directly plugged into your wall socket. A single HDMI cable connects all your devices all over your house to your TV. Use LAMBDA as a set top box to stream online, a personal computer to use apps you need, and as the command centre of your connected home.
Connect your games consoles (and set top boxes if you still want to use them, but mind you, LAMBDA renders them boring) whilst creating a network with other LAMBDA devices over the ring main system. The device solves that old problem of Wi-Fi coverage in your house by extending your Wi-Fi and turns all your screens connected to a LAMBDA into one network. Keeping the project open source will drive the development in this field and we look forward to taking on board your ideas.
Its solid state HD and quad-core processor makes the Lambda 90% more efficient than a standard PC or laptop. This means that not only can you connect any USB device through its four USB 3.0 ports but generally use it for your daily computing needs.A normal PC cost £7 ($12) a month to run, the Lambda £0.65 ($1)
HDMI pass-through and optional wireless DLNA connection to your current wireless TV reduces the number of wires around your screen and house. Simply networking everything together without any additional wires. What’s more, the whole set-up is controlled via your smart phone or tablet (of course you can also use your conventional input devices).
One thing you must understand. LAMBDA is not just a thing, not just a bit of hardware kit. It’s a piece of hardware running tailor-fit software supported by its very own smart phone app. This makes LAMBDA a system.
The Lambda uses a Xilinx board and ARM processor and part of this Kickstarter campaign is to gauge what we need to enhance our hardware. It is currently clocking at quad 1.8ghz with 2 GB RAM and 8GB HDD. See the stretch goals below to see how we can add to this. There is one additional piece of kit built in but we’ll tell you more about that later. Using pass-through technology and extending your Wi-Fi, you will soon value LAMBDA at home and beyond.
We are eager on reducing electronic waste. That's why we developed the 3-board stack design which makes disassembly and end-of-life-cycle recovery a lot easier.
The hardware is loaded with the operating system Ubuntu along with their TV software and other software such as media players. However, a strategic and moralistic viewpoint of our company is that the Lambda is truly yours, so we will provide other disk images and instructions as to how to install them on our website. Fiddle around with it and post us what you have managed to do when you do. By the way, we already use LAMBDA .
LAMBDA has been developed to be specifically plug and play, so don’t worry, we have your drivers covered (and you won’t find any pre-installed software you don’t want).
By the way, the reason we use Ubuntu is that this OS is open source (thus free), super secure, pretty, customisable, and the Xilinx processor we use is certified for running it. However, the device is built to be used as a thin client PC, meaning its set up to allow virtual OS of any type to be pushed to it right from the time its unpacked from its box.
You don’t have to use it but the app is free and last time I checked we all loved free stuff. It is built not only as a controller but serves to enhance your experience and will be open source (so get the SDK and play with it). We built it to take advantage of the touch screen experience but also acknowledge that - amazing modest engineers we might be – we are bad artists, so the app will be re-skinned over the next two months (any budding skin designs and graphical artists get in touch). Any supporting device you connect your LAMBDA to will log you on to your e-mail, Netflix, Spotify, and social media. It stores whatever you choose to store, giving you easy access to everything. And don’t worry, it logs it all out when you disconnect.
The LAMBDA App does much more than turning your hand held into a universal remote. It will tell you when a show is on and on which channel and will highlight if it is being aired at that moment. It will show if it’s on any catch up or streaming. You can also search songs, playlists... even people. The social media tags will show tap and tweet, Snapchat, Facebook. You know, social stuff.
Swiping in from the left brings up all your devices and programs installed on your device and pulling in from the right brings up the volume and channel changer.
The demos show you how the app is used.
The really smart stuff we haven’t shown you is under development (Shhhh it’s a really bad kept secret) and this is the awesome modes where you can use more than one screen with the app. There are so many scenarios in which you can use LAMBDA and you'll find your favourite.
Play to all. Quickly turn your house to a surround system at a party by converting every screen’s speakers.
Flip to you. Whatever was playing on the screen is now streamed to the phone/tablet you are currently using the app on. So leaving the room and want to continue watching? Just watch it on your handheld.
Play to specific. Choose which LAMBDA to push your current content on to (looking at being able to push to numerous but not all. Please give feedback)
Follow me. Now, welcome to a smart home. When you leave the room the screen switches off and will play at that exact point when you are close-range to the next screen meaning your media follows you.
Areas of Application
Smart Home. Business. Office. Education. Health Care.
Allow your digital life to be no further away than your phone and a screen connected to a Lambda, creating immersive and interactive entertainment. Lambda gives you access to your DVD player or set top box in every room as you move without any additional wires or complex installation and even far beyond your own four walls. LAMBDA revolutionises computing, reduces costs, cuts the need for wires, and minimises downtime.
LAMBDA allows you to control all major current set top boxes and for the first time allows uncompromised access to all on-line streaming platforms without exclusive deals or restrictions.
Do you have elderly or disabled relatives who have difficulty using any kind of new technology? Imagine having full control of their screen from anywhere in the world. Show some footage of your recent holiday or interact before reverting back to their favourite programme.
Searching, learning and sharing information over your TV has never been this simple; the Lambda’s Social Media and web overlay allows for real-time head-up interaction using your smart phone, tablet or smart watch as input device.
Beyond entertainment, LAMBDA is your gateway to the fully connected home. We are working on enabling controlling your heating, lighting, and smart appliances via this compact computing solution.
The thin client version of the device is not only perfect for extending the network throughout the home but also provides a powerful reliable office computing solution. You will also be able to store and access content through the cloud.
The socket version - screwed into the wall and attached to the ring main system - provides unparalleled physical security. The manufacture of this hygienic, unobtrusive and secure computing solution is our stretch goal and will be pursued when your support reaches the 100k mark.
The LAMBDA project has come a long way and is now leaving the final design stages. Weare working on optimising the three-board stack architecture, realising the Blue Tooth proximity tag, and finalising the smart phone app on the three main platforms to bring the Lambda to production. Through intense result-oriented development, the Lambda will enter the market by December 2014.
We are excited to fulfil the promise of SMART TV, finally putting the user first, and integrating the TV in the connected home and far beyond. With your support on Kickstarter, we will be able to finalise the proto type and software whilst keeping it open source and uninfluenced by the big players in the industry.
LAMBDA . An Evolution. Our Story.
Even smart TVs wouldn't allow us to do basic things (such as multi-tasking or multi-tabbing) so we sat back and thought how would this be done on a TV and its challenges.
In the beginning, there was the Raspberry Pi. Cello-taped to the back of James’s screen and controlled via a simple app allowing full-size streaming and accessing files via USB, this was the birth hour of the whole idea. Linking to research into information security, the potential of combining the idea of a home streaming device with a secure PC was investigated with the aim to increase the product’s computing capacity; this resulted in generating the idea of securing the device into the wall and taking advantage of signal streaming through a ring main system.
There are plenty of clever solutions out there, so we sat down and thought about everything out there which could already do that so we looked at it from a different angle. Eventually, we came up with something beautiful. What if you didn’t need to change source, if it all came through a single source. A TV/PC hybrid. Then we decided a box was the wrong view as TVs are supposed to be slick. So we thought “why not hide it away, out of view plugged into your socket, or even better replacing your socket” (see our stretch goal). Now, a few months down the road, this is our project around which everything we do is now centred.
Once we had a general idea as to what we want to do, we fiddled around with different design options and this was one of the most fun parts of the whole project. Again, through a process of taking a step back we looked and thought now it’s plugged directly into your power supply why not Ethernet pass through and connect them all together. Then this evolved into HDMI pass-through and the Lambda as you see it now was born: a way of connecting all HDMI devices and making your home smart through your TV.
The design came from that. A simple, slick design which won’t stand out but still fix into your decor.
Businessy Bibs and Bobs
In the declining PC market, thin client PCs and compact computers constitute a bright spot. The Lambda’s versatile areas of application and low cost capabilities have been discovered to yield advantages in numerous markets. An investigation into thin client and home entertainment markets suggest great potential.
The product has been defined and analysed based on the current market situation and technological capabilities. This provides a foundation for the marketing strategy. A technically feasible product concept has been developed which includes the substance and methods needed for further development. Production and operations cost analysis along with a market and launch costs analysis will be investigated in more detail once data is available.
The supporting smartphone app which has been developed and prototyped in-house and is undergoing updates in design and function will be available to all and advertised through the Lambda.
The development of the boards constitutes the final and most cost intensive section of the project. Most of the R&D efforts over the next six months will be focused on the further development of the boards under collaboration with and through support by Smart Scotland. The boards have already been designed and the layouts have been proven in a simulation and model format; test boards were used for development.
It is anticipated that the testing and validation phase consisting of near testing, field testing, and market testing, which will widely be conducted in-house, will commence in the first half of Q2 2014. Assuming the product meets the requirements, the product launch is anticipated for November 2014.
The Team Behind It All
Development/Technology: James Hepburn’s experience and academic background lies in Business and Cloud computing design and security. Ex-tutor in cloud computing and information security officer in the banking sector. He has a high level of knowledge in app design and software development and oversees the software design. He is an experienced and certified Xilinx hardware engineer. In the past has worked on projects which push what electronic computer engineering can do such as a visualization push hardware based on a cloud operating system.
Operations: Vincenz Klemt, Head of Operations, has his background in International Business and Modern Languages (specialising in Management Science and Spanish) and has international experience in quality management and controlling. He not only brings in his business acumen and international experience to establish relations, oversee the operations at Innovate:Ignite and develop strategies together with James and controls the finances and risk mitigation but also comes up with new ideas to add to the product.
The team is currently complimented by Callum Waddle who is anticipated to join the company in the third quarter of 2014. He is fulfilling an internship looking specifically at start-ups and social media.
In addition, we seek to expand our team in 2014 in order to allow for research and development to be conducted in-house and are based in Glasgow, Scotland.
What We Have Achieved so Far
With the amount being looked for we can get the LAMBDA finished and off to production with the shipping date to you, the backer, being December. The systems you see are working prototypes and fully functioning. However, this is a microcomputer which means it has a lot more scope than has been mentioned. The more money we raise, the more features we can get to you.
With your support, we will start a new way of TV. A revolution if you may. Which is why Kickstarter not outside investment (bar original investment but he's kl) is important to us. We don’t want this to be limited in scope by outside influence. So with the money this is what its funding
- Final power board design (so works worldwide)
- First production cost
- Future research and development
- Software re-skinning and development
- Unknown set-backs
- LAMBDA Socket
Initial Goal: £79,000
Thank you for supporting LAMBDA , we really appreciate even reading to this point. This is the amount we need to get production going. However, this will let the basic version be developed. The rest of the goals will be met but the time scale will be drastically increased. With this amount the Lambda (in white), app and supporting software will be developed and available for all. Including the App SDK.
Stretch Goal: £100,000 - Socket Stretch Goal
The socket version, a LAMBDA built into a double power socket will be available, all the same tech just in a different case. This case adds a level of complexity and testing and we need some extra cash for the development. This also allows us to fully develop the social overlay natively, so when you watch TV you also can use the same controller app to join in the conversation on your screen.
Stretch Goal 2: £250,000
Allows us to build and program the lambda further providing all the software and develop the app to work with the market leading smart home appliances. Such as Smart meters, lighting etc. Allows you with your TV to not only control your media room to room but control your room, truly smart thinking. It will also allow us to develop the software to push your lambda completely into the cloud, allowing you to log onto any LAMBDA in the world and instantly be your personal one.
Stretch Goal 3: £500,000
The gaming edition. The LAMBDA Black. Made specifically to be used as a Steam box built into a the plug design and the socket design. This will have vastly increased graphics capabilities and RAM. It will come with Steam built in and will be a Smart TV and Gaming PC. This is the future.
Risks and challenges
The design phase is complete and we are currently testing and tweaking the product. LAMBDA relies heavily on its board stack; now, this is already designed but we are still tweaking the power board. When this is completed it means that the same board can be used safely across different geographic areas (where the power output varies). In the past, we saw a risk in this due to different voltages used in different locations and because it was tricky to accommodate everything we need for it in the small housing. Eventually, this development will increase Lambda's lifespan, decrease costs and ultimately increase its versatility.
Through our campaign here on Kickstarter, we will boost our progress. We will relocate and have the correct staff members lined up and ready to work. This means it really will be a case of hitting full throttle. As soon as supporters receive their system they will be able to access the code for the app as well and we genuinly encourage feedback. This is a device for all of us, so of course we want to make it perfect for you.
Entering a market full of established players with the limited capital we have access to whilst not having much of a brand identity at the moment, we do face some challenges. This means we have to quickly develop a brand identity through building our on-line presence and accelerating the research and development in order to compensate for any shortcomings.
We are a young, unique, innovative, and diverse team, unconstrained by a pre-determined strategy elsewhere in the company; so there shouldn't be any marketing myopia (and we'd like to keep it that way). Moreover, we have the backing of a globally recognised major business and engineering University. Two major players in the hotel media solutions industry have already expressed interest in the Lambda. At this stage, we can use the company’s advantage in the area of plug and socket microcomputers and investigate into potential peripheral services and opportunities in terms of intellectual property.
We have strong links to the manufacturing industry in Germany as well as component industry here in Scotland. Our biggest risk is mass production and having to deal with the challenge of overseas development. We have brought on an experienced mentor who has dealt with the electronics industry and together we have an in-depth knowledge of working with operations abroad.
However, we are supported in this by the financial director and operation director of one of Britain's largest companies (family members and connections) as well as being strongly supported by Strathclyde University.
We can respond to a tight time scale, rapidly evolving technology trends, and competition from larger competitors and changing markets through investing in technology and talents. This will also allow us to respond to technological advances whilst securing the company’s intellectual property.
We have identified all the engineering challenges involved and have derived solutions. With the right cash injection we will be able to address the issues identified but we have a contingency plan just in case.
This is why we need you, you beautiful amazing people, with you we have that time and money. It is all possible with your help.
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