When we last heard from ImasD Technologies earlier this year, the small Spain-based company was beginning to make a little noise and looked like it was poised to be a player in the modular smartphone/tablet market.
Things have shifted for ImasD in the interim. The company is in some legal trouble, apparently because of the name of its modular mobile platform, ClickARM. (Three guesses who the other litigant is. ...it’s ARM.) ImasD’s Pedro Peláez told Tom’s Hardware that the company will go to trial with ARM. “We’ll see what happens,” he said.
The fallout from the legal issues are ongoing, but primarily, ImasD refunded ClickARM One tablet customers their money and had to discontinue using that brand name. However, Peláez said that the company can continue to sell the technology with different nomenclature, and he’s confident that ImasD will emerge the winner in the lawsuit. He posited that ImasD registered its “arm” related language in a different class than ARM, and he also reminded us of the small company’s 2011 legal victory over Apple.
The company is planning to re-launch the tablet, possibly with a different name, via a crowdfunding site with a limited run of 2,000 or so devices.
Passing On PuzzlePhone, And A Cancelled Kickstarter
ImasD Technologies was also originally part of the PuzzlePhone project -- which seems to be taking off -- but ImasD left the project, citing what amounts to creative differences. However, Peláez said that ImasD is planning to launch its own phone project "when the platform becomes ready for makers and startups."
The company was also involved with a "portable Steam machine" called Smach. After raising €160,984 on Kickstarter, the campaign was cancelled. I’m inferring here, but a likely reason for the cessation has to do with the this disclaimer on the campaign page:
“Liability disclaimer: SMACH Z project is not being developed by Valve® Corporation. SMACH Z project doesn't have any connection to Valve® or Steam™. SMACH Z is not a official Steam Machine™.”
ImasD is planning to buy the company and re-release a finished version of the device via a crowdfunding campaign.
A Better Year Ahead
At CES in January, ImasD will show off its technology inside other products, including a reference design for a smartwatch with Analog Devices and an advanced baby monitor with Cypress.
Going forward, though, Peláez is optimistic. He told me that ImasD has five modules for ClickARM based on the i.MX 6 system on module (NXP and Freescale merged in December), including single-, dual- and quad-core offerings. You can currently snap up a ClickARM core module running a Samsung Exynos 4412 chip with 2 GB memory for 45€. A complete system development kit ranges from 80-110€ depending on the selected modules.
Peláez said that ImasD is finalizing the i.MX 6 design and should have a “batch” ready for the public around Q2 2016. There should also be a new PCB hub coming in that same time frame (it’s currently available to a closed group of devs).
ImasD was already an unlikely upstart, and in light of the (somewhat self-inflicted) difficulties of the past year, the future of the company seems murky.
Update, 12/27/15, 9:15pm PT: ImasD reached out to add some information. Specifically, the company said that it's already booked some $40 million in revenue for the next two years, starting now.
Seth Colaner is the News Director for Tom's Hardware. Follow him on Twitter @SethColaner. Follow us on Facebook, Google+, RSS, Twitter and YouTube.