Given enough time, a problem leads to a solution. REDFLY is the first product I’ve seen that addresses the problem with smartphones having too small screens and keyboards. Actually, it is the first product that is not a laptop which is designed to make your smartphone much more usable.
It looks just like a laptop but it actually is an extension to the smartphone. Using either a USB connection or Bluetooth, the link between the smartphone and REDFLY provides the ability to use the much larger screen, keyboard, and touchpad.
The REDFLY is specialized to support the smartphone and has eight hours of battery life. It can even be used to charge the smartphone using the USB connection.
The REDFLY is stateless since it does not have a CPU or hard drive. The cost of ownership is much less than using a traditional laptop device.
Because it is stateless, there is also no risk of losing data. It also means that anyone can use it with their smartphone within a company since the REDFLY only extends the smartphone and has no settings of its own.
It is very clever specialization while also solving a common problem. Small devices are in need of bigger devices to make the work easier. In this case, the bigger device only has value as a device extension of the smartphone.
What Can You Do With REDFLY?
- Thanks to REDFLY’s large screen and full keyboard, you can use your smartphone more and your laptop less. Most people don’t take full advantage of their smartphone’s high-speed data connection, powerful hardware and robust applications due to the limitations of smartphones’ tiny screens and cumbersome keyboards.
- REDFLY unleashes your smartphone making it easy to type long emails, check attachments, work with spreadsheets, make presentations, view websites, fully utilize CRM applications and connect to remote servers, desktops and applications from anywhere using your smartphone’s data connection.
- Use REDFLY’s two USB ports to connect a mouse, charge your smartphone directly from REDFLY’s powerful battery, or access data on USB Flash drives.
- Need an easy way to make presentations on the road without a laptop? REDFLY has you covered. Just plug a projector or large monitor into REDFLY’s VGA port and use PowerPoint Mobile to run the presentation.
- Have you ever tried to look up a contact, respond to a text message, forward an email or just get work done while having a mobile phone conversation at the same time? With REDFLY, you can use both hands on its large screen and full keyboard to fully access your smartphone and get the job done while talking to someone on your smartphone.
Pretty impressive stuff. This REDFLY device shows the option of having a core device with very basic input/output while still being able to do full IO on bigger devices when they are available. Overall this technology is not new but using it this way does seem interesting.
The real question becomes whether or not people would haul around a REDFLY and a smartphone. Obviously the smartphone would need to be used in flight mode if on a plane. Probably the most attractive part would come from wanting full access at places like customer sites and hotels. Besides the fact that it would be much easier, I’m sure it would impress a few customers as well. A REDFLY is much less likely to be damaged due to not having a hard drive and if it is stolen, there is no data lost. It makes the REDFLY much more generic and disposable than a typical laptop. This would translate into being able to pack it in checked luggage.
If any of you have a REDFLY and would like to leave feedback, that would be great.
I know that Citrix is interested because the REDFLY enables the nirvana vision formed many months ago by Chris Fleck. It makes XenApp and XenDesktop much more usable from a smartphone.
Here is a video demo from Citrix Synergy: