Julie’s Gear Diary – 2005-10-18

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Just received an email from Neuros. They are doing something pretty unusual. They are asking us average Joe and JoAnn’s for our opinions on the next feature set / specs of their next product…

Neuros Releases Next Generation Media Player Specs for Comment

For Immediate Release

October 14, 2005

Chicago, IL, Building on its history of successful community-based development, Neuros has taken the next step in its open product development process by releasing the specs for its next generation portable media devices.

“As engineers, most of us spent our academic careers in an environment where open peer review was just taken for granted as the most sensible way to advance science and technology. Once we transitioned to the business world, we were conditioned to accept that secrecy was a necessary evil,” said Neuros CEO Joe Born. “In fact, experience is showing us that peer review works great in the business world as well. The more information we release to the public, the more our community helps provide us with the ultimate strategic business advantage: better products”.

By releasing proposed specs and involving users in development of a product, Neuros gets feedback from the community’s most involved users and in exchange those users get visibility and an opportunity to influence the product’s development from the very beginning. “It’s not for the casual user that just wants to go to Best Buy and buy an MP3 player, but we’ve seen that there’s a segment of users that are hackers, professionals or just enthusiasts that really care about these devices and want to participate in how they evolve.” Said Tim Artz, Neuros Director of Operations.

Given the computing power of today’s embedded devices, Neuros believes that making them open makes more sense than ever. “In our new platform, we have a device that’s more powerful than a PC on some specialized video tasks: It has a dual core processor that can play and record full DVD resolution MPEG-4 Video in real-time. It uses an audiophile 24 bit/96Khz audio processor and runs a Linux 2.6 Kernel and all on a board that costs about $100. It just stands to reason that hackers would want to play with it”, said Born.

Neuros has already modified the specs in four revisions based on feedback from hundreds of users and is currently in the final stages of designing the first development board. This board will form the platform for its next generation of devices. Neuros will continue to invite comments for approximately another week when the board will go into initial production.

The development board uses the same hardware as will the production products but is physically bigger and provides more interface options to make it more accessible to developers. Normally reserved for only internal developers, Neuros will make the developer board available to the general public, so that interested developers can work in parallel with the internal team.

The first device that will be spun-off from the platform board is Neuros’ next generation 442 Portable Media Player/Recorder, to be released in Q1 of ’06. The company’s Neuros 3 MP3 player and Neuros MPEG-4 Recorder 3 will follow later next year.

For more information or to participate, visit open.neurostechnology.com.

General product or company information can be found at www.neurostechnology.com.

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