Research In Motion acquires user interface design firm The Astonishing Tribe (TAT)
Waterloo, Canada, December 2, 2010 (Financial Post via National Post Network) – On Thursday, Tech giant announced it had acquired the Swedish company The Astonishing Tribe, or TAT, a company that specializes in user interface designs for mobile devices, which is one area where RIM is going to need to improve if it wants to present the PlayBook as a serious rival for the iPad and the numerous other tablet devices running Google’s Android and Microsoft’s Windows 7 between now and when RIM’s own tablet finally arrives early next year.
“Today we are pleased to confirm plans for The Astonishing Tribe (TAT) team to join Research In Motion (RIM),” RIM’s chief technology officer David Yach wrote in a blog post on Inside BlackBerry, the company’s official blog. “We’re excited that the TAT team will be joining RIM and bringing their talent to the BlackBerry PlayBook and smartphone platforms. For those who don’t know, TAT is renowned for their innovative mobile user interface (UI) designs and has a long history of working with mobile and embedded technology. TAT focuses on delivering great user experiences, from a design, technology, and usability perspective. Their design technology is used today in a variety of industries including the consumer electronics and automotive sectors.”
According to the TAT Website, the company has also worked with other technology giants including Google, Motorola, ASUS, PayPal and Samsung. TAT’s user interface designs can be found on more than 470 million devices, including the original Android interface and about 20% of the touch screen phones expected to be shipped in 2010, according to Mike Abramsky over at RBC Capital Markets.
Of course, RIM has faced criticisms in the past about the user interface designs on its BlackBerry products, especially prior to the launch of the company’s latest BlackBerry 6 operating system. It looks like the design elements of the new PlayBook will fall to TAT, and it will be up to the Swedish firm to help the PlayBook make the most of the QNX software that powers the new PlayBook operating system.
About The Astonishing Tribe (TAT)
TAT is the leading provider of software and services to differentiate and enhance on-screen user experience to clients in the mobile computing, automotive, and consumer electronics sectors. With a long history of working with mobile and embedded technology, TAT offers user interface solutions to companies across the spectrum, from hardware and software platform vendors, to mobile device OEM’s, the automotive industry, consumer electronics manufacturers, network operators and service providers. Founded in 2002 and based in Malmo, Sweden, TAT operates offices in Sweden, North America, and Asia. For more information, visit www.tat.se.
About Research In Motion (RIM)
Research In Motion is a leading designer, manufacturer and marketer of innovative wireless solutions for the worldwide mobile communications market. Through the development of integrated hardware, software and services that support multiple wireless network standards, RIM provides platforms and solutions for seamless access to time-sensitive information including email, phone, SMS messaging, Internet and intranet-based applications. RIM technology also enables a broad array of third party developers and manufacturers to enhance their products and services with wireless connectivity. RIM’s portfolio of award-winning products, services and embedded technologies are used by thousands of organizations around the world and include the BlackBerry® wireless platform, the RIM Wireless HandheldT product line, software development tools, radio-modems and software/hardware licensing agreements. Founded in 1984 and based in Waterloo, Ontario, RIM operates offices in North America, Europe and Asia Pacific. RIM is listed on the Nasdaq Stock Market (Nasdaq: RIMM) and the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX: RIM).