Maide, a mobile software startup based in Toronto has an ambitious rethinking of how tablets will be used in the future. With a vision that may change how people interact with their desktop computers, Maide is pairing the multi-touch capability of the iPad with the raw power of the computer to create a powerful new input device for your desktop.
Yes, the iPad is designed for reading, gaming, and media consumption, but the next generation of tablet innovation lies in how tablets interact with your other devices. Devices such as televisions, PCs, laptops or even other mobile devices. We were given a demo of this new product at SIGGRAPH 2011, and simply put, it looks really cool.
What better place to start than the world of 3D modeling. The team has taken on the challenge of designing a new method of control for people who use 3D CAD programs. Their first product, Maide Control, turns the iPad into a multi-touch input device for programs such as Google Sketchup, and Rhinoceros 3D, and allows for multiple iPads to connect to one computer simultaneously.
It’s not only useful while modelling at your desk, and during collaborative design sessions, but also allows users to unchain themselves from their computers while presenting their designs and use the iPad as a presentation tool. This opens up a new wave of possibilities and although this is the first product by Maide, they plan to expand to different areas that can truly leverage device-to-device connectivity.
Born out of the Velocity tech and mobile incubator at the University of Waterloo, Maide recently raised seed funding from Extreme Venture Partners and the Velocity Venture Fund – a fund set up through a generous donation from Ted Livingston of Kik. The team is already working with engineering and design firms to build solutions around their tablet connectivity technology. Check out their website to download the free desktop software and to connect with them for updates.
• Wireless connectivity with the computer over wifi and ad hoc network*
• Automatic discovery with bonjour
• Control of the computer’s mouse and keyboard from the iPad
• Multiple iPads able to connect to one computer
• Multi-touch control of camera in 3D applications: Pan, Zoom, and Orbit
• Quick snaps to Orthogonal views
• Screenshot + email capability
• Radial menu for tool selection (16 application specific commands)
• Plug-ins available for Google Sketchup 8 and Rhino 4
• iPad app requires the free Maide desktop software to be running on the computer to connect
• Maide desktop software currently supported on Windows, Mac coming soon.
*Note: In places where standard wifi ports are blocked, such as Cafes, will prevent the app from speaking to your computer. In these cases, you must set up an ad hoc network to connect to your laptop directly.