Fusion Garage has Android envy

Undaunted by the past failure of its unpopular JooJoo tablet, Fusion Garage (aka TabCo) is back in the mobile game with a “new” operating system, tablet and smartphone. 

There’s just one problem: the so-called Grid operating system is actually based on Google’s Android OS, with a “completely new” user experience slapped on top of it. 

Seriously? Why would anyone want to dilute Android with Fusion Garage bloatware? Oh, right, they wouldn’t.

But that rather obvious fact didn’t stop Fusion Garage CEO Chandra Rathakrishnan from trying to talk up the completely pointless OS and related Grid hardware in an extremely bombastic and rambling press release

“This is not a re-skinned version of Android. What we did with the Android kernel is akin to what Apple did when it created the Mac OS. They built a completely new OS on top of UNIX BSD and we took exactly the same approach with Android,” Rathakrishnan claimed – presumably with a straight face.

“This approach gave us the stability of Android and allowed us to bring a new level of functionality, aesthetics and flair to the tablet market. It also allowed us to power a completely new type of user interface.”

Yes, according to Rathakrishnan, Fusion Garage and Grid 10 are “essentially reinventing” the touch interface. 

How so, you ask?

Well, the Grid UI is entirely gesture based (except for keyboard input) and supposedly eliminates the need for any buttons on the Grid-10 beyond power on/off. 

Users can also pan around an almost endless grid that Rathakrishnan describes as a “large table space.” Apps and other desktop icons are placed where the user wishes within categorized clusters of their choosing on the Grid-10 home screen.

Additionally, the Grid-10 UI offers wheel-based interaction, as a finger tap brings up a wheel icon with spokes that offer various functions.

Uh huh. 

Sounds like someone has Android envy. Well, and Apple envy too. Personally, I think I’d rather stick with an Apple iPad or an Android tablet.

But hey, if the Grid OS and related hardware sounds like something you’d be interested in, here are the relevant details:

Grid-10 tablet

The 16GB Grid-10 WiFi model is priced at $500, while the 16GB 3G +WiFi version retails for $600. Additional specs include: Nvidia Tegra 2 processor, 1366 x 768 resolution, 1.3 megapixel front-facing webcam, Bluetooth 2.1 and a microSD slot.

Grid-4 smartphone

The Grid-4 smartphone – which works “in tandem” with the Grid-10 tablet – carries a $400 price tag and will go on sale in Q4. Additional specs include: Qualcomm dual-core processor, 16GB of memory, 800 x 480 resolution, a front facing 0.3 megapixel camera and a rear facing five megapixel camera with autofocus.

The Grid-10 tablet is on sale now through Amazon and at Fusiongarage.com, while the Grid-4 smart phone will go on sale beginning in Q4.