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John Chuang, founder of litl, decided to skip all the noise and create a simple, minimalist device for accessing the Internet. The appliance, called the webbook, makes it easy to surf the Web, check e-mail, view photos, and access cloud applications such as Google Apps, Flickr, Facebook and Twitter. John and his team created their own operating system and a user interface that’s engineered for online — since that’s where the majority of our personal computing activity occurs these days.
The inspiration came from John, who noticed a disconnect between how his family and friends were using their computers and how their devices were designed. Focusing exclusively on internet applications meant litl could streamline how its webbook runs and is maintained. You don’t have to worry about managing files, keeping your virus protection up to date, or backing up your data. All the content you access (photos, messages, music) is stored online, not on the device itself. When litl publishes a security patch or releases a new feature, the system is automatically updated overnight.
Litl’s sleek hardware design is head-turning — literally. You can pivot the webbook screen until it stands like an easel for a hands-free way to view photos, check recipes or listen to a webcast. You can also plug it into an HD television and use litl’s remote control to flip through your favorite online TV shows.
Litl won an astounding three IDEA awards from the Industrial Design Society of America. One is for the webbook’s sleek hardware design; the second is for its streamlined operating system (Daily Grommet’s Anthony helped write the application code); and the third is for its minimalist packaging, which is made from recyclable paper with no plastics or foams.