Yetitablet is a screen for teams
Finnish company Kuori has created a device that brings people together, be it in kindergartens, at construction sites or in nursing homes.
We’ve all been there: immersed in our own devices in company or almost walked into a lamppost whilst looking at a screen, detached from the world around us. Smartphones and tablets seem to, at times, steal all of our attention.
Maria and Jarkko Jokelainen, co-founders of Kuori, figured this doesn’t need to be the case. Their hypothesis was that smart gadgets could actually help us communicate with the people who are with us here and now. The couple with three children, all diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), had come to notice that interactive lessons in multimedia classrooms played a crucial role in helping their children learn and communicate.
“In general, tablets are pretty individualistic,” Maria Jokelainen says. “Which is fine – that’s what they were designed for. However, if everyone could see what happens on the screen, the technology could be utilised for teamwork and collaboration.”
Unfortunately, no suitable solution was available on the market. That didn’t kill the idea, though: Jarkko Jokelainen, who has served in high IT positions in various corporations, built his first gadgets and computers when he was only 10 years old.
He made the first version of Yetitablet with his own hands. The goal was to create a large, intuitive and versatile tablet that’d help children learn and play.
Exceeding all expectations
Yetitablet didn’t work as planned. It worked better.
“As we started testing the first versions, it was mind-blowing to notice how multiple uses we could think of,” Maria Jokelainen recalls. “As long as we made it as open and interoperable as possible, there seemed to be countless possibilities of what can be done with it.”
Yetitablet, coming in sizes ranging from 27 to 98 inches, functions as a smart screen and a smart table, depending on the position of the tilt-lift stands. Equipped with an open Android OS, it supports millions of applications, serves as a digital whiteboard and enables video conferencing.
Whereas previous similar solutions have been mainly industry-specific, Yetitablet is deliberately as generic as possible.
“Like a smartphone, it’s an application platform,” Jarkko Jokelainen explains. “When it suits various purposes, the user experience is more intuitive, and it also reduces the price.”
Now, Yetitablets can be seen in shopping centres as interactive maps, at construction sites as platforms for building information modelling software, in schools and educational institutions as learning devices, and as tools for physiotherapists and occupational therapists in their work with patients.
One heart-warming memory comes from a nursing home, where the Jokelainens thought the device could help with sharing information and schedules.
“Suddenly, the residents were doing crossword puzzles, watching videos on YouTube and showing each other places where they used to live on Google Street View,” Jarkko Jokelainen tells laughingly. “For many older people, it is much easier to get used to using Yetitablet instead of a regular-sized tablet, because it seems like a television, only that you can touch it.”
On the way to a household name
Now, Kuori receives all sorts of requests from all over the globe from people, companies and organisations keen to see if Yetitablet could suit their needs. Maria Jokelainen has been thrilled to see how the device inspires its users.
Currently there are ongoing negotiations with possible partners and customers in Japan, the German-speaking world, other Nordic countries and the Middle East. For example, in May it was announced that a pilot project involving Yetitablet had gathered plenty of interest in Jordan and many resellers have been found in the region.
Finland’s reputation in education around the globe is indisputable. In Kuori’s case, the nation’s fame in technology helps, too. The design, as well as firmware development and all business-critical operations, takes place in Finland; only some component are manufactured in Asia.
The ultimate goal is to one day be if not the only, but at least one of the household names in the interactive flat panel market.
“As we grow and gain visibility, Yetitablet will for sure find more and more uses in new fields, too,” Maria Jokelainen predicts.