RIM Acquires TAT

1:00 PM To up the ante on PlayBook and BlackBerry user interfaces

Sarah Thomas, Director, Women in Comms

December 2, 2010

1 Min Read
RIM Acquires TAT

1:00 PM -- BlackBerry announced today via blog post that it has acquired user interface designer The Astonishing Tribe (TAT) to improve the BlackBerry PlayBook and other smartphones. (See RIM Shows Off PlayBook Tablet.)

RIM didn't reveal terms of the deal or how much it paid for TAT. [Ed. note: We assume a tit for TAT would've been fair.] TAT is also a member of Android's Open Handset Alliance and is responsible for the UI on T-Mobile US Inc. 's G1.

I've seen TAT demoed in the past and am impressed with their innovation around augmented reality, 3D, gesture navigation, and personalization -- all features that will be important to handsets going forward.

TAT's expertise will be especially important to RIM, which has been criticized on the UI front for being bulky and hard to navigate. Combining its TAT acquisition with QNX, the software used in the Playbook, will be an important strategic move for both.

Check out the video below to see TAT UIs in action:

— Sarah Reedy, Senior Reporter, Light Reading Mobile

About the Author(s)

Sarah Thomas

Director, Women in Comms

Sarah Thomas's love affair with communications began in 2003 when she bought her first cellphone, a pink RAZR, which she duly "bedazzled" with the help of superglue and her dad.

She joined the editorial staff at Light Reading in 2010 and has been covering mobile technologies ever since. Sarah got her start covering telecom in 2007 at Telephony, later Connected Planet, may it rest in peace. Her non-telecom work experience includes a brief foray into public relations at Fleishman-Hillard (her cussin' upset the clients) and a hodge-podge of internships, including spells at Ingram's (Kansas City's business magazine), American Spa magazine (where she was Chief Hot-Tub Correspondent), and the tweens' quiz bible, QuizFest, in NYC.

As Editorial Operations Director, a role she took on in January 2015, Sarah is responsible for the day-to-day management of the non-news content elements on Light Reading.

Sarah received her Bachelor's in Journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia. She lives in Chicago with her 3DTV, her iPad and a drawer full of smartphone cords.

Away from the world of telecom journalism, Sarah likes to dabble in monster truck racing, becoming part of Team Bigfoot in 2009.

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