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Friday, 30 December 2011

Watch Netflix movies on TouchSquid tablet

Here is the link to the new Netflix Version 1.6.0 that solves many of the previous Netflix problems on Android tablets.

One of the nice features of TouchSquid is the ability to watch Netflix streaming movies, which is increasingly becoming a favorite pasttime. For one flat fee of $7.99 per month, Netflix subscribers have access to a big selection of movies, TV series from USA,UK as well as foreign movies and shows.

The TouchSquid tablet has a convenient portable size which makes viewing a pleasant experience. Just put on your earphone, find a relaxing chair or bed, and you can have hours of entertainment without breaking the bank. If you missed out on the many good TV series in the past, now is your chance to watch your favorite shows or movies at your own leisure without being interrupted by commercials.

Note: A strong internet signal and wifi connection is key to a good Netflix experience.

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

TouchSquid Now Shipping all across North America

December 20, 2011 8:00 pm Pacific Time. We are happy to announce TouchSquid is now shipping all across North America and Europe. We are working all night. All orders will be going out tomorrow.

Cathay Pacific delivered TouchSquid tablets to YVR airport

December 20.2011  11:00 am Pacific Time.  Like the immediate family in the maternity ward waiting room, all early squid adopters experience the drama and waiting in anticipation of the new production units.  The Production Department did their part, and the first few units immediately went to the Testing Lab for the FCC, IC and CE approval process.  TouchSquid passed all tests and we now have the complete compliance test results.  We had anticipated the cargo to be loaded on to the plane last week, but customs clearance in China, and transport to airport took longer  than planned.  Early Squid Adopters will be pleased to know that Cathay Pacific Flight where the Squid tablets are boarding has arrived on time at YVR airport as of 10:00 am Pacific Standard time.  

Pending clearance at Canadian Customs, Squid tablets should be appearing at households across North America, under the Christmas tree.

Monday, 28 November 2011

TouchSquid Announces IR Code Capture Android App for Global Cache

November 28, 2011 TouchSquid is pleased to announce the availability of an IR Code Code App for Android smart devices for use with Global Cache Itach products and TouchSquid Remote Control App.

The TouchSquid IR Code Capture App allows the capture of IR codes that control infrared driven equipment. When used in conjunction with Global Cache Itach Products, the learned code is displayed and converted into TouchSquid file formats. These learned codes can then be used as input into the android device. The stored codes can be used to control and automate any device that accepts infrared control signals, using the TouchSquid Remote Control App.

This IR Code Capture App opens up the possibility of controlling other devices that accept infrared control signals, such as light switches, blinds, lighting, thermostat controls, to name a few. Since the TouchSquid remote app allows creating custom buttons in each activity, there is virtually no limit on the devices which might be controlled. The app will be on the Android Market and other markets beginning December 5.

According to Grahame Shannon, founder of TouchSquid Technology "Our new code capture utility will make it possible for the TouchSquid remote app to control anything with an infrared remote. Our client's asked for it, and we developed it in record time".

Thursday, 24 November 2011

TouchSquid Appoints Distributor in Slovenia

We are pleased to announce that PS Promis in Slovenia has been appointed our distributor for Slovenia.  Igor Sujko and his team is working with us in the Slovenian translation of screen prompts for the TouchSquid TV Remote Control tablet.   PS Promis is in the business of Domotics (home automation) and is also the distributor of the Belgian Teletask System,  instead of walking in the house to click hundreds of buttons and switches and knobs... his clients get a simple and nicely designed TELETASK wall panel where they click only one button.  His vision is that every household should have a basic automation system.

With the addition of TouchSquid remote control tablet in PS.Promis range of product offerings, Slovenians can now also enjoy what TouchSquid has to offer.

To Igor and his team, we say dobrodošli v ekipi.

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Early Squid Adopters eagerly await TouchSquid airshipment

Excitement is building as we all await the arrival of the new TouchSquid tablets. We thank you for your trust and support during this market pre-launch. Early Squid adopters come from all around the world, as far as Belgium, Germany, Slovenia, England.... In the USA, we have adopters from Illinois, Texas, Florida, Washington, New York, Minnesota, Colorado... In Canada we have adopters from Alberta, BC... in Kamloops, Port Moody, North Vancouver, Duncan, Langley.... Your support meant a lot for us.

Since the first prototype arrived, we have been working very hard to get the production version built. Today, we received the final prototype version complete with packaging box, and the accompanying accessories.

If you live in Canada and the USA, your Squid tablets will likely arrive before Christmas. For our European early Squid adopters, your Squid tablets will likely arrive before the New Year.

We will keep you posted with more news and app reviews during the next few days as we gear up for the arrival date.  We will soon begin to set up dealers and distributors both locally and internationally.

Thursday, 10 November 2011

TouchSquid explains Can a Squid Change your Life?

Grahame Shannon explains how the TouchSquid remote control tablet concept was conceived. Using touchscreen technology, TouchSquid universal tv remote control tablet has a built-in IR blaster allowing it to control other devices through Wi-Fi. It incorporates less crowded, more dynamic and fluid user interfaces for virtual buttons; and in-remote virtual keyboards for simultaneous text input onto the screen.

The TouchSquid TV remote control tablet supports one-touch activity based control, which allows control of multiple devices at once. For example, a home theater setup might include a TV, a digital set top box and a home theater sound system. Pressing the 'Watch TV' activity button on the remote will turn on the TV, turn on digital set top box, turn on the sound system, switch the input of TV to the digital set top box and switch the input of the sound system to the set top box. In addition, the volume buttons would be mapped to the sound system, the channel buttons would be mapped to the digital set to box, and other controls to the most appropriate system component for the activity.

Above is a video that explains what the TouchSquid univeral tv remote control tablet does in non-technie words.

For those who already own a tablet, A TouchSquid universal tv remote control app is available on Android market access, Amazon android market, and the android app mall. This app will turn your android phone or other android tablet such as the Amazon Kindle Fire, Motorola Zoom, Samsung Galaxy into a TV remote control tablet. As these tablets do not have an IR blaster, they will need a Global Cache wifi to ir transmitter device.

TouchSquid entered strategic partnership with Global Cache

Nov. 3, 2011 We are proud to announce our strategic partnership agreement with Global Caché, a leading provider of connectivity products.  The agreement provides a platform for co-marketing and product compatibility. An Android tablet can be used as a universal home theater remote control using a combination of TouchSquid’s remote control app and a Global Caché iTach infrared device.

The Global Caché iTach is a family of products designed to connect almost any electrical device to a network in a matter of minutes. Based on open systems and industry standards, the ultra-compact device fits almost anywhere (even the palm of your hand), and includes a choice of wireless (WiFi) or wired (TCP/IP) connectivity to infrared (IR), serial (RS232), and contact closure (relay) equipment.

The Global Cache WIFI to IR transmitter
The new TouchSquid app for generic android tablets shows the company's dedication as solution developer in the home theatre remote control industry. The TouchSquid TV remote control tablet, our flagship product is an all-in-one remote control/tablet computer, but the generic TouchSquid App can turn virtually any Android tablet with an iTach from Global Caché into a fully featured, high end home theater remote control with large, easy to read virtual buttons, intuitive user interface, and customizable screens. The TouchSquid app  includes an extensive library of supported devices (growing all the time), and an internet connected tablet can be used to browse TV listings and reviews.

By having the ability to store multiple profiles, using activity based button layouts with automatic input switching, and providing a quick, easy way to get back on track when devices are out of sync (in the form of the Squid help button), the TouchSquid App eliminates a number of common “remote control headaches” and enhances a viewer’s home theater experience.

Beyond simply adding remote control functionality to Android devices (tablets and full screen smart phones), an iTach from Global Caché can eliminate the need for line of sight visibility of devices being controlled by TouchSquid’s all-in-one device, allowing devices to be hidden in a cabinet or a separate room.

Coupled with an iTach from Global Caché, this App will run on the Amazon Kindle Fire, Motorola Xoom, Samsung Galaxy Tab, and many other generic Android tablets.

About Global Caché Inc.
Global Caché is a leading provider of connectivity products for homes and businesses. The company’s award-winning products include the GC-100 Network Adapters and the new iTach family of products, delivering WiFi and TCP/IP based connectivity to almost any electrical device in seconds. Global Caché products provide connectivity for network-based software to access, control, and deliver services in a networked environment to diverse and previously unconnected devices. Global Caché sells worldwide through distributors, VARs, and OEMs. For more information on Global Caché and our products and services visit them online at or call them at 541.899.4800      .

Thursday, 20 October 2011

Douglas College Entrepreneur of the Year 2011 wins TouchSquid Tablet

Last night the Touchsquid team attended a gala awards evening put on by the Douglas College Self Employment program. This great entrepreneurial training ground has helped start over 3000 businesses since its inception.

Touchsquid Technology Inc. was a Gold Sponsor, and we donated two TouchSquid tablets for use as prizes. One was given to the overall winner, Dr. Cobi Slater and the second was a door prize, won by Steve Chapman, who immediately thanked us on Facebook.

 Dr. Cobi Slater of Essential Health Natural Wellness Clinic won the Douglas College Entrepreneur of the Year 2011 award along with a TouchSquid TV remote control tablet

We sponsored the Hi Tech category, and I went on stage to announce the winner, Fabio Milano of  RDS support.  It was a large event with about 400 participants. As a start-up ourselves, it was our first time as a sponsor, but we expect to be back next year.

 Photo above shows Grahame Shannon of TouchSquid presenting the
Douglas College High Tech Award to Fabio Milano of RDS Support Services

Friday, 7 October 2011

TouchSquid Early adopters get special deal!

The TouchSquid early adopters order page is now open at

See video at Starting up the Squid

This is an unedited photo of a Squid Prototype. The case is made of plain white material, painted black, which explains the worn appearance. Of course production units will have the color molded in.

Monday, 19 September 2011

TouchSquid goes into production

The TouchSquid tablet has been OKed for production after prototypes were extensively tested. A few minor changes were made and we are good to go.

The first production units will arrive about mid November. Early adopters should sign up at the web site to get a special deal!

Saturday, 26 March 2011

The Squid gets a Logo

The basic concept of the Touchsquid had become a Tablet computer with the capabilities of a Universal remote control built in. We needed a memorable logo. The first attempt was this:
This was reasonably well liked by our test group, but nobody was jumping up and down with enthusiasm.

A second attempt was my effort using a 3D solid modeling approach:
This was not liked, one observer remarked that it looked like it was designed by an Engineer.

Then I had a flash that you don't need to represent a Squid, just suggest one, and I had the idea of just showing the eye of the squid along with a couple of lines to suggest the body.
Everybody likes this one, so it was adopted.  I have oversimplified the process, there were many other logos which were sketched in pencil, rejected, and never rendered as these three were.

 It is my opinion that a great product needs a memorable brand and logo, and I think we have that. Some memorable brands have even come to represent the entire class of product.  In the UK vacuum cleaning is called hoovering.  It is our plan the someday Touchsquid or just a Squid will come to represent a touch screen remote control. As in "Have you got your Squid yet?".

More on the evolution of the product in the next post.

Friday, 25 March 2011

The evolution of a Cephalopod

A squid is a Cephalopod. There are many types of squid. All are endowed with ten arms or tentacles.

The Touchsquid evolved from frustration. I was disgusted with the large number of remote controls on our coffee table. Although I do have a "Universal Remote Control" it is by no means easy to program or use. It has 60 tiny buttons, several of which have no known function. What does a yellow triangle do?

Typically, while watching a DVD movie, the telephone rings. I want to pause the movie and answer the phone. Sounds easy. But the room is dark, so I have to get up, turn on a light, find and don my reading glasses, and search for the tiny pause button. By then the phone has stopped ringing.

I had the idea that I could use a tablet computer to operate as a remote control. So I started figuring out how to do it. The problem than was that TV and most other remote control devices communicate with Infrared light.  Tablet computers did not have the hardware on board to emit infrared light.  External USB dongles that can do that do exist, as does software to use them.

I thought of calling my device the icontrolfreak, and even registered

I discussed the idea with my son, and we came up with our first solution, which was to use Bluetooth to communicate with a sort of "puck" which would sit on the coffee table and would have the needed infrared devices. It would run on two AA batteries. We had an engineer build a prototype, but problems arose immediately. Battery life would be only 10 days or so.  Unacceptable. Having a power cord snaking across the living room seemed like a hard sell too. We thought if we put the puck behind the TV or inside a cabinet, it would be OK if it plugged in. But then the device would not be able to "see" the TV and other components such as cable box and DVD player.

The solution to that one proved to be a series of tiny infrared LEDs attached to small wires, or tentacles. This is when I thought of calling it a squid. Of course was not available. Since the ideal controlling computer would have a touchscreen, we dreamed up the name Touchsquid and registered, .net, and so on.

While this was going on I began designing the software and programming it using Visual Studio on a Windows computer. In about two months I had a working prototype. But the Bluetooth squid was temperamental. It would loose its connection with the computer every time it was shut down, and you had to re-enter a PIN number on start up.  And initial installation although not very difficult was time consuming. Also, what would we sell? The bluetooth squid, and software to run on an existing computer? We would need at least 3 versions for Windows, Ipad, and Android devices. And the user would have to download it from the internet.

At about that time two other companies came out with similar devices.  We tried them, and the hardware was OK but the software sucked. A visit to the CES show in January 2011 changed my path.

At the show I met several manufacturers with plant capacity and engineering expertise, but rather generic products. After talking to a few I realized that building the infrared hardware into a tablet computer would produce a much better and more practical solution. We could write better software, dedicated to a single screen size and orientation, and the user would not have to fiddle with tiny wires. The application would be installed at the factory, so it would be a quick setup.

After the CES show I gave a "live" demonstration to a selected group of a dozen friends, using a Windows 7 touchscreen tablet, and a hardwired IR dongle. They all loved the ease of use, and look and feel. The consensus was that they would rather have a "one box" solution that did not involve downloading and installing software.  Thus the the embryonic Touchsquid was born.

More evolution in the next post...