Rahul Sood Hints at Future webOS Design Direction?

Precentral.net member “GodShapedHole” put two and two together nicely with a recent comment at the Precentral forums:

I also liked what Mr. Sood said [in the most recent Precentral Palmcast] about that designer who he’s worked with now being on the Palm team – not because I know the designer, but because it satisfies a bit of curiosity: it’s quite likely that the Pre Pebble designer who recently left Palm [Peter Skillman] HAD to go to make place for this guy.

That’s a great observation, and it makes a great deal of sense. It also might provide some insight into future webOS product designs (although likely not the next device, which is still from Palm’s roadmap). The gentleman Rahul was talking about is Mark Solomon, who came to HP from Voodoo and who designed the Blackbird 002 and the Voodoo Envy 133. The current line of Envy notebooks were influenced by Voodoo, while designed by HP’s Stacy Wolff. In short, then, given these influences, we’re likely to see things that look more like the HP Envy than the Palm Pre in future HP-influenced webOS devices.

I’m guessing this influence will be most immediately apparent with the tablet, and I couldn’t be more excited about the proposition. I like the Pre’s Zen-like design, but frankly I think a more Envy-like design will have greater mass appeal. And, it could work incredibly well for the tablet, and would integrate very nicely into HP’s mobile product line. If anyone hasn’t t looked at the Envy line of notebooks, they should.

I mean, seriously, look at the HP Envy 14: it’s a piece of mobile art, in my opinion, while remaining practical and entirely usable:


Now imagine that general design aesthetic in a table format running webOS. Something like I speculate about in my HP Hurricane flash forward, for example. Mix in some of the following as well, and I think you’ve got something that will attract people’s attention:


Is it January yet?

Update: A tipster points out that you can see the Voodoo influence in some other HP products lines as well, such as the HP Z workstation (both inside and out):


The similarities are more than skin deep, as well. Voodoo was known for implementing the highest-performing components into well-integrated chassis with great looks, thermals, and usability. That’s why the Envy 14 is not just a beautiful machine, it also performs well, doesn’t get overly hot, and is well-stocked with the right connectivity options. With Voodoo’s influence, HP is designing devices that are not just striking, but that also lead the industry in productivity.

HP calls this design mentality “MUSE,” for Materials (highest quality), Usability (accessibility, practicality, ergonomics), Sensory (nice tactile feel), and Experience (quality and packaging). This matches well with the combination of elegance and usefulness inherent in webOS itself, and makes for an exciting future. Take a minute to watch the following video to get a sense of what we have to look forward to:


  1. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by AboutwebOS, AboutwebOS. AboutwebOS said: Future #webOS devices to be more Envy than Pre? Wouldn't be a bad thing: http://tinyurl.com/2vqxfwc @Palm @HP_PC [...]

  2. [...] Like I wrote about here, HP’s Voodoo DNA bodes well for future webOS devices. And Rahul Sood is right in the thick of things. [...]

  3. [...] Setting aside the still-unfortunate use of Android in the device, it’s cool to see the Envy name being used by something other than an HP notebook. I’d sure love to see an HP Envy 10” tablet running webOS and sporting Voodoo DNA. [...]

Speak Your Mind