Motorola Corvair Android-based TV remote control is back, now called the FiOS Companion

August 6, 2012
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Usually, when some sort of “technologically pioneering device”, bizarre hybrid, or road opener drops off the radar for almost a year, it’s a good indicator that the project has been abandoned. That’s exactly what we all thought happened with Motorola’s Corvair 6-inch tablet/universal TV remote control, first leaked way back in November 2011.

The Corvair went undercover for nine whole months, but, just when everyone forgot about it, the gizmo made an illustrious appearance under a different name. Now called FiOS Companion, the quirky 6-incher is pictured in a leaked survey, picked up by the guys at Engadget, and detailing quite a bit about what would the device bring to the table.

Although we can’t be 100% sure that the leak is legit, the document looks like something Verizon would use to test the market before deciding to get a new gadget into production. If that proves to be the case, the Corvair (or FiOS Companion) might still have a long way before actually seeing the light of day.

Based on the device’s new name, it seems that Verizon is planning to couple it with FiOS, its Internet access, telephone, and television service. That’s a bit surprising, because the FiOS Television service, launched in 2005, isn’t Big Red’s biggest hit, being available to only 15 million homes across the US, according to official statements.

But maybe Verizon plans to expand the service, or at least, ensure that existing customers are satisfied. Yeah, sure, that makes sense, but this Motorola gadget doesn’t look that groundbreaking. Being able to run all the regular apps of a normal Android-based tablet, the Corvair (I prefer that name over “FiOS Companion”) will come with streaming capabilities for select TV channels, and will be able to control DVD players, stereo systems, and other home-entertainment devices by infrared.

So far, so good, but the tablet only ran Android 2.3 Gingebread at the time of Verizon’s survey, which is disappointing. Its 6-inch screen might be too tiny by those who would want to use this gadget as a regular tab. Finally, we have to consider how the Corvair would measure up to the competition. Would anyone prefer this over the Google Fiber-Nexus 7 fantastic duo? Probably not, especially if the FiOS Companion will be further delayed, thus giving time to Google to extend its service nation-wide .

Verizon wanted user feedback before going forward with the “Motorola Corvair” project, so now it’s the best time to speak your minds. Would you like the tablet/remote control to become reality?

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