The Vivaldi tablet, which was Spark tablet originally, was conceptualized in January, 2012. It would have been the first hardware to run on the Plasma Active environment.
A marked development of a tablet that uses an open source software, it held much promise. However, in July of 2014, after running into countless delays and challenges, the project was officially terminated.
But why was Vivaldi canceled?
Vivaldi was included in Plasma Active’s initial release, and while there were a lot of favorable responses from various vendors, nobody wanted to take the first leap to roll out an unknown tablet device. To compensate for this, Aaron Seigo created MakePlayLive, a coop company that will manufacture and produce Vivaldi as well as other hardware products.
MakePlayLive began the long process of exploring and trying off-the-shelf devices that originated from Asian companies, until they found a manufacturer. The first problem came though when the manufacturer wanted to take bulk orders, that ranging in the six figures. MakePlayLive then searched for another manufacturer. While it found one, problem after problem mounted – from the manufacturer’s release of a new device to its refusal to issue the kernel code as a free license. MakePlayLive then moved on to another manufacturer.
It was in December, 2013 when MakePlayLive found QiMOD, a UK company which specializes in open hardware. This is where things started to spiral downward. According to QiMOD, MakePlayLive had communication problems and constantly changed the tablet’s specifications. On the other hand, Seigo said that it was actually QiMOD who wanted the specs changed. When QiMOD did redo the circuit board from scratch, the specs for Vivaldi would be outdated by a year.
While all this was happening, MakePlayLive was eating up money, and Seigo was financially ruined. He tried to keep the company afloat by releasing an engineering board called Improv, but it failed to pull in the necessary funds. Eventually, Seigo was forced to close down the project.
Failures aside, Seigo did say that there are some valuable lessons to be learned, and in the future, he would still want to take up another project!