RIM’s TAT buy means it’s about to sex up the BlackBerry

2 Dec 2010

Could the BlackBerry – noted for its uniform corporate appearance – be about to take on a sexy new look? Research In Motion has bought Swedish user interface design firm That Astonishing Tribe.

TAT began as a hobby project in Sweden in 2002, initially focused on TV commercials. Today, the company designs user interfaces for some of the world’s biggest mobile brands, including Samsung, Sony Ericsson, Orange and Motorola.

The acquisition will see the team bring its talent to the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet computer and RIM’s various smartphone devices.


“We’re excited that the TAT team will be joining RIM and bringing its talent to the BlackBerry PlayBook and smartphone platforms,” said David Yack, chief technology officer at Research in Motion.

“For those who don’t know, TAT is renowned for their innovative mobile user interface (UI) designs and has a long history of working with mobile and embedded technology.

“TAT focuses on delivering great user experiences, from a design, technology, and usability perspective.

“Their design technology is used today in a variety of industries, including the consumer electronics and automotive sectors,” Yach said.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years