The BlackDog is a standalone handheld computer with a built-in biometric fingerprint reader, developed in 2005 by Realm Systems, which is plugged in and powered from the USB port of a host computer using its peripherals for seizure and exit. It is a mobile personal server that allows a user to use Linux, its applications and data on any computer with a USB port. The host computer’s monitor, keyboard, mouse, and Internet connection are used by the BlackDog for the duration of the session. Because the system is stand-alone and isolated from the host, requiring no additional installation, it is possible to use unreliable computers while using a secure system. Various iterations of hardware exist, and the original developer Realm Systems closed in 2007, being taken over by the successor Inaura, Inc.
Identified as BlackDog, Project BlackDog or Original BlackDog, the first hardware version was presented as “unlike any other mobile computing device, BlackDog contains its own processor, memory and storage, and is fully powered by the USB port of a host computer without external power adapter required. “It was created in conjunction with Realm System’s Project BlackDog Skills (announced October 27, 2005), which was intended to generate interest and create a community of developers around the product.” BlackDog has been publicly available for sale on the Project BlackDog website in September 2005 for those wishing to enter the contest or to experiment with the platform.The production ended in mid-January 2006 when the contest ended, and on February 7, 2006, the winners of the competitions were announced for the categories: Safety (Michael Chenetz), Entertainment (Michael King), Productivity (Terry Bayne) and “Dogpile” (Paul Chandler) February 15, 2006, at the Open Source Conference, San Francisco, Terry Bayne was declared the winner of the contest and received $ 50,000 for his creation “Kibble”, a tool to build integration solutions between the host PC and the BlackDog device using t a SOAP-based RPC mechanism for sending arbitrary LUA code to be executed on the host PC from the BlackDog. At this conference, the second iteration of the BlackDog, the K9 was announced publicly.
Identified as the K9 Ultra-Mobile Server, or K9, this release was announced at the Open Source conference in February 2006 with expected availability in the third quarter of 2006. However, the company’s turbulence (see Company History) below) have prevented the K9 sold until early 2009 by Inaura, Inc. The promotional literature shows that the form factor is the same as the intermediate prototype iD3, a very thin chrome model resembling an iPod Nano, but all black with a rubberized exterior. Before the closure of Realm Systems, there were functional prototypes of the K9, the hardware design seemed complete and the software was functional. In terms of hardware, it differed from the original BlackDog in these aspects:
The iD3 was a variant of the K9, using the same hardware specifications, intended for business use with a corresponding router / management server identified as the iD1200. It was announced as part of the iDentity product series and was, for example, featured at the Embedded Systems conference in San Jose, California (April 3-7, 2006). The last form factor Realm Systems iD3 looked like a little Nokia cell phone.
The software was originally based on Debian until 2008. The project was moved to Olmec Linux.