Remember Audrey? Touchdroid To Make HP Touchpad A Better iPad 2 Rival

Hundreds of thousands of HP TouchPad tablets are expected to be sold by the end of the year as HP clears out the remaining stock of its doomed tablet device and exits the personal computer market altogether.

Already though, as the Touchpad and WebOS bids Adieu to their followers, a few developers have come together to start a new project called TouchDroid which, as its names implies, wants to port Android Gingerbread to the TouchPad with Ice Cream Sandwich and Honeycomb being the next step.

It is not clear at this stage whether the developers will want to replace WebOS altogether or make the device a dual boot one. The TouchDroid team currently comprises of four developers, Thomas Sohmers, John Hale, Jacob Bell and someone known as Framework43.

The last project that generated this level of enthusiasm was the 3Com Audrey. That tablet - known as an Internet Appliance - was launched back in October 2000 for $499 and could sync with up to two Palm OS-based devices; it was the precursor of the TouchPad.

It was discontinued less than one year later but lived on in the hacking community where its QNX roots made it a favourite amongst the computer enthusiast community. The TouchPad - which is currently being discounted at $99 for the 16GB model - is likely to attract an even bigger level of buzz.