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Devices I’d love to see for real

Mon, 10/03/2005 - 18:23 -- rprice

Doing some random browsing, I came across a concept device showcase from NEC, makers of random devices we see everywhere. Here are the two I thought had merit:

Soft-shell mobile phone, AKA tag:

“tag” is a new, malleable, casual communicator. It is not only soft but also flexible, for example, it can be hung from a belt or wrapped around the user’s arm. Shape-memorizing material and multiple pressure sensors allow the phone to change its shape according to the mode. The user can also alternate the mode by changing the shape.

This is cool because of a few things:

  1. No more sitting on your phone.
  2. No more phones in pockets.
  3. Probably e-paper, which rocks.
  4. Flexible electronics, fun times!

For serious, this sort of thing shoudl just be possible now, and needs to be on the shelf. true flexibility of design. Sure, the iPod Nano is small, but it is still locked into a rectangular shape! When I can see a device in the shape of a football, or integrated into my hat or headband (imagine the tag with a bit of elastic strapped to your head). Where are the voice commands, too? I also heard about guesture-controlled devices, but we have yet to see them on the market.

A mobile PC with dual displays, AKA duo-pc:

We use our favorite notebook on the desk and in a mobile environment. Then, why do we have to have more than one PC? Using short-range wireless connection and COG technology, a laptop PC will have more flexibility just like paper. This mobile PC has a multiple-layer hinge structure that allows users to open it as one large display on the desk and to use it as a tablet PC and a book browser for mobile use. It adapts to users’ environments and situations.

A cellular phone with dual displays, AKA duo-phone:

“duo-phone” is installed with a detachable display, which enables users to enjoy a videophone in a more natural manner, and a photo sensor adapting the next-generation barcode. It is a next-generation cellular telephone that can be also used as a “duo-pc” mouse and remote control.

Both of these devices, albeit prohibitively expensive, are where I wished the current generation of smart-phones and laptops/tablets would be headed. With devices serving so many functions these days, why constrict the input to straight up buttons. Using the phone as the mouse is an awesome twist. The form factor is also really nice, taking up the amount of space of an actual notebook. This small of a design would almost force flash memory or microdrives. I would pay $5,000 for a dual-display laptop with a configurable input side and a second screen for utility. Tablet PCs are also left-handed friendly, since you can rotate the display 90 degrees in any direction.

Gadgets are fun, but these gadgets just simplify things.

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