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264 comments

Wait there pardner (1)

starfishsystems (834319) | more than 4 years ago | (#30847682)

But don't hold your breath.

Re:Wait there pardner (2, Insightful)

cheesybagel (670288) | more than 4 years ago | (#30847844)

Great. Asus leadership has turned to worshiping vaporware crapola. This reminds me of Nokia's cellphone designs [nokia.com] before the iPhone came out and eat their lunch in the high end. Make usable and manufacturable designs people. Geez.

Re:Wait there pardner (1)

Daniel_Staal (609844) | more than 4 years ago | (#30848242)

Even they think that's more of a long-term thing. (They say 5 years, before they are on the market. Which might be possible. It'd take longer yet for them to take off, my opinion.)

From the article, they have no reason to think the netbook is dead yet. Just that sooner or later it'll be replaced with something smaller and more functional.

Which is probably true, as long as you don't think it'll happen in the next couple of years.

Re:Wait there pardner (1)

cheesybagel (670288) | more than 4 years ago | (#30848354)

Well they are wrong. Screen surface size matters. A wristwatch form factor is not a replacement for a laptop or even a netbook. People have claimed this could be circumvented with foldable displays, but those have been vapor so far. E Ink was supposed to be used in foldable displays, yet the one use of it I can remember of after all these years, the Kindle, is most definitively not foldable. Foldable displays also have issues regarding input. A hard surface is useful since it means it can withstand pressure (finger, pen whatever).

A wristwatch form factor can make sense for a phone replacement, but some of us bought smartphones because we wanted to do web browsing, email, or even gaming. For these applications a larger screen is preferable.

Such small displays defeat the entire idea of why netbooks have been so successful: light and small platforms in which you can do web browsing, e-mail, light gaming, presentations, or light office work.

Re:Wait there pardner (2, Insightful)

Daniel_Staal (609844) | more than 4 years ago | (#30848512)

Which would be one of the reasons they are not ready for prime time yet: The display issue hasn't been solved.

Sooner or later it will be, somehow. Foldable, projection, HUD, implant, something else; one will work well enough to be usable. Then we'll see if the other problems are solved or solvable.

Really: He's not saying it's ready now. He thinks it will be sometime soon, and he's got his company working on it so they'll be ready when it is.

He didn't say the netbook is dead. Just that it's a short-term solution, and long-term it'll be surpassed.

Re:Wait there pardner (2, Insightful)

biryokumaru (822262) | more than 4 years ago | (#30848514)

Why do all these designs rely on tiny interfaces? That Nokia video had it fold out, but the "keyboard" was still minuscule.

There used to be an old projection keyboard, where it projected a keyboard onto whatever surface you wanted, and made little clicky noises when you typed. That plus one of those tiny projectors duct taped around the innards of a smart phone and you've got a respectably powered computer with a large screen and a normal sized keyboard that fits in your pocket. Well, if you have kinda big pockets.

You'd hafta have the software that college kid came up with a while back to make the projector not look crappy on uneven surfaces, but that's certainly not an unreasonable issue. Maybe same for keyboard, maybe not.

Still, this would be just about as usable as a desktop machine, just about as powerful as some of the junk I see non-tech people using on a daily basis, and when it's off, it's smaller than a desk phone. Imagine turning your computer off and suddenly having your entire desk empty.

Where is that computer? The one that doesn't have the sucky tiny keyboard where you can't even freakin' hit F5 anymore without pressing an fn button? Why isn't that the future of computing?

Ergonomics? (4, Insightful)

captaindomon (870655) | more than 4 years ago | (#30847692)

Yeah, because we all know how easy it is to use a 1"x1" oval viewing screen strapped to your wrist, to view large PDF attachments, for example.

Re:Ergonomics? (2, Informative)

jornak (1377831) | more than 4 years ago | (#30847724)

Imagine something a little more bracelet-like... and even then, the idea of a wristwatch/wearable computer isn't a new idea at all... Companies have being developing wristwatch computers for a long time now.(http://www.pcworld.com/article/65623/is_that_a_pc_on_your_wrist.html)

Re:Ergonomics? (3, Insightful)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 4 years ago | (#30847754)

Not to mention you'll only have one hand to use it with. Have you ever tried typing/texting with a single hand? Its not as intuitive as two thumbs or a full fledged keyboard with 10 fingers.

Re:Ergonomics? (1)

cromar (1103585) | more than 4 years ago | (#30848074)

How about dictation, or handwriting recognition (say writing a letter and scanning it with the watch). Or how about your watch serves a number of functions that don't rely on typing, including serving as your data uplink. Your other devices would interface with your watch to send and receive data. You could write your letter on another device you carry, such as tablet PC or iPod, which would then use your watch to send the email.

The future looks pretty cool if you think outside the box a little. It's very easy to start thinking that windowing systems and cell phones are the pinnacle of UIs, but they are not, and do not particularly integrate well with normal human life.

Dictation. Right. (3, Funny)

HiggsBison (678319) | more than 4 years ago | (#30848326)

How about dictation...

Dear Mr. Barnsmithers,
Thank you for inquiring about our project. That's product you stupid fucking piece of shit. Jesus Christ almighty, don't you understand anything? ...

Re:Ergonomics? (1)

kaen (38872) | more than 4 years ago | (#30848102)

I think it would be better, as you could use all the digits on one hand, rather then just your two thumbs. It might take a little getting used to though.

Re:Ergonomics? (1)

Zerth (26112) | more than 4 years ago | (#30847830)

While it wouldn't make PDF viewing much easier, the fictional computer cuff at the bottom of the article had approx 2-3"x 3" viewing area, similar to an iphone or bb storm. And I know people who read PDFs on those.

Re:Ergonomics? (2, Interesting)

cromar (1103585) | more than 4 years ago | (#30847914)

That's erm... sort of a good point, but come one. Think outside the box a little.

The desktop computer is on its way out for everyone but typists and coders. When your wristwatch automatically interfaces with any number of large screens at your office or home, not to mention printers and fax machines, who is going to be worrying about the size of their watch display? We have the technology to do that now... and that's just one of many possible evolutions of UI. The possibilities are quite astounding.

Re:Ergonomics? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30848084)

How come my watch battery now weighs 1/2 a pound? Oh, to run that nVidia watch? I just wanted to tell the time and do some jogging with a stopwatch darn it. Now it shows my time on all of the screens in the buildings I run past.

Re:Ergonomics? (1)

cromar (1103585) | more than 4 years ago | (#30848156)

The 1/2 pound battery is there to increase the effectiveness of your jog! As for the rest, well, err... it was the Chinese!!

Typists (4, Insightful)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#30848396)

The desktop computer is on its way out for everyone but typists and coders.

And guess what anyone is who writes e-mail, blog posts, or forum posts: a typist.

Re:Ergonomics? (2, Interesting)

TheLink (130905) | more than 4 years ago | (#30847934)

Currently there's tech that:

1) allows the blind to see - but with crappy resolution. Also do a search for "seeing tongue" - seeing is in the mind.
2) allows paralyzed people to control devices with their thoughts.

So if tech improves, the screen will be in your head. And the keyboard too.

No need to waste energy on backlights.

Add wireless tech and some "software glue", and you'd have virtual telepathy and virtual telekinesis.

The real problem is Copyright Law and DRM. The laws and DRM systems might prevent you from recalling videos you record (as you walk in a mall that has copyrighted background music) or limit you to limited plays per pay...

Re:Ergonomics? (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 4 years ago | (#30848162)

The tech is going to have to be pretty amazing if you want me to stop using my retina. And I don't have particularly good optics in front of my retinas (I'm right on the edge of needing correction to drive, but not over the edge yet).

Re:Ergonomics? (1)

TheLink (130905) | more than 4 years ago | (#30848444)

Why would you stop using your retina? Think of it as "aux video".

Or a third eye (or even more ;) ).

It'll be interesting if children get augmented at an early age. We currently have stereoscopic, 3 colour vision, but they might have something far better.

Re:Ergonomics? (2, Funny)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 4 years ago | (#30847950)

Oh come on! Didn't you ever have a friend who wore one of those wristwatch calculators? Weren't you amazed by how quickly and easily they could calculate tips or do other feats of mathematical prowess in mere decaseconds by poking at the tiny, tiny buttons?

This would be just like that, but with applications that fit even worse onto a miniscule one-handed interface!

Re:Ergonomics? (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 4 years ago | (#30848210)

Well, unless it could accurately respond to natural language queries (or even semi-structured queries).

Re:Ergonomics? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30848350)

Hey, I resent that, my calculator watch works great. Want to set the alarm? Just type in the time. Battery life not bad either--seven years. I wish Casio would add a Taylor-split function to the stopwatch, other than that it's just right (as a watch). Never had any interest in the Casio data bank watches.

Re:Ergonomics? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30847994)

If you bothered to look at the article, the concept picture is not a 1"x1" oval viewing screen. It has a decent sized screen, larger than a cell phone. You know that any argument against the screen size and usefulness is applicable to cell phones, right? We've heard them before, and the market has proven them wrong.

Why would viewing large PDF attachments on a mobile device be the dividing line between useful and useless? How often do you do that even on your PC? This is a device that's they're saying is the next step from netbooks, not a PC replacement.

BTW, a 1"x1" oval is called a 1" circle.

Re:Ergonomics? (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 4 years ago | (#30848476)

Despite having an iphone of my own, I still don't buy into the mindless hype. The device is
very limiting and very constraining. This is why there's so much fixation on the apple tablet
idea. Such a thing might make the multi-touch UI something more of a curiosity.

Even a smaller netbook is problematic for those of us with big hands and current sub-netbook
type interfaces are nothing to do even serious goofing off with.

Re:Ergonomics? (1)

Jeng (926980) | more than 4 years ago | (#30848004)

Why would we wear our computers when they are already on our phones?

Or are they also looking at wearable phones?

Re:Ergonomics? (2, Insightful)

camperdave (969942) | more than 4 years ago | (#30848152)

*MY* phone has no computing power whatsoever, and sits solidly on my desk 24/7.

Re:Ergonomics? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30848376)

I've got one of those. It's always a surprise when someone calls me on it instead of my normal portable phone.

Re:Ergonomics? (1)

Issarlk (1429361) | more than 4 years ago | (#30848324)

Because then you can hold your phone to watch TV while typing on the wrist computer to chat with a friend over MSN.

Re:Ergonomics? (4, Funny)

frank_adrian314159 (469671) | more than 4 years ago | (#30848214)

a 1"x1" oval viewing screen strapped to your wrist

Nah, it's going to be a "Flavor Flav"-style wearable that goes around your neck - 17" screen and all.

History of computing paradigms (5, Interesting)

suso (153703) | more than 4 years ago | (#30848346)

One thing I've noticed over the many years I've been following the computer industry is that despite what hype marketing departments, CEOs and industry analysts spin, often times new devices don't replace the older devices so much as just augment the array of where you use a computer. So time has shown that you generally don't have to worry about a mass switch to newer technologies. These dates aren't exact, but its generally when they started showing up in the public eye.

*Mainframe/Server (1940s-infinity): Untouchable by user, but keeps track of info the user can't, makes sharing easier, etc. This will probably never go away as long as there is a need for reliability and massive storage.
*Workstation/Terminal (1950s-1990s): Let's you do stuff in relation to server/mainframe, but only at work.
*Desktop personal computer(1977-20??): Let's you try to do stuff at home. Can usually keep up with or exceed most innovations in technology. We will probably always have some sort of stationary access point for computing.
*Standardized Gaming Consoles (1977-infinity):Makes easier for most people to play games, but have never been realistic for computer-type work. Often goes back and forth between whether computers have better games. And no, this isn't the first time people have said "The end of PC/computer gaming". I think gaming consoles come and go with the cycles of the economy.
*Laptop (1980s-2020): Allows you do stuff in previous, but some people still prefer a desktop for power, customization, easy of repair
*PDA/iPhone/Droid (1993-24th century): More convenient than a laptop, but generally only used for organization type stuff, still need laptop or desktop for most things. Actually, if you look at Star Trek, you'll notice that they don't really have a one-device-does-it-all thing either.
*Tablet PC(1995-death of HP): More convenient than a laptop, but probably not as rugged. Only useful in some situations. Annoying when the touch display stops working. Will probably never catch on.
*Notebook computer (2007-?): Can put it in your purse and hold it like the bible, but good luck reading a document, doing anything useful. My wife uses hers to play Netflix movies while she uses her fullsize laptop.
*Wristwatch computer: Makes it a little easier to have fast access all the time to stuff a PDA would do for you. But you still need laptop or desktop.

So here we are in 2010, and all of these computing access paradigms still exist. None of them have replaced the previous paradigm even close to as much as they claimed they would. The only think I could think might replace the desktop/laptop paradigm is if headset computing comes along and allows you to see a virtual large display and you can think what you want to do and it will happen reliably. But we still have a ways and people will need to get used to that. Some people won't want to mess up their hair and what about when you need to drive, etc.

DUPE! (1)

Brett Buck (811747) | more than 4 years ago | (#30847694)

A dupe from Dick Tracy, that is.

          This "wearable computer" crap comes along every 5 years. It's still the epitome of lame, even by slashdot standards.

     

Re:DUPE! (4, Informative)

sznupi (719324) | more than 4 years ago | (#30847898)

More than dupe, Asus Waveface Ultra looks more or less like a direct rip-off of one concept from two years ago: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nokia_Morph [wikipedia.org]

Though the idea, when approached that way, as an advanced "cellphone" which can also wrap around your wrist, isn't completely stupid...

Re:DUPE! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30848270)

Yes. Yes it is.

Re:DUPE! (3, Insightful)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 4 years ago | (#30848292)

Maybe as a cell phone, but as a PC? I'm sorry, but I have to say this is a big can o' fail. Did you read the rest of what the guy said? Crap like this gem "I don't believe that the PC will keep evolving from simply [having] four core processors, to eight core to 16 core," he said. "I am tired of only thinking about the regular, dull PC roadmap."

I'm sorry, but that is just dumb. Thanks to multicore we are finally getting computers that can keep up with even the fastest of us, and even my more clueless customers are loving the new AMD quads. All they talk about is how responsive their new PC is, and how no matter what they do their new PC never seems to slow down. I just tell them it ain't gonna get anything but better, as MLC SSDs and DDR3 becomes truly mainstream we will finally have systems able to feed 8-16 cores, which will enable even the most computational heavy tasks such as video editing to become "clicky clicky" and done affairs.

And WTF? A watch PC? It will either be slow as fucking Xmas, have a usable battery life of 30 minutes or the battery will nicely roast your wrist. Battery tech hasn't gotten good enough to pull off that size without some serious tradeoffs. And while my dad can handle his netbook just fine I can just imagine him trying to deal with that thing on his wrist.

So in the end I have to say this guy is full of it. I'm sure that most of the netbook manufacturers would like netbooks to just die, as it is cutting into their more lucrative laptop sales. But they can't get out because their are plenty of other companies that will happily take that business, and with the threat of ARM based netbooks, or "browsers in a box" they must really be worried. Hence they are desperate to cook up the "next big thing" to try to cook up a new and more expensive niche. But I just don't see folks giving up those nice sub $400 netbooks for an ultra expensive watch.

Here we go (3, Insightful)

Cornwallis (1188489) | more than 4 years ago | (#30847702)

Wristwatch computers. (One more thing for my cat to attack.)

IMO, this is simply yet another attempt to manufacture a "need" where none exists as in The Next Big Thing...

Re:Here we go (1)

perlchild (582235) | more than 4 years ago | (#30847818)

Especially to find a genuine need, a portable, inexpensive computer to browse wifi from anywhere. Asus et al. love the netbook craze, except the margins on them are nowhere near "luxury item". A wearable computer would be, at least at launch, and that makes them salivate.

Big companies marketing seems driven by the wishful thinking of marketing more and more, and less about what computers want to buy, I predict they will meet with harsh reality's clue-by-four in the near future.

Re:Here we go (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 4 years ago | (#30847840)

Wristwatch computers? I want a wristwatch phone! A wrist watch is far too small to use as a computer; even my i776 cell phone is crappy using it to access the internet, as the screen is way too small.

The netbook, otoh, is small enough to carry around and big enough to watch a movie on.

Re:Here we go (2, Informative)

Qzukk (229616) | more than 4 years ago | (#30848400)

I want a wristwatch phone!

Done! [wired.com]

Now, where's my Dick Tracy wristwatch videophone!

first2wr (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30847714)

first

To Infinite... And Beyond! (1)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 4 years ago | (#30847720)

Is it the future already?

How soon till I can flip open my wrist panel and call Star Command?

Re:To Infinite... And Beyond! (4, Insightful)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 4 years ago | (#30847932)

Is it the future already?

What do you mean "already?" Do you know how long I had to wait for my own flat screen computer, communicator, self-opening doors, and all the other impossible stuff they had on Star Trek? About the only thing that we don't have, out of all the impossible things we do have (microwave ovens, phonorecords you can play in your car, GPS, iPods...) is faster than light travel, replicators, and transporter pads.

Yes, this is the future, and I had to wait a long time for it.

Re:To Infinite... And Beyond! (1)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 4 years ago | (#30848248)

I grew up with Television, Flatscreens were around by the time I was 10, there has been a Microwave around since as long as I can remember.

The future for me is voice interacting Smart AI computers built into my car or home, a handheld device that -actually- does everything, and transparent/holographic heads up displays in the consumer market.

I know we aren't quite there yet, but we're close.

Re:To Infinite... And Beyond! (2, Interesting)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 4 years ago | (#30848524)

...yes. Zardoz, not Star Trek.

A TOS terminal is like a Mac Plus without the fashion sense.

It even uses the same media... '-)

A lot of tech is not as new as the kids think it is.

Point of order.... (4, Interesting)

Itninja (937614) | more than 4 years ago | (#30847730)

Just so Asus is aware. If the netbook is truly dead after only 26 (or so) months then you did not 'pioneer a new class of computer', you 'started a short-lived fad'.

Re:Point of order.... (1, Interesting)

girlintraining (1395911) | more than 4 years ago | (#30848032)

Just so Asus is aware. If the netbook is truly dead after only 26 (or so) months then you did not 'pioneer a new class of computer', you 'started a short-lived fad'.

What's fascinating is that we still even listen to the suits and their marketspeak. If I had a penny for everytime some guy in a suit thought he had the next "revolution in [tech]", I'd be a $1E+06. O_o Netbooks became popular because for a lot of people -- that's what they spend most of their time doing.

When my friends hangout at our apartment, we all bring our laptops. Life without internet is scary! But a number of us have internet on our iphones, or wifi on smartphones and other devices, and spending $250 to have a very small form-factor laptop that can do internet isn't a bad idea -- it's something to throw in the bag on the way out the door, just in case you need to check e-mail or google something quick. Netbooks filled a niche -- which is now being taken over by more capable smartphones and embedded devices. That niche, however, is very much still alive and advances in technology or price reductions on netbooks could easily revive them.

People don't care what you call the thing, as long as it does what they want it to... and it helps if it looks good doing it.

Re:Point of order.... (3, Informative)

FlyingBishop (1293238) | more than 4 years ago | (#30848474)

Actually, the suit in question was very wise, much more so than the Slashdot headline makes him out to be.

If I had to paraphrase what he said in the article, it would be more along the lines of

Yeah, we've got all sorts of crazy shit in our development labs, but I don't think it's going to go anywhere - well, at least not this year. And even if it does, we're raking in the dough on these netbook things (which we invented by the way) and I don't think that's going to change anytime soon. However, some of this shit is pretty cool, and it will eventually become commonplace.

Re:Point of order.... (2, Informative)

mewsenews (251487) | more than 4 years ago | (#30848060)

Reading the article (yeah yeah), he says nothing about the netbook being "dead" or even declining. Just your standard Slashdot editorial slant -- fabricating a headline out of thin air.

Re:Point of order.... (0)

girlintraining (1395911) | more than 4 years ago | (#30848196)

Reading the article (yeah yeah), he says nothing about the netbook being "dead" or even declining. Just your standard Slashdot editorial slant -- fabricating a headline out of thin air.

Any given technology can be said to exist in one of two states: Growing, or dying. About the only thing in the modern computer that's escaped decades of change is the lowly 3-pronged power cord, which is still backwards compatible with XT-class systems. Slashdot, in its rush to reach a conclusion, simply skipped dying and went right to dead. At the rate things are going, in a few years we'll need ways to describe a technology that was never born, that died, resurrected, and is now eating Balmer's head. Maybe we'll call it the zombiemonkeyboyification of a technology, who knows...

Re:Point of order.... (1)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 4 years ago | (#30848374)

Besides, the origin of netbooks is varied and fuzzy that "pioneer" is a worthless or contestable claim anyways.

It's nice that they're trying something different. But their vision of a replacement is not likely to succeed, you only need to look at the long history of palm top/ultraportable/netbook/UMPC style computers that were interesting but failed to take the market beyond a niche. Claims of the death of an existing technology from anyone with vested interest its supposed replacement must be taken with a grain of salt, or just flatly ignored, because it's usually just PR.

Dead already? (3, Informative)

hansraj (458504) | more than 4 years ago | (#30847736)

Really? I thought the point of the article was that its death was inevitable, and that wearable computers are the future. How does that translate to "Netbooks are dead already"?

But hey, if you filter out editorial stupidity from slashdot we will have only one or two "news" every week or so.

Re:Dead already? (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30847770)

Your mistake was to read the article, nobody else does.

Re:Dead already? (3, Insightful)

hansraj (458504) | more than 4 years ago | (#30847820)

I know you are joking but I didn't have to read the article. All I had to do was realize that the headline sounds immensely stupid given that wearable computers are not really a replacement for a netbook as of yet, and then I just had to skim the article to verify that it was the poster and not the original article that was being moronic.

Re:Dead already? (2, Funny)

Taibhsear (1286214) | more than 4 years ago | (#30848430)

But hey, if you filter out editorial stupidity from slashdot we will have only one or two "news" every week or so.

You appear to have accidentally a whole word there...

This will go the way of the "Smart watch" (2, Interesting)

mafian911 (1270834) | more than 4 years ago | (#30847758)

Anybody remember Microsoft's smart watch? No?

Re:This will go the way of the "Smart watch" (1)

jgagnon (1663075) | more than 4 years ago | (#30847970)

I had a friend that bought one. It was cool for about 10 days and then got tossed for more functional "watch".

Re:This will go the way of the "Smart watch" (1)

IANAAC (692242) | more than 4 years ago | (#30848110)

I had one and liked it generally, aside from the miserable battery life.

But it's really stupid to even consider comparing something you wear and something you use to actually get work done. I realize these suits want us to believe that netbooks are only capable of media consumption, but they're capable of and used for much more.

great! (2, Funny)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | more than 4 years ago | (#30847784)

I can wear it as I commute with my personal electric flying machine to my shiny new, high paying "Green" career.

Are the editors working from the Gernsback continuum today?

eeh... (2, Insightful)

girlintraining (1395911) | more than 4 years ago | (#30847786)

...Wristwatch Computers.

hahahaha HA HA HA oh god, oh god... it kills me.

You know, I can just believe that we can cram everything but the input and display into that small of a space -- but the human interface problem makes any further degree of minaturization rather pointless for general-purpose computers. In select circumstances, you can get away with a lack of keyboard or a mini one, but really -- anything you plan on using heavily you want to have a decently-sized display and an input device with more than two buttons.

But even if you could solve the i/o problems, there's another more damning one: energy requirements. You need a power source for it. And there just doesn't seem to be any real technology innovations that are going to give you the energy densities you'd need to make it work for awhile.

Re:eeh... (1)

girlintraining (1395911) | more than 4 years ago | (#30847904)

And before the EEs jump on me -- yes, I know it is possible to power it using a near-field source (or similar tech), but that's just moving the problem elsewhere: the battery still has to exist somewhere and you're giving up efficiency to put it anywhere but in the unit. --With a tip of the hat to Tesla.

Re:eeh... (1)

Zerth (26112) | more than 4 years ago | (#30847928)

If the watch was just a display+wireless to the main unit, it wouldn't need much juice. Consider it a way to dual/triple head your phone.

Re:eeh... (1)

IrquiM (471313) | more than 4 years ago | (#30848008)

What cracks me up is that everytime somebody says "computer this" and "computer that" everybody is comparing it to a desktop / laptop.

It's not going to be something you have instead of your computer at the office, or your gaming rig at home.

Re:eeh... (0)

girlintraining (1395911) | more than 4 years ago | (#30848090)

It's not going to be something you have instead of your computer at the office, or your gaming rig at home.

Maybe not, but humans like tools that are lightweight, versatile, reliable, and powerful. The diversity of computational devices is due to shuffling our priorities about those things around -- you can have powerful, but not lightweight. You can have versatile, but maybe not reliable. Or you can have reliable and lightweight, but kiss powerful goodbye. Technology advancements continually bring all of them closer to coexisting peacefully in a single Grand Unified Computational Device That Is The Answer To Life, Universe And Everything.

Nachos?

Re:eeh... (1)

compro01 (777531) | more than 4 years ago | (#30848172)

Just because the processing/storage hardware is in the watch doesn't mean the display and input device has to be.

Though their concept device looks to have about as much screen real estate as any current touch smartphone.

Re:eeh... (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 4 years ago | (#30848504)

Well, you might be able to squeeze a laser projector down to size. And there are projection based keyboards, so it's just the power issue to deal with.

Do you think people might be persuaded to lug a car battery around on a trolley?

Pipboy (2, Funny)

Ralz (1634999) | more than 4 years ago | (#30847796)

I've always wanted a pipboy on my wrist, FO3 style so I can check if my legs are broken and how many HP I have left. It could certainly come in handy for things like that.

Re:Pipboy (2, Funny)

Steauengeglase (512315) | more than 4 years ago | (#30848318)

Forget detecting broken bones, give me a wrist watch that can repair a machine gun, feed me, enable magical objects that increase my luck and change the resolution of my eye sight all from a set of sub-menus.

Wristwatch computers? Already have that. (2, Informative)

GreatBunzinni (642500) | more than 4 years ago | (#30847802)

We already have wristwatch computers for decades. That's what electronic wristwatches are, those that Casio has been pumping by the barrel since the the 80s, such as this one [wikipedia.org] . Naturally, nowadays we have more computing power available in a smaller form factor but that doesn't mean that we haven't been wearing computers for ages.

Re:Wristwatch computers? Already have that. (1)

girlintraining (1395911) | more than 4 years ago | (#30847952)

We already have wristwatch computers for decades. That's what electronic wristwatches are, those that Casio has been pumping by the barrel since the the 80s, such as this one.

If we want to go with "anything with a microprocessor is a computer" then sure, but I think when most people think of a computer they imagine something that can run a web browser, play games with, and use a word processor. It's like saying that my sister's little electric barbie car is an automobile... I mean, sure in the strictest sense it has four wheels and a motor -- but I don't think I'll be using it for the morning commute anytime soon.

Re:Wristwatch computers? Already have that. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30848340)

I agree with Asus... Netbook will die by the hands of wearable computers... but not with a wristwatche monitor... they'll need at least Retinal Display to be interesting... perhaps a partnership between Asus and Microvision...???

Once we get voice recognition, that is (1)

CityZen (464761) | more than 4 years ago | (#30847846)

Obviously, current user interfaces would suck on a watch.

However, give that puppy *good* voice recognition and speech output, and then they're on to something.

However, at this point in time, it doesn't seem like we've got the processing & battery density necessary for this to work well. Eventually, though, who knows?

For everyone who's seen the movie "Predator" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30847890)

That kind of wearable computer would be pretty cool. Make it a touchscreen, and add in some kind of adjustable/inflatable cushioning between the inner shell and the user's forearm so wearers can adjust for fit and comfort. But don't add the nuke (of course).

No they aren't (2, Interesting)

Transient0 (175617) | more than 4 years ago | (#30847906)

No size of portable computer from wristwatch to 17" notebook will ever be obsolete. Different tasks require different sized screens, and people who do those tasks will always want the most portable device they can do them on. Yes, for some tasks that will mean a wristwatch. But for many others that means a smartphone, or a netbook, or a desktop computer with three 21" monitors.

Haven't we had this discussion before?

maybe some day (2, Insightful)

Sloppy (14984) | more than 4 years ago | (#30848092)

No size of portable computer from wristwatch to 17" notebook will ever be obsolete. Different tasks require different sized screens

Ever? Science fiction writers say screens will go away, replaced by glasses or contacts or other type of worn HUD which can show things in an arbitrarily wide field of vision. It ain't reality yet, of course, but it doesn't really sound all that far-fetched.

Leela's Wristamacallit or Wrist-lo-jackimater (2, Informative)

Xibby (232218) | more than 4 years ago | (#30847924)

Gives real-time stock market quotes, forecasts the weather, beams distress signals from anywhere in the universe, and tells the time in over thirty-six thousand time zones. (from the back of the action figure box)

Certainly (1)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 4 years ago | (#30847968)

The concept is an exciting one. Sci fi has been toying with the idea of "wrist pads" and other wearable sophisticated electronics for decades now. However a fundamental problem remains: the power source. Although some effort is being made in that area too. I just don't want to think about where they're planning on storing the batteries...

Two Words (1)

kenp2002 (545495) | more than 4 years ago | (#30847982)

PIP Boy

The reality of wearable computer is context sensitive information. Not comprehensive feature sets.

You put the following into a wearable PiP Boy computer and they'll sell like mad:

SMS\Instant Messaging
Current Fuel Prices at bookmarked gas stations
RSS Feed (We have ad those on pagers for 3 decades)
TO DO Lists
Calendar\PIM
Digital Rolodex
Vitals (heart rate, blood sugar, pill timers)
Integrated cell phone to a head set or in-canal ear piece
Memory slot for MP3 player
Grocery Lists
Bank RSS feeds (think Mint.com for mobiles)
as well as remote car entry, light timers, etc so as you approach the car or home
2 USB ports with some storage space
GPS and Navigation.

Look at the wrist watch vs pocket watch.
Look at the cell phone vs the wrist watch.

I actually foresee a primary cpu until (pehaps shoulder mounted backed against the shoulder blade, see Macross Plus for a report with s similar looking deal) with context sensetive nodes (the main cpu links to various accessories like a watch, shoes, camera, etc.)

Yeah If I could get get a VATS until to go with that..

but (2, Insightful)

KingPin27 (1290730) | more than 4 years ago | (#30847996)

This would make viewing and participating with certain types of "vivid" media a little more challenging to say the least.

Good article, and IMHO good predictions (1)

MarkWatson (189759) | more than 4 years ago | (#30848010)

I think that the prediction that there needs to be more content before mass market success of tablets is right on.

At breakfast this morning, one of my non-tech friends was talking about the TED talk on wearable computers where spacial glasses would create virtual keyboards and displays on walls, tables, etc. That is what I would to see available soon :-)

For now, the Android platform is looking good: easy to develop apps for, mobile devices support voice commands, etc.

ASUS is dumb (5, Insightful)

Kevin108 (760520) | more than 4 years ago | (#30848114)

Everybody I know still wants a 9" netbook for $200.

Re:ASUS is dumb (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30848266)

Your girlfriend wants 9" too but is settling for your 4 incher.

Long term, yeah, inevitable -- but gradual. (1)

DdJ (10790) | more than 4 years ago | (#30848132)

In the long run, wearable computing has seemed inevitable to me since about 1994 or 1996.

What happened in 1994? That's about when I got my first laptop, which got me used to mobile computing. I used it to take notes in lectures. Then in 1996 I bought my first PDA, the Apple Newton MP120.

And I started to do mobile device software development, and to participate in discussions/forums with other developers. Other developers including Steve Mann. Go look him up, right now. Go ahead, I'll wait.

So yeah, after about that time period, a future world with ubiquitous wearable computing devices seemed inevitable. Still does. But it's not going to be some instantaneous revolution where everything changes. It's going to be (and in fact already is) gradual. It's going to involve a variety of small gadgets that can interact with other small gadgets, sometimes just in your own "personal area network" (eg. your wristwatch showing the caller ID for the phone that's ringing in your pocket), sometimes over face-to-face distances (vCard exchange during a sales meeting), and sometimes globally (posting Bejeweled scores to a global leaderboard). All of those are happening right now, and more will come.

To some people this was obvious decades ago. To me it was obvious 16 years ago. To an awful lot of people it was obvious three years ago. I guess it's just becoming obvious to ASUS right now?

Until.. (1)

Thyamine (531612) | more than 4 years ago | (#30848186)

Until I can have Cortana on my wrist, I don't see how something that small will be able to interface with a person well. Maybe some super-interface is on the horizon, but at this point it would need to almost have some type of AI to interface with that could do the typing/processing/etc that I'd need.

Not on my wrist (2, Interesting)

pmontra (738736) | more than 4 years ago | (#30848202)

The last thing I wore around my wrist was (surprise) a clock some 20 years ago. I started having clocks all around me on computer screens at that time so I discovered I had no reason to wear one myself. Then came mobile phones. After all that time I can't stand having something around my wrist anymore. I have a clock for when I go hiking on the mountains but I strap it on the backpack. It's much more comfortable that way. Thinking about this Asus product, it may even sell well but I'd always go for something that can fit in my pocket and that's my mobile phone. I could call it a camera that makes calls and runs programs, or a computer with a phone and a camera but there is a limit to the number of devices we can carry around and recharge at home. No need for another one and no need to wear it.

Re:Not on my wrist (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30848250)

The last thing I wore around my wrist was (surprise) a clock some 20 years ago. I started having clocks all around me on computer screens at that time so I discovered I had no reason to wear one myself. Then came mobile phones. After all that time I can't stand having something around my wrist anymore.
I have a clock for when I go hiking on the mountains but I strap it on the backpack. It's much more comfortable that way.
Thinking about this Asus product, it may even sell well but I'd always go for something that can fit in my pocket and that's my mobile phone. I could call it a camera that makes calls and runs programs, or a computer with a phone and a camera but there is a limit to the number of devices we can carry around and recharge at home. No need for another one and no need to wear it.

The last thing I wore around my wrist was (surprise) a clock some 20 years ago. I started having clocks all around me on computer screens at that time so I discovered I had no reason to wear one myself. Then came mobile phones. After all that time I can't stand having something around my wrist anymore.
I have a clock for when I go hiking on the mountains but I strap it on the backpack. It's much more comfortable that way.
Thinking about this Asus product, it may even sell well but I'd always go for something that can fit in my pocket and that's my mobile phone. I could call it a camera that makes calls and runs programs, or a computer with a phone and a camera but there is a limit to the number of devices we can carry around and recharge at home. No need for another one and no need to wear it.

The last thing I wore around my wrist was (surprise) a clock some 20 years ago. I started having clocks all around me on computer screens at that time so I discovered I had no reason to wear one myself. Then came mobile phones. After all that time I can't stand having something around my wrist anymore.
I have a clock for when I go hiking on the mountains but I strap it on the backpack. It's much more comfortable that way.
Thinking about this Asus product, it may even sell well but I'd always go for something that can fit in my pocket and that's my mobile phone. I could call it a camera that makes calls and runs programs, or a computer with a phone and a camera but there is a limit to the number of devices we can carry around and recharge at home. No need for another one and no need to wear it.

The last thing I wore around my wrist was (surprise) a clock some 20 years ago. I started having clocks all around me on computer screens at that time so I discovered I had no reason to wear one myself. Then came mobile phones. After all that time I can't stand having something around my wrist anymore.
I have a clock for when I go hiking on the mountains but I strap it on the backpack. It's much more comfortable that way.
Thinking about this Asus product, it may even sell well but I'd always go for something that can fit in my pocket and that's my mobile phone. I could call it a camera that makes calls and runs programs, or a computer with a phone and a camera but there is a limit to the number of devices we can carry around and recharge at home. No need for another one and no need to wear it.

The last thing I wore around my wrist was (surprise) a clock some 20 years ago. I started having clocks all around me on computer screens at that time so I discovered I had no reason to wear one myself. Then came mobile phones. After all that time I can't stand having something around my wrist anymore.
I have a clock for when I go hiking on the mountains but I strap it on the backpack. It's much more comfortable that way.
Thinking about this Asus product, it may even sell well but I'd always go for something that can fit in my pocket and that's my mobile phone. I could call it a camera that makes calls and runs programs, or a computer with a phone and a camera but there is a limit to the number of devices we can carry around and recharge at home. No need for another one and no need to wear it.

The last thing I wore around my wrist was (surprise) a clock some 20 years ago. I started having clocks all around me on computer screens at that time so I discovered I had no reason to wear one myself. Then came mobile phones. After all that time I can't stand having something around my wrist anymore.
I have a clock for when I go hiking on the mountains but I strap it on the backpack. It's much more comfortable that way.
Thinking about this Asus product, it may even sell well but I'd always go for something that can fit in my pocket and that's my mobile phone. I could call it a camera that makes calls and runs programs, or a computer with a phone and a camera but there is a limit to the number of devices we can carry around and recharge at home. No need for another one and no need to wear it.

The last thing I wore around my wrist was (surprise) a clock some 20 years ago. I started having clocks all around me on computer screens at that time so I discovered I had no reason to wear one myself. Then came mobile phones. After all that time I can't stand having something around my wrist anymore.
I have a clock for when I go hiking on the mountains but I strap it on the backpack. It's much more comfortable that way.
Thinking about this Asus product, it may even sell well but I'd always go for something that can fit in my pocket and that's my mobile phone. I could call it a camera that makes calls and runs programs, or a computer with a phone and a camera but there is a limit to the number of devices we can carry around and recharge at home. No need for another one and no need to wear it.

The last thing I wore around my wrist was (surprise) a clock some 20 years ago. I started having clocks all around me on computer screens at that time so I discovered I had no reason to wear one myself. Then came mobile phones. After all that time I can't stand having something around my wrist anymore.
I have a clock for when I go hiking on the mountains but I strap it on the backpack. It's much more comfortable that way.
Thinking about this Asus product, it may even sell well but I'd always go for something that can fit in my pocket and that's my mobile phone. I could call it a camera that makes calls and runs programs, or a computer with a phone and a camera but there is a limit to the number of devices we can carry around and recharge at home. No need for another one and no need to wear it.

The last thing I wore around my wrist was (surprise) a clock some 20 years ago. I started having clocks all around me on computer screens at that time so I discovered I had no reason to wear one myself. Then came mobile phones. After all that time I can't stand having something around my wrist anymore.
I have a clock for when I go hiking on the mountains but I strap it on the backpack. It's much more comfortable that way.
Thinking about this Asus product, it may even sell well but I'd always go for something that can fit in my pocket and that's my mobile phone. I could call it a camera that makes calls and runs programs, or a computer with a phone and a camera but there is a limit to the number of devices we can carry around and recharge at home. No need for another one and no need to wear it.

The last thing I wore around my wrist was (surprise) a clock some 20 years ago. I started having clocks all around me on computer screens at that time so I discovered I had no reason to wear one myself. Then came mobile phones. After all that time I can't stand having something around my wrist anymore.
I have a clock for when I go hiking on the mountains but I strap it on the backpack. It's much more comfortable that way.
Thinking about this Asus product, it may even sell well but I'd always go for something that can fit in my pocket and that's my mobile phone. I could call it a camera that makes calls and runs programs, or a computer with a phone and a camera but there is a limit to the number of devices we can carry around and recharge at home. No need for another one and no need to wear it.

The last thing I wore around my wrist was (surprise) a clock some 20 years ago. I started having clocks all around me on computer screens at that time so I discovered I had no reason to wear one myself. Then came mobile phones. After all that time I can't stand having something around my wrist anymore.
I have a clock for when I go hiking on the mountains but I strap it on the backpack. It's much more comfortable that way.
Thinking about this Asus product, it may even sell well but I'd always go for something that can fit in my pocket and that's my mobile phone. I could call it a camera that makes calls and runs programs, or a computer with a phone and a camera but there is a limit to the number of devices we can carry around and recharge at home. No need for another one and no need to wear it.

The last thing I wore around my wrist was (surprise) a clock some 20 years ago. I started having clocks all around me on computer screens at that time so I discovered I had no reason to wear one myself. Then came mobile phones. After all that time I can't stand having something around my wrist anymore.
I have a clock for when I go hiking on the mountains but I strap it on the backpack. It's much more comfortable that way.
Thinking about this Asus product, it may even sell well but I'd always go for something that can fit in my pocket and that's my mobile phone. I could call it a camera that makes calls and runs programs, or a computer with a phone and a camera but there is a limit to the number of devices we can carry around and recharge at home. No need for another one and no need to wear it.

The last thing I wore around my wrist was (surprise) a clock some 20 years ago. I started having clocks all around me on computer screens at that time so I discovered I had no reason to wear one myself. Then came mobile phones. After all that time I can't stand having something around my wrist anymore.
I have a clock for when I go hiking on the mountains but I strap it on the backpack. It's much more comfortable that way.
Thinking about this Asus product, it may even sell well but I'd always go for something that can fit in my pocket and that's my mobile phone. I could call it a camera that makes calls and runs programs, or a computer with a phone and a camera but there is a limit to the number of devices we can carry around and recharge at home. No need for another one and no need to wear it.

The last thing I wore around my wrist was (surprise) a clock some 20 years ago. I started having clocks all around me on computer screens at that time so I discovered I had no reason to wear one myself. Then came mobile phones. After all that time I can't stand having something around my wrist anymore.
I have a clock for when I go hiking on the mountains but I strap it on the backpack. It's much more comfortable that way.
Thinking about this Asus product, it may even sell well but I'd always go for something that can fit in my pocket and that's my mobile phone. I could call it a camera that makes calls and runs programs, or a computer with a phone and a camera but there is a limit to the number of devices we can carry around and recharge at home. No need for another one and no need to wear it.

The last thing I wore around my wrist was (surprise) a clock some 20 years ago. I started having clocks all around me on computer screens at that time so I discovered I had no reason to wear one myself. Then came mobile phones. After all that time I can't stand having something around my wrist anymore.
I have a clock for when I go hiking on the mountains but I strap it on the backpack. It's much more comfortable that way.
Thinking about this Asus product, it may even sell well but I'd always go for something that can fit in my pocket and that's my mobile phone. I could call it a camera that makes calls and runs programs, or a computer with a phone and a camera but there is a limit to the number of devices we can carry around and recharge at home. No need for another one and no need to wear it.

The last thing I wore around my wrist was (surprise) a clock some 20 years ago. I started having clocks all around me on computer screens at that time so I discovered I had no reason to wear one myself. Then came mobile phones. After all that time I can't stand having something around my wrist anymore.
I have a clock for when I go hiking on the mountains but I strap it on the backpack. It's much more comfortable that way.
Thinking about this Asus product, it may even sell well but I'd always go for something that can fit in my pocket and that's my mobile phone. I could call it a camera that makes calls and runs programs, or a computer with a phone and a camera but there is a limit to the number of devices we can carry around and recharge at home. No need for another one and no need to wear it.

The last thing I wore around my wrist was (surprise) a clock some 20 years ago. I started having clocks all around me on computer screens at that time so I discovered I had no reason to wear one myself. Then came mobile phones. After all that time I can't stand having something around my wrist anymore.
I have a clock for when I go hiking on the mountains but I strap it on the backpack. It's much more comfortable that way.
Thinking about this Asus product, it may even sell well but I'd always go for something that can fit in my pocket and that's my mobile phone. I could call it a camera that makes calls and runs programs, or a computer with a phone and a camera but there is a limit to the number of devices we can carry around and recharge at home. No need for another one and no need to wear it.

The last thing I wore around my wrist was (surprise) a clock some 20 years ago. I started having clocks all around me on computer screens at that time so I discovered I had no reason to wear one myself. Then came mobile phones. After all that time I can't stand having something around my wrist anymore.
I have a clock for when I go hiking on the mountains but I strap it on the backpack. It's much more comfortable that way.
Thinking about this Asus product, it may even sell well but I'd always go for something that can fit in my pocket and that's my mobile phone. I could call it a camera that makes calls and runs programs, or a computer with a phone and a camera but there is a limit to the number of devices we can carry around and recharge at home. No need for another one and no need to wear it.

The last thing I wore around my wrist was (surprise) a clock some 20 years ago. I started having clocks all around me on computer screens at that time so I discovered I had no reason to wear one myself. Then came mobile phones. After all that time I can't stand having something around my wrist anymore.
I have a clock for when I go hiking on the mountains but I strap it on the backpack. It's much more comfortable that way.
Thinking about this Asus product, it may even sell well but I'd always go for something that can fit in my pocket and that's my mobile phone. I could call it a camera that makes calls and runs programs, or a computer with a phone and a camera but there is a limit to the number of devices we can carry around and recharge at home. No need for another one and no need to wear it.

The last thing I wore around my wrist was (surprise) a clock some 20 years ago. I started having clocks all around me on computer screens at that time so I discovered I had no reason to wear one myself. Then came mobile phones. After all that time I can't stand having something around my wrist anymore.
I have a clock for when I go hiking on the mountains but I strap it on the backpack. It's much more comfortable that way.
Thinking about this Asus product, it may even sell well but I'd always go for something that can fit in my pocket and that's my mobile phone. I could call it a camera that makes calls and runs programs, or a computer with a phone and a camera but there is a limit to the number of devices we can carry around and recharge at home. No need for another one and no need to wear it.

The last thing I wore around my wrist was (surprise) a clock some 20 years ago. I started having clocks all around me on computer screens at that time so I discovered I had no reason to wear one myself. Then came mobile phones. After all that time I can't stand having something around my wrist anymore.
I have a clock for when I go hiking on the mountains but I strap it on the backpack. It's much more comfortable that way.
Thinking about this Asus product, it may even sell well but I'd always go for something that can fit in my pocket and that's my mobile phone. I could call it a camera that makes calls and runs programs, or a computer with a phone and a camera but there is a limit to the number of devices we can carry around and recharge at home. No need for another one and no need to wear it.

A voice of reason.

Only thing watches have going for them is reliability when my mobile runs out of juice. I haven't worn one for quite some time now.

Expains current motherboard blandness (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30848220)

I miss the days when I eagerly awaited the latest Asus motherboard offerings. Sounds like they've lost the will to lead.

The way I see it... (2, Interesting)

Rene S. Hollan (1943) | more than 4 years ago | (#30848448)

There's no need for a general purpose applications device on one's wrist, except for very specialized applications: phone, text messaging, compass, navigation, perhaps. Maybe calculator. The same sort of "apps" we had on relatively small screened cell phones of a few years ago, like my Moto E815 (damn that thing had a great radio).

The trouble with this is that it's extremely battery limited. Still, if you want uberportable basics that run for one day, it's O.K.

A step up is the modern IPhone or Android-powered phone. Belt clip size, with decent battery life (because it can hold a bigger battery). Now, combining the two allows for interesting possibilities: the wristputer now becomes an auxilliary display device: glance at your wrist to see your appointments, or incoming calls, etc. Just swap the SIM card from the wristputer to the cell phone to use the latter's mobile data connection.

One step up is the single screen ebook. I see this as a handheld, which can function as a phone, or use the bluetooth or wifi connection to the belt-clipped phone, for dialing and call management (in parallel with the cell phone and wrist computer: if I'm reading a book and a call comes in, or I want to make a call, I'd like to do that from the UI on the book I'm reading instread of having to reach for another device (earbud, wristputer, or belt-clipped phone). Of course, it too can take a SIM card, if that's all you want to carry.

Finally, for more serious reading, in the format of a traditional book, at the expense of size, is the dual-screen ebook, that folds. This one has color screens (instead of just, perhaps, e-ink). It has all the capabilities of the single-screen e-book.

Each device is optimized for a particular purpose, but can be pressed into service for alternate uses: which devices a user caries depends on their physical activity and the types of computing they expect to be doing. I can very much see the single-screen e-book as a universal remote control, for example.

They are so desperate to shake off the netbook... (3, Interesting)

zullnero (833754) | more than 4 years ago | (#30848460)

...because they can't make any money on them, that they'd actually bring up the wearable computer thing again. Well, it kinda makes sense. You can charge a whole lot more margin for a wearable computer than you can for a low end, tiny laptop. But I thought we've been over this before. Wearable computers are only for dorks.
Load More Comments
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