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Meet the Laptop of 2015

Zonk posted about 6 years ago | from the o-hai-laptop dept.

Portables 351

cweditor writes "Like concept cars at auto shows, the computer industry designs 'concept notebooks' to imagine the machines of the future. The 'concepts' may not come to market as-is, but it's likely some of their ideas, components and features will. Take a look at systems you might be using in 7 years. In one, a touch-sensitive screen acts as the system's keyboard and mouse, allowing you to slide your finger across the screen to immediately shut off the display and keep what you're working on confidential. Their associated image gallery includes a prototype for a dual-screen laptop."

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That's nothing new (5, Insightful)

Minwee (522556) | about 6 years ago | (#22872730)

I have a "concept model" of a dual screen laptop. It fits in my hand and can play Mario Bros.

Re:That's nothing new (3, Funny)

Brian Gordon (987471) | about 6 years ago | (#22872792)

The difference is that it's a gaming machine, not anything that matters. The dual screen is a terr-rrr-rrr-rrr-ible idea and it will never be on a successful laptop.

Re:That's nothing new (4, Insightful)

2nd Post! (213333) | about 6 years ago | (#22873128)

You mean until it is successful, right?

With vibration, haptic advances, visual, and audio feedback, what is wrong with a second touch sensitive screen as the keyboard?

Then when you don't need it as a keyboard, it can become a tool-kit, palette, and any other interface you need.

Re:That's nothing new (1)

Brian Gordon (987471) | about 6 years ago | (#22873298)

You mean like a tablet PC? That works fine with one screen and wouldn't make any sense to have 2?

Re:That's nothing new (1)

2nd Post! (213333) | about 6 years ago | (#22873348)

Why would a laptop be less useful with two screens than a desktop with two monitors?

Are you therefore arguing it doesn't make sense for anyone to use a multi-monitor setup?

Re:That's nothing new (5, Funny)

Raineer (1002750) | about 6 years ago | (#22873320)

No sane computer user would ever have two monitors on one desk, and 640k is enough for anyone.

Re:That's nothing new (1)

Brian Gordon (987471) | about 6 years ago | (#22873372)

That's because they don't make 3080x1050 monitors. I need a 1600x1050 one and a 1400x1050 one to get that kind of size/resolution. Whereas if you were insane enough to want a laptop 3 times as wide as it is deep, they could just build in a screen that size; you wouldn't build in two separate screens next to each other since they're part of the laptop..

Re:That's nothing new (3, Funny)

edalytical (671270) | about 6 years ago | (#22872824)

And it runs Linux [dslinux.org]! Not to sound like a snob, but I own two because not enough of my friends own their own.

small dual screens is kind of a dumb idea (3, Interesting)

JSBiff (87824) | about 6 years ago | (#22873074)

I've always thought the idea of dual screens on the Gameboy DS was a bit of a strange idea. I mean, why not just use one screen that is twice as big? Then, games that want to use a 'dual screen' concept can always split the screen in half and draw one set of stuff to one half, and another set of stuff to the other half. But, other games can use it as a single, large screen.

I personally think it probably comes down to cost - it's cheaper for Nintendo to buy two smaller screens than a single large screen. My understanding of LCD technology is that, apparently, it's difficult to grow the crystals without bad pixels, so that as the screens get larger, they rapidly get more expensive, because it's decreasingly likely that you'll get an LCD panel of a particular size without flaws - so all the flawed ones either get thrown away, or maybe they can cut them down to smaller displays (that is, cut out the bad part and end up with 1 or 2 smaller panels) and sold more cheaply at the small size?

Anyhow - *my* laptop of the future has a simple white (or neutral color) flap onto which a display can be projected, and the flap can be folded under the laptop when I want to project onto another surface, like a projection screen or white wall. That is, a laptop with built-in projector, not an LCD. (I suppose, ultimately, for power consumption purposes, you'll never have a projector built in, because it would take too much energy to run, but I can dream, right?)

Re:small dual screens is kind of a dumb idea (1)

c_forq (924234) | about 6 years ago | (#22873212)

Ever think about size? Nintendo learned a few lessons from the virtual boy, one of the chief lessons learned was portable systems should be portable.

Re:small dual screens is kind of a dumb idea (-1, Troll)

JSBiff (87824) | about 6 years ago | (#22873324)

Ok, thanks for missing the point completely. The Nintendo DS has two screens that are whatever size - let's say 3x3 inches. It would take precisely *no additional space* to have instead used one screen that was say 3x6 inches.

In the case of the DS, I get the 'flip-ability' is (2, Informative)

JSBiff (87824) | about 6 years ago | (#22873398)

I got to thinking about it more, and while my point is generally correct. I also realize that, perhaps in the DS' specific case, the advantage of having two screens is that they are built into seperate housings that are jointed, so you can flip the screen down for storage (much like a laptop design), but my basic point is that, outside of doing something like that, there is usually no inherent advantage to having multiple physically seperated screens, when you can just logically partition a single screen as necessary.

Re:small dual screens is kind of a dumb idea (1)

eu4ik (103529) | about 6 years ago | (#22873408)

Does anyone make a folding lcd panel? I rather thought the point of the DS was that you could fold it up for better portability.

Re:small dual screens is kind of a dumb idea (1)

MetalPhalanx (1044938) | about 6 years ago | (#22873412)

I don't mean to be obvious, but if they have _one_ screen, how would you suggest that they fold it? Cause lack of folding would essentially double the size of the device when it's not in use.

Re:small dual screens is kind of a dumb idea (2, Informative)

babyrat (314371) | about 6 years ago | (#22873266)

(I suppose, ultimately, for power consumption purposes, you'll never have a projector built in, because it would take too much energy to run, but I can dream, right?)

Never is a really long time...advances in battery capability (or the replacement of what we call a battery by some other power source) coupled with advances in projector technology (ie http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2704,2242734,00.asp [pcmag.com] ) may make this possible, perhaps sooner rather than later.


Re:small dual screens is kind of a dumb idea (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#22873306)

> My understanding of LCD technology is that, apparently, it's difficult to grow the crystals without bad pixels

Your understanding is certainly a very novel view of how the technology works. Understanding what the "L" stands for in "LCD" might be a good start.

Obvious question (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#22872744)

Does it run Linux?

Re:Obvious question (4, Funny)

TheVelvetFlamebait (986083) | about 6 years ago | (#22873184)

But of course! In 2015, everything runs Linux and OEMs ship it pre-installed. We know this because, as everyone knows, 2008 will be the year of Linux on the desktop.

In the future nobody touches anything (4, Interesting)

jandrese (485) | about 6 years ago | (#22872778)

Apparently in the future the idea of tactile feedback is dead and everybody just types on glass screens like in the movies. Presumably these laptop designers have not actually tried that themselves to see just how much people actually like typing on a piece of glass with no cues at to where the keys are.

Re:In the future nobody touches anything (3, Insightful)

Brian Gordon (987471) | about 6 years ago | (#22872862)

My fingers land right on the middle of the keys; there's no fumbling around the edges until I get good purchase on the middle and finally press it. I'd have no problem with no tactile feedback, though it would be really hard to type without looking at the screen.
Also come on, really? We have an article [slashdot.org] on the front page about how stupid futurism is and then a futurist article. Trying to appeal to everyone I see. Anyway it's not like all of that has interest to anybody except the PC World grandpa crowd; I'm far more interested in seeing those number of cores go up up up and being able to run xbox 360 games (oh haha I remember that old thing; sent it in 15 times for repairs before microsoft's games division closed) on my entry-level cell phone.

Re:In the future nobody touches anything (2, Insightful)

moderatorrater (1095745) | about 6 years ago | (#22873368)

My fingers land right on the middle of the keys
How much of that's because you're constantly getting the feedback of knowing whether you hit the center or slightly off center? At least for me, the tactile feedback keeps my typing from getting sloppy. Tactile feedback is making a big comeback in cars and I expect to see it stay in laptops.

Re:In the future nobody touches anything (1)

houstonbofh (602064) | about 6 years ago | (#22872922)

Since the 50s there have been auto show cars that drive by a joystick, but they never come out. Why? Because the current design works well. A sliding screen you can't adjust for glare? A keyboard with no feedback? To succeed it has to be more than cool, it has to be better. (Or at least not worse)

Re:In the future nobody touches anything (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#22873380)

"To succeed it has to be more than cool, it has to be better."
Which is why those highly reflective laptop screens never caught on.

-Typed while moving my head around to try to make out the article on my glossy laptop screen instead of just the perfect reflection of the building across the street.

Re:In the future nobody touches anything (3, Interesting)

jellomizer (103300) | about 6 years ago | (#22872986)

Tactile feedback is kinda overrated. I have an iPhone and I like it. Even typing is fairly easy...(for the small space). Even for a full laptop I doubt that the lack of tactile feedback will be a major problem in the long run. You just have to get use to it. It is funny the Technology Croud who is working with one of the fastes areas of change are often the most resistant to it.

Re:In the future nobody touches anything (4, Insightful)

Sciros (986030) | about 6 years ago | (#22873018)

Type a lengthy text message without looking at the phone's keyboard. Quickly. ^_^ I mean, there's a reason there's a bump on the 'F' and 'J' keys on the keyboard I'm using at the moment. A good reason.

Re:In the future nobody touches anything (5, Interesting)

2nd Post! (213333) | about 6 years ago | (#22873178)

Why wouldn't a touch-screen provide the bump? Vibration (or advanced haptic technology) can provide that.

Even better, with a touch screen, EVERYWHERE you put your fingers, initially, is the homerow.

Re:In the future nobody touches anything (1)

HTH NE1 (675604) | about 6 years ago | (#22873322)

I mean, there's a reason there's a bump on the 'F' and 'J' keys on the keyboard I'm using at the moment. A good reason.
You could overlay a transparent film over the touch display with little clear bumps where those keys would be displayed underneath, much like the little clear dot of dried grapefruit juice in one corner of my LCD HDTV that I need to clean off. (I shouldn't eat breakfast so close to the TV.)

Me, I'd want the entire border of every key raised in that film, and the display smart enough to know that I only want the display to behave like a keyboard when that film is in place and to align the virtual keys with the film's placement.

Barring that, a display that can raise edges up electrically without having to use a film. Basically, merge the touch display-keyboard with the tactile display for the blind.

Re:In the future nobody touches anything (1, Insightful)

spookymonster (238226) | about 6 years ago | (#22873084)

It is funny the Technology Croud who is working with one of the fastes areas of change are often the most resistant to it.

I guess I see your point... in a world where proper capitalization, spelling, and grammar are no longer relevant, being able to hit the right key at the right time is fairly moot.

Re:In the future nobody touches anything (4, Interesting)

kebes (861706) | about 6 years ago | (#22873044)

Agreed. Typing on rigid, flat surfaces is painful and inefficient.

Which is why a combination of the concepts presented in the article would be far more attractive than any of them separately (I'm surprised the author of the piece didn't pick up on this): One of the laptops is billed as being "for blind people" because the surface can deform to generate bumps that the blind can read. The rest of the laptops have flat touch-screens for keyboards. Which is great for dynamic layouts but sucks for typing.

But combining them would be amazing. Imagine a keyboard that can reconfigure not only what is displayed on each key (like the Optimus), but also the keys themselves. If this "surface deformation" technology was good enough (and could be integrated with flexible displays) then you could have a surface that acts as a flat screen some of the time (for reading e-books, as a drawing pad, etc.) but generates the tactile relief of keys when typing is required.

More generally, it could reconfigure to generate new keyboard layouts as required. This would also solve one of the criticisms with the iPhone and iPod touch: you can't operate them without looking directly at the keys. Imagine if in addition to visual changes on the screen, there were bumps and grooves that dynamically appeared so that by touch alone you could feel the current key layout.

This, to me, is the ultimate future for compact computing devices: we will have screens that can vary both display and topography. Of course the technology to do this will be difficult to "get right" (key topography is only half of typing: you need the keys to "spring" properly)... but there is nothing impossible in principle about having deformable surfaces with integrated flexible displays.

Re:In the future nobody touches anything (1)

megaditto (982598) | about 6 years ago | (#22873046)

You could type on glass if you are wearing a force feedback glove of some sort, which can range from just giving you a satisfying "click" (through actuators strapped to your your digits) to actually reproducing keboard texture through a smaller equivalent of something like this [wikipedia.org] with a greater feel-el resolution.

I bet you future notebooks will not have a screen either, but a single stalk with a laser projector that tracks your eyes and beams the image onto you retina (we have the technology right already for this, though not portable).

I think future laptops will not actually be laptops at all, but rather a wearable exoskeleton-like suit that can support your body and provide faux feel of an office chair, a desk, a keyboard in the middle of nowhere. Something based losely on this: http://hardware.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=08/01/14/1621258 [slashdot.org]

Re:In the future nobody touches anything (1)

nine-times (778537) | about 6 years ago | (#22873048)

I agree, and I even have an iPhone and *like* the iPhone for typing. Touch-screen keyboard works ok, assuming a situation where you'll be doing limited amounts of typing while paying a lot of attention for short bursts of time. To be more clear, when I'm typing an e-mail or SMS on my iPhone, I'm typing a quick message in particular circumstances, and I feel like I can afford to be a little deliberate in that process. But if I'm going to type a long e-mail or a report or something, I need a physical keyboard. No way around that.

I'd bet that in 7 years laptops will be thinner, lighter, and more power-efficient. Hopefully the screen will be brighter and easier to read in sunlight, and we'll have better wireless internet. Those are features that pretty much every laptop owner actually wants. The screens might also be touch-sensitive, or I could imagine someone putting an additional screen behind the track-pad to provide additional controls. Hell, I could even imagine keyboards generally having little screens on them like the Optimus Maximus keyboard [wikipedia.org]. But a touch-screen keyboard on my laptop is out of the question.

Re:In the future nobody touches anything (1)

drsmithy (35869) | about 6 years ago | (#22873078)

p> Apparently in the future the idea of tactile feedback is dead and everybody just types on glass screens like in the movies. Presumably these laptop designers have not actually tried that themselves to see just how much people actually like typing on a piece of glass with no cues at to where the keys are.

To say nothing of the RSI nightmare from drumming your fingers onto a hard piece of glass all day.

Re:In the future nobody touches anything (1)

Psychotria (953670) | about 6 years ago | (#22873080)

I agree. Additionally, how are you supposed to read the screen when your hands are in the way, and when they're not in the way the screen is covered with grubby finger marks?

Re:In the future nobody touches anything (3, Interesting)

cbreaker (561297) | about 6 years ago | (#22873088)

As much as people keep going on about their iPhones, you need tactile feedback to type at any speed, and to do it without looking. These screens might work okay for an occasional use notebook but not as a general purpose business machine.

Not only do normal keyboards provide an excellent method of interfacing with a computer, they also cushion the fingers as you type so you don't experience pain and pressure by tapping away at a hard surface all day.

It looks pretty as a rendered image, but functionally I'd never own a computer for regular use that didn't have a normal keyboard - unless you could speak to the computer as you would in Star Trek land.

Re:In the future nobody touches anything (1)

PenisLands (930247) | about 6 years ago | (#22873326)

You're right. I recently got an mp3 player. The buttons are very smooth and level with the surface of the plastic, so you cannot feel which button your finger is on without looking. It bothered me so much that I stuck blu-tack to the surface of each button, so I could use the thing in bed at night without looking at the blindingly bright screen.

Re:In the future nobody touches anything (1)

jammindice (786569) | about 6 years ago | (#22873356)

Well i guess they were probably thinking more along the lines of voice commands... much easier than typing in the first place... and by then they should have some kind of decently working voice command system in place

"Open Writer"
"Begin recording"
"stop recording"

In that case you would rarely need a keyboard, you could use a finger to click into your browser and just say the domain name, or just open up office and hit the record button or something to that effect and just start rambling on and have it all get written down for you.

not saying that i would like that but it seems that's where all these designs were headed... voice activation what a wonderful failure.....

here is my reply (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#22872794)

In Computerworld style.. to continue reading this comment please click next [slashdot.org] [1-20]

dual screen... (1)

TheSHAD0W (258774) | about 6 years ago | (#22872796)

Speaking about dual screens, it'd be really nice if someone would make a 17" LCD monitor with a folding base for use as a 2nd screen for a multimedia notebook. Just keep it in the bag when on the road and only set it up when you need it.

Wrong. (3, Insightful)

youthoftoday (975074) | about 6 years ago | (#22872808)

Given those concept graphics none of those will be my laptop of the future. I won't be using anything with a 'start' button.

Not to poo-poo, but... (5, Funny)

spazdor (902907) | about 6 years ago | (#22872812)

This concept art all looks like my first-year 3d design projects. Are they developing new plastics that will automatically produce lens-flares against any light source available? God, I hope so.

I miss my buttons... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#22872828)

I wonder why people keep thinking that touch sensitive keyboard without real buttons is a good idea for a regular computer...

One thing I noticed... (3, Interesting)

brennanw (5761) | about 6 years ago | (#22872836)

... it looks like the laptops of the future all have crappy keyboards.

It's the whole "gee, look, with touch-sensitive screens we can paint a keyboard on the screen that you can use instead of an actual keyboard!"

How the heck are you supposed to touch-type on something that gives you no tactile response?

Re:One thing I noticed... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#22873040)

How the heck are you supposed to touch-type on something that gives you no tactile response?
These aren't designed for people to work on, they're designed for the mass market of email, youtube, and internet shopping. They're targeted at mainstream users who don't touch type, but can thumb 20 wpm. Fashion accessories for Fisher-Price computing.

Re:One thing I noticed... (1)

advocate_one (662832) | about 6 years ago | (#22873360)

How the heck are you supposed to touch-type on something that gives you no tactile response?

by putting a feedback mechanism in the screen to push back and give slightly when the keystroke is registered... and I'd like to note that I'm putting this idea out into the open and heaven help anyone who tries to patent the idea... because as far as I'm concerned, you can't patent the idea, merely the implementation, so someone will have their work cut out trying to come up with a mechanism to do this... and that I would consider patentable...

Touch screen keyboards (2, Insightful)

Toreo asesino (951231) | about 6 years ago | (#22872878)

Is it just me that hates the idea of a touch screen keyboard? I like feeling keys bounce back; it's not healthy for your fingers to not have some cushioning at the very least.

Re:Touch screen keyboards (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#22873010)

As they say, "The bigger the cushin' the sweeter the pushin' "

Saifu notebook (2, Funny)

mcbutterbuns (1005301) | about 6 years ago | (#22872882)

From TFA:
The Siafu concept notebook, designed for the blind by Jonathan Lucas, omits a display altogether. Images from applications and Web sites are converted into corresponding 3-D shapes on Siafu's surface. It can be used for reading a Braille newspaper, feeling the shape of someone's face..."

Think of the possibilities!
Oh how the Slashdot crowd would love to get their hands on one of these... literally

Re:Saifu notebook (1)

spazdor (902907) | about 6 years ago | (#22872920)

Imagine the possibilities for the porn industry. ...And post them here!

Re:Saifu notebook (1)

Blitz22 (1122015) | about 6 years ago | (#22873202)

I think I'd have to make sure that it only "shows" girl/girl pr0n.

Not that there's anything wrong with that....

Re:Saifu notebook (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 6 years ago | (#22873428)

Think of the possibilities!

ph34r the goatse.

guess this would be what it would take to stop people from clicking on anonymous coward links once and for all.

Hardly "futuristic"... (3, Interesting)

TripMaster Monkey (862126) | about 6 years ago | (#22872894)

A whole bunch of "futuristic" designs, and not one that utilizes a flexible LCD.

With a flexible LCD that rolls up when not in use, coupled with a flexible keyboard that likewise rolls up, one can escape (at least partially), the limiting factor of computer design...that is, having a system that a human can interface with comfortably.

Confidential....riiiiight (3, Funny)

Overzeetop (214511) | about 6 years ago | (#22872914)

FTFS: "allowing you to slide your finger across the screen to immediately shut off the display and keep what you're working on confidential"

Will it automatically hide the box of kleenex and bottle of hand lotion, too?

Re:Confidential....riiiiight (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#22873050)

Will it automatically hide the box of kleenex and bottle of hand lotion, too?
Yes, and don't worry, you can still hide your dildo in your ass. We have no plans to program around that.

Think Smaller (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#22872924)

What some companies are attempting to capitalize on is the miniaturization of computers into something the size of a Motorola RAZR and utilizing HUD technology. The only real limitation is the power source, considering how powerful small processors are getting, and how solid state are becoming set to replace hard drives in portable computing. It doesn't take long to figure out the potential uses of this technology, and it's being used already (but with clunky computers and HUD displays). You'll probably see early adopters in 2015-2020. This is far more practical than a double-LCD laptop, which seems hardly innovative, and in fact this article should be a joke, since it's setting the bar so low.

On a car steering wheel!!?!? (2, Insightful)

rminsk (831757) | about 6 years ago | (#22872940)

The Cario concept notebook from Anna Lopez can be carried around by its handle, positioned like an easel or placed on a car's steering wheel.
Clearly drivers of the future need even more distractions while they are driving.

Re:On a car steering wheel!!?!? (1)

Digi-John (692918) | about 6 years ago | (#22873292)

Unfortunately you only read part of TFA, stopping as soon as you saw that juicy bit to post on here. The next paragraph says that since the laptop rests against the dashboard, you can only use it while stationary.

Re:On a car steering wheel!!?!? (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 6 years ago | (#22873456)

We'll probably never have flying cars, at least on this planet, due to the high energy consumption. It's just not reasonable. But we COULD have self-driving cars relatively soon. Does anyone really doubt that cars will soon be doing a better job of driving than a soccer mom on a cellphone?

They didn't! (2, Insightful)

Idiomatick (976696) | about 6 years ago | (#22872942)

"2TB hard disk drive, which should be plenty of room for even the biggest data hog, the experts speculated."

Who in this day and age would say 'that should be plenty' man i'm looking at having a few hundred bluray-sucessor movies i'm sure that'll be over 2TB. Silly people

Tactile response (1)

antikaos (1166401) | about 6 years ago | (#22872960)

I bet by 2015 we'll have smooth touch screens that DO have tactile response. And those concepts are way too thick, I doubt anything's going to be thicker than the Mac Air after 2010 or so.

Worst ideas ever (4, Insightful)

Sciros (986030) | about 6 years ago | (#22872984)

Seriously, the people who came up with this stuff are completely unimaginative and idiotic. Tactile feedback for typing is almost a necessity given you *don't f-ing look at the keyboard while typing*!! The only "future laptop" with some actual touch feedback they showed was the oily blob, which I don't even know how to approach. If I want to replace my laptop with an oily blob, I'll gain 200 pounds and sit on the table myself.

The one that turns into a book viewer if you turn it 90 degrees is a total joke. Seriously, take your laptop right now, turn it 90 degrees so that the break between the two "halves" is vertical, and tell me that's a comfortable way to handle reading material. Unless it's laying flat on the table (in which case it better be quite small) it's completely unmanageable.

The one they showed slung over the steering wheel of a car, that's just bad. BAD BAD BAD! Hey guys, here's a piece of crap with a touch-screen keyboard you have to stare at in order to use that you can hang right on your steering wheel! And then what, drive and type? That looks like the most uncomfortable thing ever even if you're parked.

I give all these "laptops of the future" an EPIC FAIL out of 10.

Re:Worst ideas ever (1)

ZenDragon (1205104) | about 6 years ago | (#22873072)

I would have to agree with you, those are some of the worst designs I have ever seen. Though the oily blob thing we originally intended to give blind people a more interactive interface, its not really intended to be used as a normal input device.

Re:Worst ideas ever (1)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | about 6 years ago | (#22873136)

Hell, I *don't* touch type, and still want tactile feedback. And with touch screens I tend to not want to stricke it with and force, so I'd be all careful with it and getting about 1 WPM.

Re:Worst ideas ever (1)

chappel (1069900) | about 6 years ago | (#22873416)

I've got one of the (now defunct) fingerworks keyboards (the precurser to the multi-touch, prior to Apple buying them out of existence) and it really isn't that bad to touch-type on - you just have to sit square to the keyboard, or your fingers don't hit the right area of the keyboard on the 'fringe' keys. I love the fact that you don't have to move your hands off the keyboard to use the 'mouse', and the chording makes for great keyboard shortcuts. There is nominal stress, since it takes just the slightest contact with the surface to register a keystroke. I think it would suck to have it on a screen that you were trying to use for a display, though - unless it were some version of the 'Optimus Maximus' with combo oled and multitouch.

I'd love to see a product with the idea someone had for multi-touch on the backside of a cell phone and a screen on the front, with a 'ghosted' fingerprint on the display to indicate where you were touching - no issues with the hand blocking the screen, reduced fingerprints on screen problems - very clever - although typing would require a whole new technique to be learned before it wouldn't suck.

Re:Worst ideas ever (1)

Ambiguous Coward (205751) | about 6 years ago | (#22873422)

In all fairness, the one hanging over the steering wheel of the car isn't that crazy. Realize that, in 2015, cars will drive themselves. I read just the other day that the technology to do so is just around the corner. So, using a laptop like that is actually a really great idea. Also, the cars will fly. That's coming soon, too.


Still running XP... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#22873012)

From the pictures it seems that MS has extended the life of XP... as they clearly show XP, not VISTA running...

Probably the only prediction in this article that's going to come true.

Huh? (1)

moosesocks (264553) | about 6 years ago | (#22873060)

The future of computing is the Nintendo DS [wikipedia.org]?

Seriously, this is quite a cool concept, although I (like many others here) remain a tad skeptical, especially with regard to the lack of a keyboard.

On the other hand, if they used the "blank space" currently occupied by the wrist wrests as a visual multitouch interface, a few interesting possibilities open up. New technologies and cost reductions are going to allow us to considerably modify UI metaphors into something quite a bit more abstract. Whether or not this actually happens, of course, remains to be seen.

I don't want a laptop at all (5, Interesting)

geophile (16995) | about 6 years ago | (#22873102)

What I want is my 1TB USB keychain (or iphone) to have my favorite OS, apps, and all my data, and to be able to plug it into CPU/keyboard/mouse/display/diskless/OSless stations in airplanes, cafes, hotels, etc.

The various Linux-on-a-thumbdrive distributions and products are a step in the right direction. What we really need now is for vendors to design stations that these doodads can plug into.

Designers show the way... (1)

flabbergast (620919) | about 6 years ago | (#22873108)

and its more of the same! Its hinged but cleverly! Its a slider instead of hinges! Its glorified Nintendo DS combined with an iPhone!

Or, they pick the low hanging fruit of "It'll be faster and more efficient!"

How about stuff like what Andy Van Dam and his students are working on? MathPad [brown.edu] lets you use a tablet to write equations and have the computer solve them for you, or draw a primitive sketch and have it animate depending on an equation you wrote. Or there's ChemPad [brown.edu] which lets you draw chemical equations and then it generates the 3-d structure on the fly.

If we extrapolate what their research does today, 7 years from now could be brilliant. In the end wouldn't it be great open up your computer, and start writing on your desktop? And you could write anything and your computer (with more computing power 7 years from now) would be able to contextualize what you're writing and immediately know that the diagram you drew was an animation for your graphics class that was a pinwheel dependent on an equation? Or, perhaps you're a manager and you draw a lot of diagrams and write notes like "Setup meeting with Jim and Susan, 2:30 tomorrow" and your computer can figure it all out and do it for you?
Yes, designers are great when they get it correct (iPhone is brilliant) but I'm waiting for the computer to understand what I'm doing as well.

Re:Designers show the way... (1)

Psychotria (953670) | about 6 years ago | (#22873284)

...write notes like "Setup meeting with Jim and Susan, 2:30 tomorrow..."

Hmm. Except that most people can probably type faster than they can scribble notes. Wait... you said "manager"; I understand now.

Can't Wait (1)

atcsharp (1257538) | about 6 years ago | (#22873162)

I hope THAT the COMPUTER has REALLY fast CHIPS. Computers THESE days ARE slow. I want LIKE 15 MEGS of RAM?????

Goody... (1)

Drakin020 (980931) | about 6 years ago | (#22873168)

Yes that's all we need is something that will fit well in your car...Yes more people need laptops in their cars. /facepalm

Designers (1)

saider (177166) | about 6 years ago | (#22873172)

I guess these designers don't think about the ramifications of their design. Like the picture of the person who is working on the computer draped over their steering wheel.


those who igniore the past.... yadda.. yadda... ya (1)

Ancient_Hacker (751168) | about 6 years ago | (#22873186)

HP spent about 200 million on trying to sell a PC with a touch-sensitive screen. Remember the PC and the butterfly? Lots of TV ads and dang little in terms of sales.

Problem was, people soon figured out their arm got tired, you could not see what you were mousing over, the screen got smudged with fingerprints, and it's hard to click on a little checkbox when your fingertip is ten times bigger.

What do I see on page one. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#22873200)

I see a Haruhi Suzumiya wallpaper on the first screen.
retarded how popular a show it is yet it wasn't that amazing.
Yuki is such a slut.

in re Cario notebook (2, Insightful)

OglinTatas (710589) | about 6 years ago | (#22873232)

Cario, I think # 4 in the image gallery...

If you thought idiots talking on cell phones while driving were dangerous, wait until you get next to some jerk using the convenient steering wheel mount on the Cario laptop.

computer of the future (2, Interesting)

davidwr (791652) | about 6 years ago | (#22873234)

The computer of the future will be a bionic implant.

The one right before that will just be a "box" with the thinking parts, a visual display which will either be eyeglass-mounted, a handheld-sized projection device that projects onto a table or wall, a keyboard-equivalent which might be gloves, a flat, rollable keyboard, or even a camera-based sensor that detects where your fingers are, and a mouse-trackpad equivalent which might be 3-d gestures or something that reads 2-d finger movements similar to the keyboard already mentioned. Some computers will have speech, speech/vocal-cord detection and speech-input processing, body-movement detectors for games and more practical applications, and other input and output devices.

The box will be wirelessly connected to the tubular internets 24/7. Power-recharge will be wireless and will probably piggyback off of body motion, body heat, and other ambient energy sources in addition to supplied power. Capacitors or battries will store power.

Still no keyboard-less tablets (1)

ekgringo (693136) | about 6 years ago | (#22873300)

Whatever happened to the idea of a tablet without the excess baggage that a keyboard entails? I'd love to have a small and light tablet-style PC that looks like nothing more than a big screen. Make it dockable so you can attach a keyboard, mouse, external display, etc. You can always use an on-screen keyboard for quick text input in the field. Something like a Nokia N800, but with a bigger screen (at least paperback book size) and more general-purpose (sorry, but Maemo and the handful of applications designed for it just don't do it for me).

Touchscreens? No tactile feedback? (1)

HockeyPuck (141947) | about 6 years ago | (#22873350)

50% of the comments so far are about...
Ranting about how one can't deal with a touchscreen... no tactile feedback blah blah blah...

Yet this same crowd loves the iPhone...


uhh, what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#22873370)

"Missing your bus
The CPU's front-side bus will likely disappear by 2015. The bus acts like a traffic cop, sending data to the different parts of the system at a slower speed than the computational core. In its place will be an integrated controller that makes this distribution of data much more efficient by operating faster.

As with multiple-core processors, this trend is already under way -- Intel, for instance, has announced that its Nehalem CPU microarchitecture, set to debut later this year, will feature an integrated memory controller, eliminating the need for a front-side bus. However, it will take a long time for this trend to reach CPUs used in notebook computers -- the 2015 time frame seems reasonable, the experts agreed.... "
umm, doesn't every AMD processor made right now have an IMC? if so, I fail to see how this is a prediction as such. maybe they only asked Intel experts.

Battery Life and Weight please (1)

cliffski (65094) | about 6 years ago | (#22873376)

Those are the ONLY considerations for me..

"Most experts agree that future notebooks will be just as limited by battery life as they are now. But that doesn't mean we won't see significant advances in mobile power supplies -- such advances will be necessary to keep up with all the extra power."

Great, so you will sell me an eight core laptop with 36 times more power than I need, and as a result, the battery life for it will suck just as much as my current one does.
I want a laptop that lets me surf the web and send email. I don't need an optical drive, I only need storage for maybe 20 gig plus the O/S. What I want is a laptop thats Quiet, lightweight and has a decent battery.
Apparently I'm not the customer. That seems to be the traveling salesmen who uses his laptop in some penis-size compensation bragging rights game with his co-workers.

The future is bleak (1)

dabadab (126782) | about 6 years ago | (#22873382)

So, in a few years' time I will be using keyboards lacking tactile feedback and glossy, fingerprint-stained displays. I just can't find words to express how eagerly I wait this :)

OK, so touch keyboards were really a wave of the future in the early 80s and I was somewhat disappointed that my C=64 had conventional keys - at least until I actually got around to try to use a touch keyboard (and decided that it totally sucked).

We won't need a keyboard at all in 10 years (1)

TheLazySci-FiAuthor (1089561) | about 6 years ago | (#22873400)

Unimaginative, indeed.

What with the voiceless phone call alread a reality, how trivial would it be to take the nerve-sensing capabilities of the neckband and make two nerve sensing wristbands and/or perhaps gloves?

the wristbands would sense your nerve impulses and tell what you were intending to type, even without tactile feedback. Just imagine typing in your head and the signals go to your wrist and finger muscles.

This is of course skirting the whole concept that one could simply use the neckband to simply issue vocal commands to the computer for a large variety of tasks, and naturally for dictation.

I've noticed that people never lock their car doors anymore when they are passengers. This is because most modern cars can be remote locked by the driver when they arm their alarms. I have el-cheapo corolla and I have to constantly say, "dude, lock your door" - even to females I say 'dude'.

In 20 years typing will be a lost art form, like remembering phone numbers.

Seven years? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#22873444)

I think I'm currently using the laptop I'll have in seven years, my MacBook Air. (assuming the battery doesn't die and I can't find a screwdriver) Aside from that, the Air looks quite a bit more attractive than this thing. The keyboard on the Air is second only to my old ThinkPad 600e; this "future" glass surface looks about as satisfying as an iPhone keyboard.

All the comments on the keyboard... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#22873452)

Why would we be typing at all in the future?
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