Saturday, April 11, 2009

My futuristic web tablet

A few months ago I came across a new project TechCrunch themselves are undertaking. The goal is to build "dead simple web tablet" - that is a light, cheap laptop, with touchscreen for browsing only. Which means the software will only include a light OS and a browser.

That's really a cool idea in my opinion. Lots of people seem to be interested in it, and also got involved. Recent coverage of the project revealed some new photos! I surely want one of these! But I even want more one that can somehow shrink into my pocket. And while being so small, it can be my multi-functional cellphone/camera/GPS a-la-iphone gadget :)

The following is an idea I had about a year ago, and today I've decided to finally share it (It's not that I worked about it the whole time). The basic idea is to cut the screen into 4 parts that are convertible, just like phone are sometimes 2-part convertibles. So here is a little design I just did:

Think about an iphone or even an ipod touch - yes that's better, it's thinner.
Now, we'll make it even smaller, by cutting 3 corners, leaving only the left-bottom corner:

Imagine you're holding 2 of these ipods, one on top of the other. They are also connected on their right sides. Then you can flip (opn) the rear ipod. and get a "double" ipod:

Now what if you actually hold 4 "chopped" ipods, all connected in a way you can make another flip - (double the double)? you'll get this 7" screen which is composited by four 3.5" parts:

In horizontal mode it looks better of course, and makes more sense for web browsing:

Now, it's not 12" laptop like TechCrunch are aiming at, but it's fairly adequate for basic web browsing and email reading. If insisted on 12", we'll need 4 part screen in which every part is 6". But then again, it probably won't fit a pocket. We can go one (giant) step further and suggest 16 parts of 3" to compose the big 12" screen.

Indeed, it's only an idea, and a rough design. Implementing this product involves complex engineering for sure, but if someone into it - let me know! Maybe a possible TechCrunch Pad2? In any case, comments and suggestions are welcome. Thanks!