The CITE, a blog published by the National Association of College Stores, takes a look at the intersection of education and technology, highlighting issues that range from course materials to learning delivery to the student experience. Comments, discussion, feedback, and ideas are welcome.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Futuristic Designs: Achievable Today

An article from ITBusiness.ca gives some insight on the potential future of laptop, netbook, and e-reader designs. “The 12 innovative notebook designs here -- some actual working computers, others wooden mockups or CAD drawings -- are for the most part producible within the next two years,” and a surprising number of these seemingly futuristic concept designs could be produced today, without the use of any new technology.

Included in the article are intriguing concepts such as:

The Prime, a folding laptop that is incredibly versatile. It can be compressed into a thin, 13” notebook for travel, opened completely with a 26” screen, or kept somewhere in between by leaving some screens closed.

Asus Airo Origami, which consists of four independently moving parts: the keyboard, the display, the wrist support, and the base. It has a raised keyboard to increase airflow and a very thin, triangular design.

Qualcomm’s Multi-Fold features three touch screen panes that are hinged together and can be configured in several different orientations.

The XO-3, a minimalist tablet from One Laptop Per Child, which will feature a 100% unbreakable, flexible plastic screen.

The Skiff Reader, a thin, tablet e-reader that has a large, flexible touch-screen which can bend into a U without being harmed. It also has an expected battery life of one week! Interestingly, Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp, which among other things owns Fox News and Wall Street Journal, acquired Skiff earlier this week.

Sony’s flexible, color OLED display, a 4.1 inch display that is limber enough to be wrapped around a pencil. A video demo is available here.

The very impressive design concept called Rolltop, which can be unfurled from its cylindrical stand and configured as a flat, 17” flexible tablet or folded into a 13” laptop. Here is a video demo.

Some other flexible displays that are in the works include those that are being developed by HP and Arizona State University, Plastic Logic, and PARC.

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