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Lego PDA

Handspring + Cell phone + Lego = Last PDA you'll ever need
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Imagine a PDA that, instead of accepting a module, was completely modular. Every piece has the same depth and width-- say, that of a 2 by 8 lego brick, with accompanying bumps on top and holes below. The height depends on how much space the module needs for it's internal workings and external features. When you click two modules together, they link up via USB or whatever other method. Every module is sold separately.

Buy a processor module, click a touchscreen module and a battery module onto it, and you have a fully functioning PDA. If you'd like, snap an MP3 player module to it-- you might also want to snap on an extra memory module or a Memory Stick module. Need to call someone? Click an earpiece/antenna module on top and a microphone module on the bottom and dial directly from the address book. Want to keep your cell phone separate? Click the earpiece and microphone modules onto a numerical keypad module (don't forget the 3-line LCD module and the battery module).

Modules can be sold incorporating every possible function. GPS, wireless modem, digital camera (still and video), pager, printer, gameboy cartridge adapter, I/O ports, IR port, Bluetooth, anything. An open standard will allow any company to produce their own seamlessly-integrating modules.

At any one time you carry just what you think you'll need. Keep the Lego PDA in one pocket, the Lego cell phone in the other, and extra bits in your briefcase. It'll only ever be as big as you want it to be. Snap them all together at home for a multifunction desktop unit.

When a faster processor comes out, replace just that one piece instead of throwing it all away. Or keep the older processor to use with the MP3 player for a standalone unit.

It will only cost a couple hundred to get started, but get carried away and you'll have spent enough to buy a laptop.

Choose from any of the standard Lego colors to best match your style. Best of all, your real Lego works with it too!

ejs, May 22 2001

Zack, the Lego Mac http://symphonydb.e...legomac/default.htm
You gotta start somewhere... [PotatoStew, May 22 2001, last modified Oct 04 2004]

Lego Palmtop http://www.beanos.c...soutij/legopalm.php
Palm VII computer in Lego. [wiml, May 22 2001, last modified Oct 04 2004]

BugLabs http://www.buglabs.net/
Looks like this has been baked. Cool, but perhaps not that practical? [hippo, Jan 10 2008]

[link]






       In theory, this would be great.   

       Visor notwithstanding, in practice, mobile devices are less modular than desktop systems for good reason. Efficiency (in several axes -- size, weight, energy consumption, and cost) is very important for these things. Modularity and efficiency are at odds; a monolithic device can be very carefully constructed to tuck the power supply capacitor behind the display cable *just so* and to reuse this electrical bus for that other purpose and to form-fit the battery into the gaps left by everything else and so on.   

       So, you could make a big, clunky, expensive, but modular system. Would people buy it? I suspect not; the Visor's modules don't seem to be the rousing market success they would hope for.   

       There's also the issue that the bricks would tend to break apart in your pocket.
egnor, May 23 2001
  

       egnor: Good point you make. Would people buy it? Maybe if it's marketed as "My First PDA." Or anyone looking to expand on their Mindstorms collection. And hey, people buy singing Billy Bass, so anything's possible.   

       As for the bricks coming apart, that easily fixed with a positive-locking spring-loaded clip on each piece. Or judicious application of custard.
ejs, May 23 2001
  

       How in heck would the display work?
lummox, May 27 2001
  

       It would be a single large piece, large enough to fit the display.
ejs, May 30 2001
  

       If "baked" is when someone has had the idea before you, what is the term for when someone steals your idea from the HB? I refer you to the last page of this month's PC Format (UK edition, at least)
friendlyfire, Dec 06 2002
  

       its 2007 now and there is still no standard about this lego-like device.. or am i missing something?   

       i think the time is right for something like that but it should be a open source standard, no licenses or other crap. just a small list of possible sizes so any industry can choose a size for there needs.   

       i wouldnt say that it should be looking like lego but it should work the same way.   

       to be shure it stays together you could use a series of shells. the shells could be a standard too. if a company wants to sell the package it could just make there own shell if it doesnt exist.   

       it should be nice if the standard would be metric :) like 1x1x1cm   

       then you could make 1x2x1, 1x3x2, 2x8x3 blocks. fillblocks could be in different sizes to.   

       its awsome to think about someone producing a toaster with this kind of konzept. building a 8xtoaster in one shell is just incredible.. :)
ddpxl, Jul 14 2007
  

       You can actually make a simulated PDA out of LEGO (note the caps; it's a trademark) and go around pretending it's real. Then it can do whatever you imagine it can do. I've been doing this for years and I'm almost sure no one at the hospital has noticed.
Ander, Jul 20 2007
  

       how about one patterned after an Etch-a-Sketch? Friendly red plastic border, gray screen, one dial is a mouse, the other one scolls, perhaps a stylus tucked down the side. Hold it over your head and shake to shut it down.
Gamma48, Jun 04 2009
  

       Baked by Phonebloks and Project Ara, right? (Maybe others too; I haven't been paying attention to the world of phones in a few years.)
notexactly, Jun 15 2019
  
      
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