h a l f b a k e r y
Results not typical.
add, search, annotate, link, view, overview, recent, by name, random
news, help, about, links, report a problem
or get an account
Peripheral enclosure that looks like a laptop computer but isn't
Certain creative computer users need lots of peripherals such as
external hard drives, a graphics tablet, a second DVD, to name a
these users have to be on the road which means packing a laptop
and everything else
into one or more totes and
then plugging them all together at
some remote site.
The laptop sidecar is a portable enclosure that holds just what is
needed for a given
project. It looks like a laptop when folded. When opened it may
have a display in the
usual place. The lower half may have a graphics tablet or other
input device where
the keyboard would be. The inside would contain a power supply
and any of the
following as needed: display circuitry, hard drive(s), DVD drive,
The sidecar connects to the computer by Firewire, USB, or maybe
a dedicated card bus
cable. If it has a display then it also connects to the computer's
external video display
port. If the sidecar has a battery, a power cord can be connected
between it and the
computer for extended use. It also has extra Firewire and/or USB
ports for those
peripherals that don't fit.
Say you are a Photoshop artist. Your sidecar has a display, two
2.5" hard drives, a
graphics tablet, and a battery. You have two hour layover in an
airport. You find a
small empty table in a coffee shop. You unpack your laptop and
sidecar, place them
side by side on the table, and connect them with power and USB
cables. You connect
the sidecar to a wall outlet if one is available. Now you have
double the screen real
estate, plenty of storage, and a tablet and very little in the way of
cable mess. When
it is time to move you simply disconnect, fold, pack, and go.
A video editor might choose to replace the graphics tablet with a
jog shuttle wheel and
have additional hard drives connected by Firewire.
Different laptops position their connections differently so a few
cables are necessary
but if a computer manufacturer wished to exploit this idea they
could design matching
laptops and sidecars with proprietary connectors that would allow
them to connect
directly to each other.
||It's better than drilling a hole in a suitcase, and throwing all your crap in there. But, the trick I think would in the design (from a companies perspective), how do you accommodate the different sizes in your space, for different peripherals based on all the various needs people have, in one product?
||[21q], surely the smartphone can -be- the mouse? Or the mouse is obsolete since one just moves one's finger in the air.
||//You have two hour layover in an airport.//
||So long as it isn't Luton, which has a) no free wi-fi and b) no power sockets. Despite being "one of London's major Airports".
||//laptops are gonna become obsolete soon//
||We'll see about that in ten years!
||The main problem with this idea is the number of different configurations that will be needed. The meta-idea here is a laptop-form product that is sufficiently modular to allow buyers to assemble all the peripherals relevant to them into a single package. The connectivity should be relatively simple (USB3.0 should handle even hard drives) but getting all the hardware to fit physically into one frame requires re-manufacturing all the currently available hardware. Maybe more physical standardisation is called for, along the lines of the ISO standard for car stereos.
||Some big issues here, but [+] for the sentiment.
||There seems to be lot of talk about smartphones in
an idea that is clearly about laptops.
||It might be possible to overcome some of [wagster]'s
objections by offering some standard preconfigured
combinations, but otherwise I agree with those
||There was a very interesting analysis by Ian Pearson, a "futurologist" who argues that although we cannot predict whether we will still be using laptops, desktops or phones in 50 years we have always and will always divide our technology into pocket, portable and not-portable sizes. He predicts we will continue to use these three basic sizes even though the capabilites of each will increase and converge.
||[+] I can recall times when I've wanted this.. but doesn't this defeat the purpose of a laptop in the first place? When I worked in corporate America and did a lot of my work on the plane, I had to request a better equipped laptop because I felt very awkward asking my neighbors in the window and aisle seats to hold my external peripherals.