[Update: I must have patented this :( . Motorola baked this as Atrix dock and Asus baked this as Padphone ]
Today, smartphones clocking above 800 Mhz are becoming common place. Many are capable of giving Video out at HD resolutions or at least have a video out, and have features that are comparable
or even compete with netbooks.
Except the size of the keyboard and screen.
Why not make a dock for it that looks like a netbook? If you need to do some heavy netbrowsing, programming, or document editing to do, or may be enjoy a high quality video or gaming.
There are already devices out there from microsoft, palm and celio that do a similar job. But each one is so tied up to a particular device. One simply synchronizes the data over bluetooth and need to do all computing itself, thus cannot even call it a dock. The other is not like a netbook and just an extender that lets you connect all the devices yourself, making it *not portable*.
My idea is to make a *very* generic terminal that looks like a netbook. HDMI and a/v in, a big battery that can power the display and ccharge the phone over USB, and a bluetooth keyboard/touchpad combo . A small extendable drawer below can keep the phone safe while all this is happening and hide all the messy wires. The drawer will need vents and a fan though . May be an optional good quality loudspeaker if your phone carries ones that are not loud enough.
An adjustable pocket placed intelligently just behind the screen can let you use the camera of the phone as a webcam, if your phone is light enough.
A similar device without a keyboard though, can become a tablet, helping a Digital artist to edit photos and make art with ease.
The best part with such a configuration would be that its quite generic, and wouldnt go waste if you decide to dump your old smartphone and go for a new one. Or you could share it with a friend. Or you could even use Individual components in an emergency.
Smartphones can then come with a standard for the distance and placement of sockets, that if followed, can let you dock the phone very quickly with a standard docking cable. That way, the same ports can be used for a dock. OR, can be used with individual devices. In this case when the smartphones being aware of dock like devices, input device ports or automatic bluetooth input device configuration can be added, thus making docking plug and play.
All this makes it very generic, useable with a wide variety of devices(also digital cameras? ) , compatible with quick snap on configuration (both h/w or s/w), or always fall back to manual or individual configuration.