Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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three piece one-handed portable computer system

  [vote for,

I envision a portable computer system consisting of three modules: a control module, and a display module and a processing module. The control module would be a one-handed ergonomically designed device that would act as both a keyboard and a mouse. I beleive there are devices like this in existense which rely on chorded key combinations.

The display module would unfold like a japanese paper fan. Full color images would be projected onto the paper surface by three colors of laserdiodes, directed by mirrors actuated by voice coils or piezo electric actuators. The display would be very very efficient. Just think about how long batteries last on laser pointers. The whole dislpay module should be able to fold up into something a little bigger than a pen.

The display and keyboard would communicate wirelessly with the processing unit. The processing unit can remain in a bag or out of the way.

I think this would be an elegant, unobtrusive solution. No more elbowing people on the airplane. Just grab the controller and unfold the screen, and you're good to go.

A suction cup should prevent the screen from flying away in gusts of wind.

gabe, Mar 10 2004


       Might it best to have a tiny projector screen in place of the fold-out fan?
thumbwax, Mar 10 2004

       There is a device that you can get which is basically a thin (albiet bulky) LCD Screen with a touch pen. It communicates with a base unit plugged into your PC and allows you to work anywhere without all the wires.   

       I like the idea of the display but I am a bit concerned that it will not work well in sunlight.
PainOCommonSense, Mar 10 2004

       Laser pointers may have low power requirements, but have you seen the power needs of a data projector?
kropotkin, Mar 10 2004

       Lasers and mirrors are complex and finnicky.   

       Try electronic ink (e.g. eink.com) for the display. Solid state. Will nto consume much energy, is flexible - Roman scroll type ideas are being floated - and can retain an image without power.   

       A touch-sensitive eink display will be the peach!
timbeau, Mar 10 2004

       What about eliminating the screen in favor of a heads-up type display worn in front of one eye?
Freefall, Mar 10 2004

       First off, displays and input devices are self powered and wirelessly connected. You could easily add or change devices. If you want a heads up display or conventional keyboard, just synch them to the control module. The reason I think the laser display would be efficient is that unlike conventional data projectors, it wouldn't be trying to simultaneously light up the whole display area, just a single pixel. The moving mirrors could be made very robust and integrated into the laser module. The range of motion required is miniscule. As for the shape of the screen, I like the fan, but a square shape is probably more practical.   

       That being said, eink is damn cool. touch sensitive, flexible eink would be even cooler.
gabe, Mar 10 2004


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