Dec 15, 2008

Napkin PC (Next-Gen PC design)

The technology includes a "napkin" holder filled with e-paper napkins, as well as a place for colored pens. When someone gets an inspiration, they simply grab a napkin and start doodling with one of the pens. The pen uses short-range RF technology to send data to the napkin interface. The pen and napkin can also communicate to a base station PC in the napkin holder using long-range RF.

Holleman hopes that the Napkin PC concept could enable creative groups - such as architects, artists, and engineers - to collaborate better because the doodles can be easily shared. Another perk of the concept is that the napkins are modular, so designers can connect them to create large-scale layouts. For example, a block of napkins can be hung side by side on a wall to create a large display.

Another advantage is that the Napkin PC requires very little power. It doesn´t even use a battery, but instead relies on a single-layer flexible circuit board for inductive power. The pen itself wirelessly powers the napkin when it comes within close range. The e-paper napkins can retain their bright, full-color images without power for an indefinite period of time.
It is said that many a great idea was born on a napkin. So Industrial Designer, Avery Holleman, developed the Napkin PC. The Napkin PC is a cool concept that uses a base station - disguised as a napkin holder - with seven different stylus pens that allows multiple users to scribble their ideas down on individual "napkins" that ultimately interface with the base station.

It's definitely an idea that has got creative types and businessmen thinking "outside the box". The concept allows users to not have to limit their creativity to in front of a PC screen. The "napkins" employ full color e-paper and multi-touch technology.

The napkins can hold the image drawn on it indefinitely, or until it's cleared off by the user. Which means you can hang it up, or share it with your coworkers at your next meeting.
The Napkin PC took first place Judge's Award and Chairman's Award in NextGen's PC Design Competition.

Dec 12, 2008

Apple News

Apple triBook Concept Laptop

It appears that our friends from Apple have leaked some drool-worthy information on the net with their latest concept, the triBook.

Yes, I am also quite impressed at a screen that can fold out into three. These side screens are perfectly sandwiched in between the main display and the keyboard. Every time a user wants to use the triBook, he or she will unfold it like opening a cardboard box. A user also has the option of combining all three screens for a landscape display of about 21 inches.

An unfolded triBook measures at 6.75 x 10 inches, and it is about 1 inch thick. That may not be good enough to fit into a manila envelope like the MacBook Air, but I am willing to sacrifice the skinniness for that fold-out feature.

Not much is known about the triBook’s other features, other than it comes with a “kick-ass” hard drive (that is a direct quote from my source). It also has many I/O connectors, an 8x SuperDrive, plus a MacBook Pro-caliber CPU.

Right now, the triBook is just concept, but I could easily see it becoming the standard for laptops. After all, who wouldn’t want more real estate for their laptop screen? That alone is enough to convert me to a Mac user, and I’m sure a lot of people will also be Apple converts if this ever gets mass-marketed.

Sanwa’s new keyboard is both wireless and mouseless

This next product is for all of those MacBook users who prefer not using a mouse, but enjoy the trackpad feature on their favorite Apple laptop. I’ve often ranted about how I can’t stand using a trackpad versus using a mouse, so I can’t say that Sanwa’s new Wireless keyboard is for me.

Please don’t misunderstand me. I don’t want to bad-mouth a perfectly decent product. What I am saying is that if I ever adapted to the touchpad, then I would fully appreciate the benefit of the Sanwa. This keyboard has a touchpad on the right, so you can completely abandon the mouse when it comes to your desktop.

This Sanwa keyboard also gives you the chance to lose another wire: the one on the keyboard. Yes, it is completely wireless, using a 2.4GHz spectrum, which could be a problem when it comes to using it with a wireless network.

So is the Sanwa the next phase of wireless keyboard and mice for desktop computers? If so, think of all the mice that will go homeless.

Sanwa, a Japanese company, is planning to release this wireless and mouseless keyboard in its own country “soon”. There is no word of a price, nor is there any word of it coming to any other countries as yet.

Dec 3, 2008

Nokia N97 vs RIM BlackBerry Storm

Whenever a new Smartphone is about to hit the market it will always get compared to the Apple iPhone. The BlackBerry Storm did, and now the Nokia N97 is, but it is a fairer comparison to put the N97 and the Storm together.

The Nokia N97 looks to have a lot going for it and on paper will blow the BlackBerry Storm out of the water. The latest handset to come from the Nokia N-Series combines both 3.5-inch touchscreen display, as well as a full QWERTY keyboard. This is great for those who still like to touch keys when they are typing. The Nokia N97 also features assisted GPS, 32GB of onboard memory, expandable up to 48GB with a 16GB microSD, WCDMA and EGSM, HSDPA for 3G wireless, as well as Nokia Maps.

This does not seem a fair fight, as the BlackBerry Storm might have to throw the towel in already. However do not let that put you off as the Storm is a very capable phone, and the features that the cell has shows that. These include high resolution 480 x 360 pixel color display, poor 1GB onboard memory, support for microSD card, 3.2 megapixel camera, SurePress touch screen, not the best touch experience.

Just looking at a few of the features of both phones, the Nokia N97 certainly puts the BlackBerry Storm to shame