Intel demos transparent-lid hybrid PC
Tablet-cum-notebook with a 'very strange name'
CES 2012 Intel has developed a concept tablet-cum-notebook PC, dubbed Nikiski, that uses a full-width, two-sided transparent touchpad that allows you to view and interact with half of the notebook's display when the clamshell is closed.
"Nikiski is a very strange name, I agree," said Mooly Eden, general manager of Intel's PC Client Group, speaking to a packed house on Monday morning at the Consumer Electronics show in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Nikiski is a very strange device, as well. When open, the notebook functions just as you'd expect it to, with the center of the touchpad functioning as a mouse-controlling trackpad.
When you place your palms on the touchpad to type, however, the touchpad recognizes your palms and allows you to type without your palm-touches moving the cursor. "Don't even think about copying it," Eden said of the palm-recognition feature, "because we've already patented it.
When closed, however, the transparent touchpad allows you to see Windows 8 alerts, news feeds, calendar and mail items, plus a small-window browser, and interact with them using the reverse side of the two-sided transparent capacitive touchpad.
When used this way, Nikiski functions as a large-scale Windows 8 smartphone – and considering that Intel's Ultrabook spec includes voice recognition, we see no reason why it couldn't be used as a speakerphone as well, provided that an OEM adds the requisite telecom hardware.
When you access an item through the Nikiski's closed-mode window, you can choose to open the clamshell and the item will open into full-screen mode – you could, for example, read an email message through the closed-mode window, then open the notebook and use the keyboard to type a reply.
When Eden asked the crowd if they'd like to have a Nikiski, and they responded in the affirmative, he replied, "You'll have to wait." Nikiski is, after all, merely a concept PC – but we can imagine it being a useful on-the-go device that provides a larger-screen version of smartphone alerts and interaction.
That is, if it ever sees the light of day as a product from one of Intel's stable of Ultrabook partners. ®
When a picture is worth a thousand words
Looks interesting at first, but then you think about it - the entire laptop has to remain powered up for the trackpad-cum-display to be of any use, it's using the internal LCD screen which has to remain fully illuminated (probably all of it, and not just the 1/5th that is visible through the trackpad) and the power saving benefits of this design are virtually non existent...
Interesting it certainly is, but if I'm going to get any real benefit from a "seconday display" while the laptop is closed I think I'd rather it was a secondary display that is low-power (eg. OLED) and which doesn't require the power sucking x86 processor to keep running just to show me that I've got a new mail.
"Nikiski is a very strange name, I agree," said Mooly Eden...
Has he looked at his own business cards lately?...
Ok.... This might get me some downvotes....
I like the sound of this, a hell of a lot. I even like the name - it's got a nice ring to it. If it ever comes out and works the way it seems to have been demo'd, then I would want one.
Goin' hunting for more details tomorrow, I think...
It makes sense
/if/ your laptop is powered on while you carry it from meeting room to meeting room,
/or/ your laptop is "instant on"
because there are often things that your can't be bothered with a hinge to read (i.e. email notifications, meeting room locations etc.)
As a concept I think its quite a reasonable one, and the cost of having the back light stay on for those small tasks should be small, and the weight saving from not having two LCD screens can be used for a bigger battery which means better run time
Almost all Synaptics pads do palm detection anyway.