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Panasonic pitches portable Skype screen

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CES 2012

Panasonic showed off a handheld Skype tablet at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) last night.

Panasonic Skype Communications Device

It only exists as a prototype, and you might think that folks' smartphones and tablets will do the job of video calling equally well, but Panasonic thinks punters will want a Skype gadget they can set down anywhere in the home.

The unit comprises a 7in-ish screen, speaker, mic and webcam built into a thin frame with an integrated stand. The notion is that this is a moveable Skype screen rather than a use-on-the-move device. You can put it down anywhere: on a shelf, the dining table, beside stand, and so on.

Panasonic Skype Communications Device

Panasonic promised the gadget would tie into Skype conversations being conducted on a TV or PC, allowing you to step into another room without having to interrupt the conversation.

It's claimed to be dead easy to use. "Just turn it on and the system does the rest," Panasonic executives promised.

Panasonic Skype Communications Device

What they didn't say is when the device will come to market. ®

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