Slashdot stories can be listened to in audio form via an RSS feed, as read by our own robotic overlord.

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Handhelds

Asus Says Netbook Is Dead, Hello Wearable Computers 264

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the all-new-ways-to-strain dept.
pinkgadget27 pointed us at a story where the ASUS chairman waxes poetic on the end of the Netbook class that it pioneered, ChromeOS replacing Android, and the future you probably didn't know about: Wristwatch Computers.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Asus Says Netbook Is Dead, Hello Wearable Computers

Comments Filter:
  • But don't hold your breath.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by cheesybagel (670288)
      Great. Asus leadership has turned to worshiping vaporware crapola. This reminds me of Nokia's cellphone designs [nokia.com] before the iPhone came out and eat their lunch in the high end. Make usable and manufacturable designs people. Geez.
      • Even they think that's more of a long-term thing. (They say 5 years, before they are on the market. Which might be possible. It'd take longer yet for them to take off, my opinion.)

        From the article, they have no reason to think the netbook is dead yet. Just that sooner or later it'll be replaced with something smaller and more functional.

        Which is probably true, as long as you don't think it'll happen in the next couple of years.

        • Well they are wrong. Screen surface size matters. A wristwatch form factor is not a replacement for a laptop or even a netbook. People have claimed this could be circumvented with foldable displays, but those have been vapor so far. E Ink was supposed to be used in foldable displays, yet the one use of it I can remember of after all these years, the Kindle, is most definitively not foldable. Foldable displays also have issues regarding input. A hard surface is useful since it means it can withstand pressur

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Daniel_Staal (609844)

            Which would be one of the reasons they are not ready for prime time yet: The display issue hasn't been solved.

            Sooner or later it will be, somehow. Foldable, projection, HUD, implant, something else; one will work well enough to be usable. Then we'll see if the other problems are solved or solvable.

            Really: He's not saying it's ready now. He thinks it will be sometime soon, and he's got his company working on it so they'll be ready when it is.

            He didn't say the netbook is dead. Just that it's a short-term

      • Wristwatch computers were popular in the 90s. For 2 months.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by biryokumaru (822262) *

        Why do all these designs rely on tiny interfaces? That Nokia video had it fold out, but the "keyboard" was still minuscule.

        There used to be an old projection keyboard, where it projected a keyboard onto whatever surface you wanted, and made little clicky noises when you typed. That plus one of those tiny projectors duct taped around the innards of a smart phone and you've got a respectably powered computer with a large screen and a normal sized keyboard that fits in your pocket. Well, if you have kinda big

      • by Creepy (93888) on Thursday January 21, 2010 @03:28PM (#30850568) Journal

        There is nothing new to Asus vaporware, but out of every five failures comes a great product. Some of their products are stillborn like the external video card that wasn't compatible with Vista's driver model, others are released but technical issues or poor adoption like the C90S upgradable laptop. Then they come out with a tiny notebook that runs x86 and create an industry.

        Other companies that make innovative products like Apple had their flops too, but sometimes a flop drives a new market, like the Newton, other times they move into an existing market and fail, like the Pippin. Then out pops iTunes and iPod and iPhone and they're a market driver again.

        Even Microsoft had its flops amongst their many hits (love em or hate em, you've gotta admit, they are very successful) - the MSX [wikipedia.org], and Bob to name two.

  • Ergonomics? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by captaindomon (870655) on Thursday January 21, 2010 @12:04PM (#30847692)
    Yeah, because we all know how easy it is to use a 1"x1" oval viewing screen strapped to your wrist, to view large PDF attachments, for example.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by jornak (1377831)

      Imagine something a little more bracelet-like... and even then, the idea of a wristwatch/wearable computer isn't a new idea at all... Companies have being developing wristwatch computers for a long time now.(http://www.pcworld.com/article/65623/is_that_a_pc_on_your_wrist.html)

    • Re:Ergonomics? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Monkeedude1212 (1560403) on Thursday January 21, 2010 @12:08PM (#30847754) Journal

      Not to mention you'll only have one hand to use it with. Have you ever tried typing/texting with a single hand? Its not as intuitive as two thumbs or a full fledged keyboard with 10 fingers.

    • by Zerth (26112)

      While it wouldn't make PDF viewing much easier, the fictional computer cuff at the bottom of the article had approx 2-3"x 3" viewing area, similar to an iphone or bb storm. And I know people who read PDFs on those.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by cromar (1103585)
      That's erm... sort of a good point, but come one. Think outside the box a little.

      The desktop computer is on its way out for everyone but typists and coders. When your wristwatch automatically interfaces with any number of large screens at your office or home, not to mention printers and fax machines, who is going to be worrying about the size of their watch display? We have the technology to do that now... and that's just one of many possible evolutions of UI. The possibilities are quite astounding.
      • Typists (Score:5, Insightful)

        by tepples (727027) <tepples@[ ]il.com ['gma' in gap]> on Thursday January 21, 2010 @12:53PM (#30848396) Homepage Journal

        The desktop computer is on its way out for everyone but typists and coders.

        And guess what anyone is who writes e-mail, blog posts, or forum posts: a typist.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by rolfwind (528248)

        The desktop computer is on its way out for everyone but typists and coders. When your wristwatch automatically interfaces with any number of large screens at your office or home, not to mention printers and fax machines, who is going to be worrying about the size of their watch display? We have the technology to do that now... and that's just one of many possible evolutions of UI. The possibilities are quite astounding.

        The desktop has been "dying" forever. You know who likes desktops? People who want to i

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by cromar (1103585)
          You caught what I was talking about, but missed my point. Desktops will become tools for those who need them - coders, gamers, graphic designers, etc. No one else is going to want or need them. Granted, I'm just brain storming here, but I am sure that given the sum of human creativity, we will come up with something more efficient than keyboards for these other tasks that don't involve typing. It's already happening with email, IM, SMS, etc. You don't need a full keyboard for that. And what you do nee
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by TheLink (130905)
      Currently there's tech that:

      1) allows the blind to see - but with crappy resolution. Also do a search for "seeing tongue" - seeing is in the mind.
      2) allows paralyzed people to control devices with their thoughts.

      So if tech improves, the screen will be in your head. And the keyboard too.

      No need to waste energy on backlights.

      Add wireless tech and some "software glue", and you'd have virtual telepathy and virtual telekinesis.

      The real problem is Copyright Law and DRM. The laws and DRM systems might prevent you
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Chris Burke (6130)

      Oh come on! Didn't you ever have a friend who wore one of those wristwatch calculators? Weren't you amazed by how quickly and easily they could calculate tips or do other feats of mathematical prowess in mere decaseconds by poking at the tiny, tiny buttons?

      This would be just like that, but with applications that fit even worse onto a miniscule one-handed interface!

    • by Jeng (926980)

      Why would we wear our computers when they are already on our phones?

      Or are they also looking at wearable phones?

    • by frank_adrian314159 (469671) on Thursday January 21, 2010 @12:40PM (#30848214) Homepage

      a 1"x1" oval viewing screen strapped to your wrist

      Nah, it's going to be a "Flavor Flav"-style wearable that goes around your neck - 17" screen and all.

    • by suso (153703) * on Thursday January 21, 2010 @12:50PM (#30848346) Homepage Journal

      One thing I've noticed over the many years I've been following the computer industry is that despite what hype marketing departments, CEOs and industry analysts spin, often times new devices don't replace the older devices so much as just augment the array of where you use a computer. So time has shown that you generally don't have to worry about a mass switch to newer technologies. These dates aren't exact, but its generally when they started showing up in the public eye.

      *Mainframe/Server (1940s-infinity): Untouchable by user, but keeps track of info the user can't, makes sharing easier, etc. This will probably never go away as long as there is a need for reliability and massive storage.
      *Workstation/Terminal (1950s-1990s): Let's you do stuff in relation to server/mainframe, but only at work.
      *Desktop personal computer(1977-20??): Let's you try to do stuff at home. Can usually keep up with or exceed most innovations in technology. We will probably always have some sort of stationary access point for computing.
      *Standardized Gaming Consoles (1977-infinity):Makes easier for most people to play games, but have never been realistic for computer-type work. Often goes back and forth between whether computers have better games. And no, this isn't the first time people have said "The end of PC/computer gaming". I think gaming consoles come and go with the cycles of the economy.
      *Laptop (1980s-2020): Allows you do stuff in previous, but some people still prefer a desktop for power, customization, easy of repair
      *PDA/iPhone/Droid (1993-24th century): More convenient than a laptop, but generally only used for organization type stuff, still need laptop or desktop for most things. Actually, if you look at Star Trek, you'll notice that they don't really have a one-device-does-it-all thing either.
      *Tablet PC(1995-death of HP): More convenient than a laptop, but probably not as rugged. Only useful in some situations. Annoying when the touch display stops working. Will probably never catch on.
      *Notebook computer (2007-?): Can put it in your purse and hold it like the bible, but good luck reading a document, doing anything useful. My wife uses hers to play Netflix movies while she uses her fullsize laptop.
      *Wristwatch computer: Makes it a little easier to have fast access all the time to stuff a PDA would do for you. But you still need laptop or desktop.

      So here we are in 2010, and all of these computing access paradigms still exist. None of them have replaced the previous paradigm even close to as much as they claimed they would. The only think I could think might replace the desktop/laptop paradigm is if headset computing comes along and allows you to see a virtual large display and you can think what you want to do and it will happen reliably. But we still have a ways and people will need to get used to that. Some people won't want to mess up their hair and what about when you need to drive, etc.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by lennier (44736)

        '*Notebook computer (2007-?):"

        Nitpick: It's netbook, not notebook. "Notebook" has been the term for "full sized laptop" since the mid 1990s.

        Since I've got a netbook, I've found that I really enjoy it. The size is just right for carrying in a backpack, and it lets me focus and concentrate on work (reading ebooks and writing) that I wouldn't otherwise get done at my desktop due to distractions. So I don't think it will be going away for me anytime soon.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by HiThere (15173)

      What you do is, you wear glasses that display the screen across your entire visual field, and you connect them to the computer with Bluetooth.

      Why not? The glasses have already been built. (At least one design of them has.) And it might make for a *REALLY* interesting driving experience.

  • A dupe from Dick Tracy, that is.

              This "wearable computer" crap comes along every 5 years. It's still the epitome of lame, even by slashdot standards.

         

    • Re:DUPE! (Score:5, Informative)

      by sznupi (719324) on Thursday January 21, 2010 @12:18PM (#30847898) Homepage

      More than dupe, Asus Waveface Ultra looks more or less like a direct rip-off of one concept from two years ago: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nokia_Morph [wikipedia.org]

      Though the idea, when approached that way, as an advanced "cellphone" which can also wrap around your wrist, isn't completely stupid...

      • Re:DUPE! (Score:4, Insightful)

        by hairyfeet (841228) <bassbeast1968@@@gmail...com> on Thursday January 21, 2010 @12:45PM (#30848292) Journal

        Maybe as a cell phone, but as a PC? I'm sorry, but I have to say this is a big can o' fail. Did you read the rest of what the guy said? Crap like this gem "I don't believe that the PC will keep evolving from simply [having] four core processors, to eight core to 16 core," he said. "I am tired of only thinking about the regular, dull PC roadmap."

        I'm sorry, but that is just dumb. Thanks to multicore we are finally getting computers that can keep up with even the fastest of us, and even my more clueless customers are loving the new AMD quads. All they talk about is how responsive their new PC is, and how no matter what they do their new PC never seems to slow down. I just tell them it ain't gonna get anything but better, as MLC SSDs and DDR3 becomes truly mainstream we will finally have systems able to feed 8-16 cores, which will enable even the most computational heavy tasks such as video editing to become "clicky clicky" and done affairs.

        And WTF? A watch PC? It will either be slow as fucking Xmas, have a usable battery life of 30 minutes or the battery will nicely roast your wrist. Battery tech hasn't gotten good enough to pull off that size without some serious tradeoffs. And while my dad can handle his netbook just fine I can just imagine him trying to deal with that thing on his wrist.

        So in the end I have to say this guy is full of it. I'm sure that most of the netbook manufacturers would like netbooks to just die, as it is cutting into their more lucrative laptop sales. But they can't get out because their are plenty of other companies that will happily take that business, and with the threat of ARM based netbooks, or "browsers in a box" they must really be worried. Hence they are desperate to cook up the "next big thing" to try to cook up a new and more expensive niche. But I just don't see folks giving up those nice sub $400 netbooks for an ultra expensive watch.

      • Here's a snazzy vid on Nokia Morph for those less inclined to expend the effort reading... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IX-gTobCJHs [youtube.com]
  • Here we go (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Cornwallis (1188489) on Thursday January 21, 2010 @12:05PM (#30847702)

    Wristwatch computers. (One more thing for my cat to attack.)

    IMO, this is simply yet another attempt to manufacture a "need" where none exists as in The Next Big Thing...

    • by perlchild (582235)

      Especially to find a genuine need, a portable, inexpensive computer to browse wifi from anywhere. Asus et al. love the netbook craze, except the margins on them are nowhere near "luxury item". A wearable computer would be, at least at launch, and that makes them salivate.

      Big companies marketing seems driven by the wishful thinking of marketing more and more, and less about what computers want to buy, I predict they will meet with harsh reality's clue-by-four in the near future.

    • by mcgrew (92797) *

      Wristwatch computers? I want a wristwatch phone! A wrist watch is far too small to use as a computer; even my i776 cell phone is crappy using it to access the internet, as the screen is way too small.

      The netbook, otoh, is small enough to carry around and big enough to watch a movie on.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Qzukk (229616)

        I want a wristwatch phone!

        Done! [wired.com]

        Now, where's my Dick Tracy wristwatch videophone!

  • Is it the future already?

    How soon till I can flip open my wrist panel and call Star Command?

    • by mcgrew (92797) * on Thursday January 21, 2010 @12:21PM (#30847932) Homepage Journal

      Is it the future already?

      What do you mean "already?" Do you know how long I had to wait for my own flat screen computer, communicator, self-opening doors, and all the other impossible stuff they had on Star Trek? About the only thing that we don't have, out of all the impossible things we do have (microwave ovens, phonorecords you can play in your car, GPS, iPods...) is faster than light travel, replicators, and transporter pads.

      Yes, this is the future, and I had to wait a long time for it.

      • I grew up with Television, Flatscreens were around by the time I was 10, there has been a Microwave around since as long as I can remember.

        The future for me is voice interacting Smart AI computers built into my car or home, a handheld device that -actually- does everything, and transparent/holographic heads up displays in the consumer market.

        I know we aren't quite there yet, but we're close.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by jedidiah (1196)

          ...yes. Zardoz, not Star Trek.

          A TOS terminal is like a Mac Plus without the fashion sense.

          It even uses the same media... '-)

          A lot of tech is not as new as the kids think it is.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by cheesybagel (670288)
        Nor phasers or medical tricorders. Getting there though.
  • Point of order.... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Itninja (937614) on Thursday January 21, 2010 @12:07PM (#30847730) Homepage
    Just so Asus is aware. If the netbook is truly dead after only 26 (or so) months then you did not 'pioneer a new class of computer', you 'started a short-lived fad'.
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by DeBaas (470886)

      Fine, but they can pry that 'fad' out of my cold dead fingers!

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by mewsenews (251487)

      Reading the article (yeah yeah), he says nothing about the netbook being "dead" or even declining. Just your standard Slashdot editorial slant -- fabricating a headline out of thin air.

    • Besides, the origin of netbooks is varied and fuzzy that "pioneer" is a worthless or contestable claim anyways.

      It's nice that they're trying something different. But their vision of a replacement is not likely to succeed, you only need to look at the long history of palm top/ultraportable/netbook/UMPC style computers that were interesting but failed to take the market beyond a niche. Claims of the death of an existing technology from anyone with vested interest its supposed replacement must be taken with

    • by Bakkster (1529253)

      Netbooks only died because nobody wants to put SSDs in them any more. A netbook was useful to me because it had only one moving part (a fan), was low pwer enough to use during class, and had a full keyboard. If flash memory were cheaper, I think we'd see it continuing to fulfill that niche. As soon as you add an HDD, it's just a small, weak, expensive laptop.

      That said, I still love my 1st-gen Eee PC for travel. There are times I want a keyboard and the Droid just isn't big enough.

  • Dead already? (Score:4, Informative)

    by hansraj (458504) on Thursday January 21, 2010 @12:07PM (#30847736)

    Really? I thought the point of the article was that its death was inevitable, and that wearable computers are the future. How does that translate to "Netbooks are dead already"?

    But hey, if you filter out editorial stupidity from slashdot we will have only one or two "news" every week or so.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Your mistake was to read the article, nobody else does.

      • Re:Dead already? (Score:4, Insightful)

        by hansraj (458504) on Thursday January 21, 2010 @12:13PM (#30847820)

        I know you are joking but I didn't have to read the article. All I had to do was realize that the headline sounds immensely stupid given that wearable computers are not really a replacement for a netbook as of yet, and then I just had to skim the article to verify that it was the poster and not the original article that was being moronic.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Taibhsear (1286214)

      But hey, if you filter out editorial stupidity from slashdot we will have only one or two "news" every week or so.

      You appear to have accidentally a whole word there...

  • Anybody remember Microsoft's smart watch? No?
    • by IANAAC (692242)
      I had one and liked it generally, aside from the miserable battery life.

      But it's really stupid to even consider comparing something you wear and something you use to actually get work done. I realize these suits want us to believe that netbooks are only capable of media consumption, but they're capable of and used for much more.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by jedidiah (1196)

      Someone made a Linux watch once as a novelty...

  • great! (Score:3, Funny)

    by Quiet_Desperation (858215) on Thursday January 21, 2010 @12:10PM (#30847784)

    I can wear it as I commute with my personal electric flying machine to my shiny new, high paying "Green" career.

    Are the editors working from the Gernsback continuum today?

  • eeh... (Score:2, Insightful)

    ...Wristwatch Computers.

    hahahaha HA HA HA oh god, oh god... it kills me.

    You know, I can just believe that we can cram everything but the input and display into that small of a space -- but the human interface problem makes any further degree of minaturization rather pointless for general-purpose computers. In select circumstances, you can get away with a lack of keyboard or a mini one, but really -- anything you plan on using heavily you want to have a decently-sized display and an input device with more than two buttons.

    But even

    • by Zerth (26112)

      If the watch was just a display+wireless to the main unit, it wouldn't need much juice. Consider it a way to dual/triple head your phone.

    • by IrquiM (471313)

      What cracks me up is that everytime somebody says "computer this" and "computer that" everybody is comparing it to a desktop / laptop.

      It's not going to be something you have instead of your computer at the office, or your gaming rig at home.

    • by compro01 (777531)

      Just because the processing/storage hardware is in the watch doesn't mean the display and input device has to be.

      Though their concept device looks to have about as much screen real estate as any current touch smartphone.

  • by GreatBunzinni (642500) on Thursday January 21, 2010 @12:11PM (#30847802)

    We already have wristwatch computers for decades. That's what electronic wristwatches are, those that Casio has been pumping by the barrel since the the 80s, such as this one [wikipedia.org]. Naturally, nowadays we have more computing power available in a smaller form factor but that doesn't mean that we haven't been wearing computers for ages.

  • No they aren't (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Transient0 (175617) on Thursday January 21, 2010 @12:19PM (#30847906) Homepage

    No size of portable computer from wristwatch to 17" notebook will ever be obsolete. Different tasks require different sized screens, and people who do those tasks will always want the most portable device they can do them on. Yes, for some tasks that will mean a wristwatch. But for many others that means a smartphone, or a netbook, or a desktop computer with three 21" monitors.

    Haven't we had this discussion before?

    • maybe some day (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Sloppy (14984)

      No size of portable computer from wristwatch to 17" notebook will ever be obsolete. Different tasks require different sized screens

      Ever? Science fiction writers say screens will go away, replaced by glasses or contacts or other type of worn HUD which can show things in an arbitrarily wide field of vision. It ain't reality yet, of course, but it doesn't really sound all that far-fetched.

  • Gives real-time stock market quotes, forecasts the weather, beams distress signals from anywhere in the universe, and tells the time in over thirty-six thousand time zones. (from the back of the action figure box)

  • The concept is an exciting one. Sci fi has been toying with the idea of "wrist pads" and other wearable sophisticated electronics for decades now. However a fundamental problem remains: the power source. Although some effort is being made in that area too. I just don't want to think about where they're planning on storing the batteries...

  • PIP Boy

    The reality of wearable computer is context sensitive information. Not comprehensive feature sets.

    You put the following into a wearable PiP Boy computer and they'll sell like mad:

    SMS\Instant Messaging
    Current Fuel Prices at bookmarked gas stations
    RSS Feed (We have ad those on pagers for 3 decades)
    TO DO Lists
    Calendar\PIM
    Digital Rolodex
    Vitals (heart rate, blood sugar, pill timers)
    Integrated cell phone to a head set or in-canal ear piece
    Memory slot for MP3 player
    Grocery Lists
    Bank RSS feeds (think Mint.co

  • but (Score:2, Insightful)

    by KingPin27 (1290730)
    This would make viewing and participating with certain types of "vivid" media a little more challenging to say the least.
  • I think that the prediction that there needs to be more content before mass market success of tablets is right on.

    At breakfast this morning, one of my non-tech friends was talking about the TED talk on wearable computers where spacial glasses would create virtual keyboards and displays on walls, tables, etc. That is what I would to see available soon :-)

    For now, the Android platform is looking good: easy to develop apps for, mobile devices support voice commands, etc.

  • ASUS is dumb (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Kevin108 (760520) on Thursday January 21, 2010 @12:34PM (#30848114) Homepage
    Everybody I know still wants a 9" netbook for $200.
  • Dead...? (Score:4, Funny)

    by armyofone (594988) <armeeofone@hotmail.com> on Thursday January 21, 2010 @12:35PM (#30848128)

    Sorry, but I won't believe it until confirmed by Netcraft.

  • Back in my day we strapped our TI-82s to our hairy forearms with duct tape and we liked it!
  • In the long run, wearable computing has seemed inevitable to me since about 1994 or 1996.

    What happened in 1994? That's about when I got my first laptop, which got me used to mobile computing. I used it to take notes in lectures. Then in 1996 I bought my first PDA, the Apple Newton MP120.

    And I started to do mobile device software development, and to participate in discussions/forums with other developers. Other developers including Steve Mann. Go look him up, right now. Go ahead, I'll wait.

    So yeah, aft

    • by jedidiah (1196)

      Some of us imagined devices like this DECADES ago. Now how long it will take for human tech to catch up is another matter.

      I don't think Mr. Asus is going to get to see it.

  • Until I can have Cortana on my wrist, I don't see how something that small will be able to interface with a person well. Maybe some super-interface is on the horizon, but at this point it would need to almost have some type of AI to interface with that could do the typing/processing/etc that I'd need.
  • Not on my wrist (Score:3, Interesting)

    by pmontra (738736) on Thursday January 21, 2010 @12:39PM (#30848202) Homepage
    The last thing I wore around my wrist was (surprise) a clock some 20 years ago. I started having clocks all around me on computer screens at that time so I discovered I had no reason to wear one myself. Then came mobile phones. After all that time I can't stand having something around my wrist anymore. I have a clock for when I go hiking on the mountains but I strap it on the backpack. It's much more comfortable that way. Thinking about this Asus product, it may even sell well but I'd always go for something that can fit in my pocket and that's my mobile phone. I could call it a camera that makes calls and runs programs, or a computer with a phone and a camera but there is a limit to the number of devices we can carry around and recharge at home. No need for another one and no need to wear it.
  • The way I see it... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Rene S. Hollan (1943) on Thursday January 21, 2010 @12:57PM (#30848448)

    There's no need for a general purpose applications device on one's wrist, except for very specialized applications: phone, text messaging, compass, navigation, perhaps. Maybe calculator. The same sort of "apps" we had on relatively small screened cell phones of a few years ago, like my Moto E815 (damn that thing had a great radio).

    The trouble with this is that it's extremely battery limited. Still, if you want uberportable basics that run for one day, it's O.K.

    A step up is the modern IPhone or Android-powered phone. Belt clip size, with decent battery life (because it can hold a bigger battery). Now, combining the two allows for interesting possibilities: the wristputer now becomes an auxilliary display device: glance at your wrist to see your appointments, or incoming calls, etc. Just swap the SIM card from the wristputer to the cell phone to use the latter's mobile data connection.

    One step up is the single screen ebook. I see this as a handheld, which can function as a phone, or use the bluetooth or wifi connection to the belt-clipped phone, for dialing and call management (in parallel with the cell phone and wrist computer: if I'm reading a book and a call comes in, or I want to make a call, I'd like to do that from the UI on the book I'm reading instread of having to reach for another device (earbud, wristputer, or belt-clipped phone). Of course, it too can take a SIM card, if that's all you want to carry.

    Finally, for more serious reading, in the format of a traditional book, at the expense of size, is the dual-screen ebook, that folds. This one has color screens (instead of just, perhaps, e-ink). It has all the capabilities of the single-screen e-book.

    Each device is optimized for a particular purpose, but can be pressed into service for alternate uses: which devices a user caries depends on their physical activity and the types of computing they expect to be doing. I can very much see the single-screen e-book as a universal remote control, for example.

  • by zullnero (833754) on Thursday January 21, 2010 @12:58PM (#30848460) Homepage
    ...because they can't make any money on them, that they'd actually bring up the wearable computer thing again. Well, it kinda makes sense. You can charge a whole lot more margin for a wearable computer than you can for a low end, tiny laptop. But I thought we've been over this before. Wearable computers are only for dorks.
  • by peter303 (12292) on Thursday January 21, 2010 @01:03PM (#30848550)
    A problem with wristwatch and cellphone computers are their relatively tiny screens. A projector could be as small as sugar cube, ring, or pen, yet illuminate a couple square feet of a wall or table top. Some cell phones are already coming out with projectors.

    I saw some neat demos at SIGGRAPH of self-registering projectors. You only have to get them approximately head-on. Tehn they detect the descrepency and warp the projection into the perfect desired rectangle.
  • I'm waiting to hear that computers are dead. Just a long-running fad.
  • Wristwatch computers... Geeze... Unless they've developed the telepathic interface, I don't see this going any further than the last hundred or so times someone's tried it. Even at high resolution, the screen on a wristwatch is too small for much more than alerts and headlines.

    This illustrates a fundamental misunderstanding of the netbook niche. It's not the computing power. You can build more resources into a phone if you want to pay enough. It's having a large enough screen to get work done in a s

  • Asus Says Stuff You Already Bought Is Dead, Hello Stuff We Want You To Buy Soon.

  • by mattbee (17533) <matthew@bytemark.co.uk> on Thursday January 21, 2010 @01:23PM (#30848780) Homepage

    Those are still a pretty neat idea.

  • I'm sorry, but until I can look at a minimum of 1600x1200 resolution display, and give input by hand gestures (data gloves), (and maybe voice), it isn't wearable computing.

    I want to be sitting absolutely anywhere and wiggling my fingers in the data gloves and making gestures, looking at >=1600x1200, with reasonable speed & memory capacity. Or hell, even walking around so I don't get so damn fat.

    --PM

A computer lets you make more mistakes faster than any other invention, with the possible exceptions of handguns and Tequilla. -- Mitch Ratcliffe

Working...