Arguing, as you never should, from the specific to the general there\’s a product that I think the market needs. And I have a feeling that it wouldn\’t be all that hard to do: either that or it\’s impossible. And it is the sort of thing that Kickstarter seems to enjoy funding.
So, can we have a go?
The basic idea is something similar to this. But much simpler.
They\’re building a little laptop which you slide your phone into. The phone then becomes the processor, memory etc. The laptop gives you a (small) screen and keyboard.
I know very little about the details of tech. But I assume that this does mean that it is possible to take off the phone video and input devices etc. Must be: they\’re plugging the phone into an external keyboard and screen. And to use those external devices to instruct the processor on the phone. So this must actually be possible.
But: why do this with a poxy little screen and laptop keyboard? Why insist that people have to buy that poxy screen and keyboard at all?
Instead, just make the magic little box that allows you to attach any screen, keyboard, mouse etc to a phone?
OK, not any. I can imagine that iOS would be different from Android. Or Windows.
But basically a pretty simple piece of kit. A bit like a USB extension slot thingummy. One wire comes out of the phone into the thingy. Into the thingy you can plug VGA, HDMI, USB (for mouse and keyboard) and whatever else. Printer maybe? Which is USB these days isn\’t it?
The phone itself can, as above, be the trackpad.
Inside the phone we\’ve got a processor, an OS, RAM, Wi-Fi, quite probably a direct internet connection over wireless. All we\’re doing is adding easier input options and a larger screen.
Shouldn\’t this be simple enough to do? Something that can be sold for $50 or so? A gidget that turns any smartphone (OK, any Android or iOS) into a reasonable fascimile of a low end desktop with a $10 keyboard and a $50 screen?
Ish-ish, you understand.
Can anyone tell me how difficult the electronics/software of such a thing would be? Would it be just hammering together some standard parts?
And the other thing is, who the hell would want it? Which is where I\’m arguing from the specific. I would certainly want one. And I\’m also convinced that in the medium term this is where computing is going to go. Everyone\’s going to end up with just one processing unit. Which is, at times, just a phone. At others a smartphone, and at others the processing engine for the laptop/desktop.
There will be some people who require much greater ooomph in their computing. But the basic PC stuff migrates onto a phone style processing box. And those requiring more ooomph are those we would currently describe as using \”workstations\” (ie, graphics, heavy music editing, CAD etc) while the rest of us use \”phones\” instead of \”PCs\”.
So, Geeksters out there. How tough would a little box like this be to make?