Nokia has been granted a patent recently for a versatile phone / laptop hybrid with a detachable display. Nokia intends to bring the best blend of value offered by Laptops and smartphones in one. The proposed apparatus caters to both the needs of a “mobile use” as well as a “stable use”.
There has been no elegant way to efficiently blend the value offered by laptops at one end, with smart phones on the other. When a person is moving around his/her home in different rooms or resting on a couch while using his/her mobile device, a laptop is often too heavy, uncomfortably overheats, or takes too long to boot-up to simply play a song. Smart phones remain highly personal, yet largely disconnected from surrounding home technology. Tablets offer versatile experiences, but in many cases they need to be supplemented by different accessories such as separate qwerty keyboards, pop-out stands and protective cases.
Now a new versatile two-part apparatus is provided. In various example embodiments, the apparatus adapts to various mobile experiences elegantly, whether it’s room hopping/couch surfing/cooking up in the kitchen at home, commuting to work via bike or bus, or sharing media at a party or over coffee. In various example embodiments the apparatus adapts to people’s needs in mobile use cases alongside their needs in more stable (or “not so mobile”) use cases without having to resort to add-on accessories or multiple extra devices. In mobile use cases people’s needs include for example the following: enabling heads-up use, communicating while moving, compact size, glanceable display, and personal use. In stable use cases people’s needs include for example the following: heads-down use, at home use, larger screen, social use, seated use, and enabling continuous typing.
What sounds really cool is that one can just simply lift the display and walk and it will still work as one along with the base part.
In the intermediate configuration, a gap is formed between one edge of the display part and the base part. In an example embodiment, the gap is formed via a magnetic force. This allows finger access to the display part and thereby enables a user to easily move the display part from the closed configuration to the open configuration. In an example embodiment, the intermediate configuration allows the display part to be detached from the base part for example by lifting the display part up from the base part. That is, the display part can be simply picked up from the base part. In other words, in the intermediate configuration, the display part can be either lifted away from the base part or rolled into the upright open configuration. In this way, immediate removal of the display part from the intermediate configuration without first rolling the display part to the open configuration is possible and may be preferred for example if one is in a hurry or wants to simply invert the display part.
In the detached configuration, the display part is detached from the base part. In an example embodiment, the display part and the base part continue to operate as a single unit despite of being separated. In an example embodiment the apparatus is used for multi-part social computing in the detached configuration. In an example embodiment the base part and the display part are separated but interoperable and the base part can be used to control the display part for example over a LPRF (low power radio frequency) connection. One example of multi-part social computing is sharing pictures. The user retains the base part and uses the base part to control the sharing of the pictures (e.g. the pace of changing the pictures and selecting which pictures to show), while people who are viewing the pictures can gather more intimately around the display part without the user needing to hold up the whole apparatus.
The apparatus has a detachable display part with displays on both sides: one main display and another for displaying alerts and notifications while on move.
In an alternative embodiment shown in FIGS. 12 and 13, the display part comprises a display (1206, 1306) on both sides of the display part. One of the displays may be a high contrast full colour OLED (organic light-emitting diode) display or some other advanced display type and the other one may be a low power bi-stable display or some other low end display suitable for displaying for example alerts or simple graphics. The advanced display may be referred to as a main display and the low end display may be referred to as an additional display. In an example embodiment a display of the display part faces upwards and the apparatus effectively behaves as a tablet with extra computing power provided by the base part. In an example embodiment a display of the display part faces the base part whereby the base part provides protection for the display (for example for transport of the apparatus).
There may be two operating modes for the apparatus and the display will be a touch-screen.
In an example embodiment the apparatus comprises at least two operating modes in the closed configuration. In a first operating mode, the apparatus is configured for transport. In this mode there is relatively little or no interaction at all between the user and the apparatus. As an example, the apparatus may be configured to operate in a drift mode, in which the display part may show various ambient alerts. Also simple interactions and responses may be enabled. Such simple interactions and responses include for example simple heads-up interactions that allow people to communicate and consume small bites of content while on the go. Alternatively the apparatus may be configured to operate in a sleep mode or the apparatus may be turned off in the first operating mode. In an example embodiment, in the first operating mode a main display of the display part is folded away so that it faces the base part whereby the base part provides protection for the main display. An additional display may be exposed in the first operating mode.
In a second operating mode, the display part operates as a touch screen. As an example, in this mode the apparatus may be used for simple consumption of casual information, news feeds, navigation, or e-book reading. In an example embodiment, in the second operating mode a main display of the display part is placed on the base part so that the main display is exposed to the user (faces outwards).
Such a device looks much more portable than a normal laptop in daily use and still very functional as a handheld and a working PC. Nokia’s comeback consumer device Nokia N1 has seen good reception in China. Let us see if Nokia really brings any such device in future and I may be the first in queue to grab it.