Noting our growing reliance on smartphones, designer and entrepreneur Emre Kosmaz is predicting that hardware is ultimately a zero-sum game: the more we use smartphones for personal computing and connectivity, the less we need tablets, laptops and PCS. He started his eponymous Bay Area company "to change the way people use the computer through an innovative hardware concept." Unveiled yesterday, just two days before what could be yet another historic debut at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, Kosmaz Technologies presents the NexPhone:NexPhone wants to change mobile computing forever by taking the power of the smartphone to an unmatched level like never before. NexPhone is designed essentially to become user's primary PC to create, view and edit documents and other content. This is achieved by Ubuntu for Android software, bringing real computer experience... NexPhone also becomes your tablet when it is used with our tablet dock and becomes your Laptop or PC bringing full desktop experience when it is used with our NexLaptop or NexMonitor docks. Together, they provide revolutionary interactive computing experience that empowers consumers to use one single device at home, at the office or on the road without the need of synchronizing their content or contacts with other devices.
By tapping the ever-increasing processing power of mobile devices, Kosmaz augurs a smartphone-centered ecosystem of peripherals as analogues for the current categories. "With NexPhone, we are rethinking what a smartphone can be in the future and creating a new category of consumer electronic device that combines the power of a tablet and PC with the latest smartphone features, while eliminating consumers' need for additional computers."
Aside from the OS and renderings, details are scant at this point; in the "Design Story" section of the site acknowledges that Apple is the only consumer electronics company that has achieved an iconic brand identity. Recent litigation aside, I'm more interested in the fact that the NexPhone is expressly designed as a sort of anti-cloud device, forgoing the need for syncing by localizing all of one's data within a single, pocketable object. (The Phone is attached to a data plan, providing connectivity when attached to any of the larger devices.)
Of course, this isn't the first time we've seen this kind of plug-and-play hardware concept: the Asus version from nearly a year ago was met with quite a bit of skepticism. Personally, I thought that the previous 'nesting' concept—the Asus smartphone plugged into the tablet like a removable battery—was rather more elegant... but the question remains: yea or nay?
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Might be ok for the average Joe, but for a designer who uses a mac for sound recording, a pc for 3D modeling and an ipad for social networking and surfing on the couch, technology has a way to go before this would be a reality for people like me.
Plug in an HDMI cable. hoop up a bluetooth keyboard and mouse and you're off to the races with a full version of firefox and other desktop applications.
If the device is able to readily and seamlessly act as a client portal to a super-computer/cloud which can provide the horsepower needed to play the latest games, render the biggest money shots, and everything else, then I can see the appeal beyond a more versatile mobile-internet-checker-upper/Angry Birds console.
I hate using my laptop, imac and iphone all independently. Yes there are synchronization services and I make heavy use of dropbox. But if I make a configuration setting on my desktop, or download new software on my laptop, I have to keep every device up to date manually. Those of you running different versions of CS on different stations know what I'm talking about...
Why buy docks when you can buy background-synced standalone devices. It's not as if the cost of computing is not falling precipitously. Basically, a smartphone + tablet dock, or laptop dock, or AIO dock is inferior to a smartphone + tablet, or laptop, or AIO.