Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Pad in My Pocket: The Two Screen Solution

What I want is a functional computer with an internet connection that fits in my pocket. The closest approximations currently available are large screen smartphones, of which the largest, the Dell Streak, has a 5" diagonal screen and no physical keyboard; there are several slightly smaller competitors with 4.3" screens. One reason none of them are larger than that is that they are constrained by the limited size of the pockets of potential purchasers. A 5" screen would be a considerable improvement over the 3.5" screen of my current phone, but still well short of what I want. Samsung's Galaxy Tab, with a 7" screen, comes closer, but it won't fit in my shirt pocket.

Sprint has just announced a new phone from Kyocera with a design that might provide the solution to the problem. The Kyocera Echo has two 3.5" screens. It can be configured as a sort of mini-laptop, with one screen providing the virtual keyboard for the other, or, with the phone opened flat, as a single 4.7" screen.

The breast pocket of my shirt, which is the smallest pocket in which I am likely to carry a phone, is about 3.5" wide and 5" long, so a larger version of the Echo, with individual screens about 3"x4.5", would fit. That gives a combined screen size of 4.5"x6", for a diagonal of about 7.5", a little bigger than the Galaxy Tab.

The Tab itself is said to fit into a pants pocket although not a shirt pocket. Replace its single screen with two of the same size and they combine to about 6"x7". That's roughly the size of the iPad screen—and considerably easier to carry around.

Now if only someone at Kyocera, or Motorola, or Samsung, or HTC, is reading this blog ... .


At 12:50 AM, February 09, 2011, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think what you want might exist soon: a device that projects a keyboard on a flat surface for typing and projects its display on a wall. (The drawbacks are obvious, but the bulky items are absent.)

At 9:31 AM, February 09, 2011, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You really want a wearable computer. A tiny display mounted right in front of your eye, with the right lens so you can focus on it, can look bigger than any portable tablet. Of course you need a separate input device, but there are various options for that (including voice recognition).

At 10:39 AM, February 09, 2011, Blogger David Friedman said...

Anonymous mentions the possibility of using a projected screen and keyboard. I mentioned that option here almost exactly a year ago:


At 2:45 PM, February 09, 2011, Anonymous Andrew said...

Wearable computers with displays mounted in front of your eye are for the young only. As you get older this sort of thing simply causes headaches and eye strain.

At 10:58 PM, February 09, 2011, Blogger Jonathan said...

I suppose that sewing a larger pocket onto a shirt is a theoretical possibility.

At 11:02 PM, February 09, 2011, Blogger Jonathan said...

Of course, sewing a large pocket onto every shirt you own could be rather tedious. Another possibility is to find or create a waistcoat or jacket with a large pocket.

At 10:49 AM, February 11, 2011, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Did not Sony make their early transistor radios fit shirt pockets by making the pockets bigger, given that they'd already made the radios as small as they could ?

Besides, I'm sure our host could outsource the sewing - division of labour etc

At 12:43 PM, February 11, 2011, Anonymous Thomas said...

Totally OT, but this is just too good not to pass on to you:

I've been reading Lord Cromers "Modern Egypt" and there is this small footnote about professional hired perjurers in the turkish legal system of the 19th century. Cromer refers to "A journal kept in Turkey and Greece" by Nassau William Senior for a good account of the exact proceedings, and by the great power of Google this work is online.


Take a look at around page 80. It's way awesome. Let me just quote my favorite part:

"When the moral proof is complete, but the technical proof is deficient, they supply it. They enable me to convict a man, whom I know to be guilty, but against whom without them there would be only circumstantial evidence. (...) It is a rough way of giving to the court a sort of barbarous equitable jurisdiction. And it has the further advantage of enabling the court to decide in favour of the party who bribes the highest."

Apparently there was an english equivalent in the "knights of the post", so you probably know all this already. But anyway, just had to share.

At 1:25 PM, February 22, 2011, Blogger Dave said...

I suggested something like this to a Microsoft rep back in 1999. What I wanted was an ebook reader that had the look and feel of a book. It would have two screens and fold up. I'd still like to have this.


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