This year's Intel keynote at CES was deadly focused on their "Game Changing Year Ahead." It's the year that they finally release their all-new from the grounds-up Haswell processor specifically designed to power the next generation convertible Ultrabooks. The convertible notebooks will allow the display to act as a tablet by turning it around on a pivotal hinge or to detach it altogether from the keyboard. I got to see HP's new Envy X2 last night and was totally taken aback as to how cool, how thin and how light the detachable display really was. It felt like it was about half the weight of a 9.7 inch iPad. The next generation Ultrabooks hold a lot of promise and in a new patent application filed by Sony this month, we're shown a couple of the ideas that they have up their sleeve for this new computer category. Their biggest revelation of all is their plan to use solar cells in quite an elaborate design.
In Sony's patent FIGS. 1A and 1B noted below we're clearly able to see that Sony is presenting a future notebook with a non-traditional lid. The lid is mainly made up of a transparent display. Not shown, according to Sony, is that the display could be touch-based on both sides allowing the backside to act as a tablet once the notebook lid is closed. The first figures could also be representing a dual display tablet.
Unlike the first two patent figures, FIGS. 7A and 7B are clearly illustrating a traditional keyboard covered by a transparent lid which doubles as a secondary display when closed that could act as a tablet.
Sony is Seriously Considering Solar Cell Integration into Next Generation Convertible Notebooks
Uniquely in Sony's patent figures 8A through to 9C we're able to see that in one configuration of this invention, one side of the notebook or tablet could consist of a series of solar cells to provide the device with natural power. The tablet or notebook display could be folded back to expose the solar cells.
In another configuration, Sony makes it sound as if when the user has his convertible notebook in tablet mode, the unit could be constructed so that the solar cells are under the transparent display. So even though you'll be reading content on your tablet, the display may be transparent enough to allow sunlight through the display and power-up the solar cells. Sony states that "the visibility on the display is improved, such that the user who observes the display in the state of FIG. 8A may not be so conscious of the solar cell panel 509a lying beneath it. That sounds rather wild.
And lastly, Sony clarifies that their invention could apply to a tablet or notebook type PC, a smart phone, a cellular phone, a portable gaming machine, a PDA (Personal Digital Assistant) or other device as roughly illustrated below in their patent figures.
Sony is thin on detailing what their intent is for this removable display feature on future gaming and/or smartphones.
Sony's patent application was originally filed in Q2 2012 in the US and in Q3 2011 in Japan. For more details about this invention and patent claims, see Sony's patent application 20130010003.
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