Welcome to a new feature of my blog: Fresh Ideas.
Ideas are powerful. Ideas are free. A frugal guy like me likes powerful and free. Frequently, or at least often enough, ideas come to mind that might be inventions. Maybe someone else has thought of them too. But for years I’ve compiled these ideas in a notebook, hoping some day to be able to develop and possibly patent them. I will continue to do that with some ideas, but I decided that I’d also like to simply describe some here as a way to speed their development.
Today’s Fresh Idea: what I call the cafe computer – a computer that stands vertically when not in use, but with a detachable or downward folding keyboard.
A cafe computer is very similar to a laptop, but I realized that few people actually put laptops in their laps. Portability and mobility continue to be important, but most laptops end up sitting on tables or desks, putting the sensitive electronics in danger of spills while also taking up furniture real estate. My idea is to have a portable computer that contains the elements of previous desktop computers that stored almost everything in the monitor with the portability and closed shell design of a laptop.
Almost all of the electronics would reside in the same framework as the monitor. When closed, the keyboard would cover the monitor screen and would rest above the desk or table top. The monitor would have feet or supports that would also fold away for transport. Ideally, the entire device could also be mounted on a wall, with the keyboard detached for use. The keyboard and possible mouse could also be wireless. A wireless keyboard would weigh much less than a laptop, so putting it on the lap would be less noticeable; and keeping the main components in the monitor would put the heat source where cooling is easier and overheating laps wouldn’t be a problem. Dropping a keyboard would be less troubling than dropping a laptop.
I call it a cafe computer because it should fit on a coffeeshop table, a cafe table, while being safe from spills and possible sticky residue.
No new components need to be invented. This should merely be a repackaging of existing components.
I won’t belabor the details because I want this Fresh Idea series to be fun. Besides, as with any new idea, it may already have been invented. But any new idea also has one moment when it was first thought of and brought into the world. This is one step in how patents are made, and solutions are found.
If nothing else, being more open with my ideas may encourage others to recognize fresh ideas of their own. There’s more than enough work to do in the world, and many of the old ideas are no longer solutions. This is not the time to hide fresh ideas in notebooks or cabinets.
I’d include a sketch if I could only find some good cheap sketching software, but there’s none on this MacBook. Time to rummage around the web.
In the meantime, what’s your Fresh Idea?