Many of us have multiple devices that we use to stay connected with friends, stay up to date on news, and do work with. Designers Florian Langer and Patrick Decker (Germany) seek to change how we use these devices by incorporating your multiple devices into one device called the Lifebook.
While the concept is not entirely new, the Lifebook in itself is quite a different approach to traditional designs that attempt to combine multiple devices into a more productive and interesting design.
The Lifebook is one of seven designs that received a “Judges special award” during the recent competition “A Life With Future Computing,” a competition hosted in collaboration by FUJITSU and the Design Association of Japan. The device is quite unique, composed of three individual and detachable pieces that all serve a purpose in the overall build. A transparent frame holds the pieces together, and also allows for the easy cleaning and maintenance of the device. The design intrigues me because of the capabilities of the LifeGear device, shown in the picture above as a number pad. This device has a multitude of uses, from a number pad, touch pad, graphic tablet, and a social networking interface. The coolest feature in my mind is the fact that, when detached, the LifeGear can also serve as a smart phone, giving you all of the capabilities of the every day smart phone as well, hence the multi-functional use of the components.
While it may look like a puzzle, the design is pretty basic, yet pretty intuitive as well. The Duralumin-Frame, a combination of copper, magnesium, manganese and aluminium (from least to most abundant) which provides a very light but sturdy/tough material, holds all the pieces together, providing a solid frame to the whole device. The Touch Monitor, 3:1 in size, allows for a mouse-free environment. The keyboard serves as not only a keyboard, but also serves as the memory (presumably DDR3 laptop RAM) holder, HDD drive, battery/charging station, and holds a DVD drive. The great thing is that these components are exchangeable, allowing for the user to customize (to some extent) what their device is capable of doing. As noted above, the LifeGear is a very versitile device, allowing for a multitude of uses, especially when coupled with the innovative Touch Monitor.
The LifeBook Frame Series is really a cool design, and something I would certainly love to own one day. The multitude of functions that this device provides is outstanding, and possibly something that designers and manufacturers will start to look into. Who knows where we will be in the next few years, but you might possibly see devices like the LifeBook popping up all around you!