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Sony NexTep – Smart Wristwear of the year 2020
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    Wearing your heart on your sleeve is so passée – how about your laptop? According to Sony, this will become a reality in less than a decade. This mind-blowing concept called NexTep promises to do just that, and it is rumoured to hit the market in 2020.

Sony NexTep,sony-wrist-computer,Smart Wristwear,Hiromi Kiriki

    Is it a watch? Is it a fancy bracelet? Is it a smart gadget? Sporting a sleek look envisioned by Japanese designer Hiromi Kiriki, Sony’s NexTep concept computer is all of the above, blurring the lines between a laptop and a mobile device. With the massive rise of smartphones, tablets and smart watches blending technology deeper and deeper into our daily lives, it seems like the traditional shape and form of laptops, notebooks and PCs is growing more and more obsolete, and unless they evolve in the future and go beyond anything we’ve seen so far, they might as well face extinction. Designed to be worn and shown off as a bracelet, this gadget from Japanese manufacturer Sony is much more than a cool looking decoration for your wrist, and may be the first device to make this evolutionary leap.
    Built of flexible organic light emitting diode (OLED) panels, this piece of technology is both touchscreen and flexible enough to wrap around the user’s wrist. And in case you find the screen to small, do not worry – the Sony NexTep will allow users to flatten it and convert it into a tablet with a three unit screen. What’s entirely new compared to all the mobile devices out there, the Sony NexTep will have a slide-out keyboard you can pull out – how many times did you find it hard to work on a smartphone or tablet because the keyboard takes up too much space on the screen? Soon enough, you won’t have to worry about that anymore. NexTep’s keyboard is separated into two panels – whether this is simply because of the joint part in the centre or design tweak to make typing easier, it sure looks stunning. Still not enough?  Apparently, this revolutionary shape shifter will also feature a built-in holographic projector, a major breakthrough in mobile technology.

Sony NexTep,sony-wrist-computer,Smart Wristwear,Hiromi Kiriki

     It is now known yet whether the NexTep will also double up as a phone and allow calls and text messages, but Sony promises it will be a social media feast, optimized for one-touch access to all the apps you need to stay connected to the never-ending feed of your preferred corners of the internet.
    One interesting question however is power. Will it use a standard battery like any other mobile device, begging to be plugged in almost daily, or will electronics giant Sony find a more creative way to keep it up and running? There’s no information on the issue yet, but solar power would be one fascinating possibility. Figuring out a way to sneak in solar power cells into this design beauty would be challenging enough, but an even more outrageously futuristic solution would be to turn the OLED touchscreen itself into a solar panel.
    Another interesting aspect will be the operating system. Looking more like a mobile device than a computer, one would expect this smart piece of jewellery to run on Android, just like Sony’s smartphones have done so far. But it’s not a smartphone! Will it run on Windows? We just have to wait and see: at the fast rate things are moving these days in gadget land, we can’t even dare hypothesize what operating systems will be available in 2020.
At only 100 to 500 nanometres in thickness, OLEDs are about 200 times thinner than a human hair. They are made by layering microscopic organic compounds able to generate light in response to electricity, and consume far less power than standard LEDs or liquid crystal displays (LCDs). OLEDs also have other advantages, improving brightness and resolution, and Sony is already working on using them to their maximum potential, as they prepare to launch a new line of OLED-based computer screens and televisions. Suddenly, the NexTep no longer seems like a science-fiction fantasy.
    In a statement from 2005, the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), the leading information and communication technology agency of the United Nations, already predicted the “Internet of Things”, a future of everyday personal belongings taking the plunge to the online world: “with the benefit of integrated information processing capacity, industrial products will take on smart capabilities. They may also take on electronic identities that can be queried remotely, or be equipped with sensors for detecting physical changes around them. […] The Internet of Things will enable forms of collaboration and communication between people and things, and between things themselves”. Almost ten years later, it seems like we are growing more and more used to this reality. So now the main question about the Sony NexTep is not “is it a computer, a smartphone or a smartwatch?”, but “when will we stop making the difference?”

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Published by Andreea Dobre


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