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back to article Intel demos transparent-lid hybrid PC

Intel has developed a concept tablet-cum-notebook PC, dubbed Nikiski, that uses a full-width, two-sided transparent touchpad that allows you to view and interact with half of the notebook's display when the clamshell is closed. "Nikiski is a very strange name, I agree," said Mooly Eden, general manager of Intel's PC Client Group …

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Already patented what?

The simple common sense to put the touchpad a millimeter or two below the palm rest, so that you can type without your palms constantly brushing the sensor surface, rather than flush-mounting it so that the pointer goes zinging across the screen every time you so much as breathe on the keyboard?

Well, that explains why it's been three or four years since I could find a laptop with a countersunk touchpad, I guess...

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Anonymous Coward

I remember the trackpads of ten or more years ago detecting "pressure" which really appeared to measure the contact surface area, so it's not really much of a step to "detecting" palm or wrist contact on that basis.

Still, it gives the lawyers something to do when someone else implements this kind of thing in another way and Intel demands royalties because "we thought of it first!" and "our way is the only proper way so you must have copied us!"

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prior art?

Almost all Synaptics pads do palm detection anyway.

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Re: countersunk touchpad

What sort of typing position are we talking about here?

I've just tried to type with my palm low enough to touch a touchpad. It's bloody uncomfortable and I've no intention of keeping it up. (I'm typing this now with my hands above the keyboard like any sane person.)

I was briefly tempted to patent the pain in my joints, but then I remembered the prior art: "Doctor, it hurts when I do this..."

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Typing position

Hands-above (with palms roughly parallel to the keyboard) is the generally-approved typing position. But when not actually typing, many people let the heels of their hands rest on the surface below the bottom row of keys, keeping their fingers on the home row so they can resume typing easily (if they're touch-typists) but resting their arms.

With a freestanding keyboard, that puts the heels of your hands on the desk (or whatever the keyboard is lying on). With a laptop, that generally means the heels of your hands are on some part of the laptop - possibly touching the touchpad below the keyboard (most laptops have), which is why Synaptics touchpads detect and ignore that.

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Ok.... This might get me some downvotes....

I like the sound of this, a hell of a lot. I even like the name - it's got a nice ring to it. If it ever comes out and works the way it seems to have been demo'd, then I would want one.

Goin' hunting for more details tomorrow, I think...

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It makes sense

/if/ your laptop is powered on while you carry it from meeting room to meeting room,

/or/ your laptop is "instant on"

because there are often things that your can't be bothered with a hinge to read (i.e. email notifications, meeting room locations etc.)

As a concept I think its quite a reasonable one, and the cost of having the back light stay on for those small tasks should be small, and the weight saving from not having two LCD screens can be used for a bigger battery which means better run time

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Coat

Close'n'go

I frequently close'n'go with my laptop. So much so that I tell the "close lid" action to "do nothing." Makes it readily available when I get to the near destination, no need to wait for wireless to rehook, DHCP to resolve, sleep to resume, etc. The ability to see what that email bloop was without having to awkwardly open the laptop is an added bonus. Unfortunately, it sounds like it needs to run Windows 8 to get the featureset....

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Mushroom

i don't even appreciate a certain operating system being mentioned in the article much less on the device. probably got "trusted platform" s%>@ baked in as well. Align yourself with the enemy and share their fate.

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FAIL

So, it's SideShow from Vista again?

Nobody bought it first time, nobody cares about this time.

We all have smartphones for this kind of stuff. Just give us a decent trackpad instead of the usual jerky PC nonsense, and be done with it.

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It's not Windows 8

As Intel pointed out 1,000,000 times. Apparently it's a coincidence that the two UIs are similar..

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Anonymous Coward

When a picture is worth a thousand words

YouTube video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d-qTT0mKuRM

Looks interesting at first, but then you think about it - the entire laptop has to remain powered up for the trackpad-cum-display to be of any use, it's using the internal LCD screen which has to remain fully illuminated (probably all of it, and not just the 1/5th that is visible through the trackpad) and the power saving benefits of this design are virtually non existent...

Interesting it certainly is, but if I'm going to get any real benefit from a "seconday display" while the laptop is closed I think I'd rather it was a secondary display that is low-power (eg. OLED) and which doesn't require the power sucking x86 processor to keep running just to show me that I've got a new mail.

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title

Hmm. I can't watch the youtube vid, firewall and all.

However half of me wants to think that surely they would be clever enough to only backlight the part in use, its not too hard to segment a backlight LED.

The other half of me is thinking I bet you are right, cheaper to make probably beats having a product with decent batttery life if they even thought of battery life.

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Oh.

So it's actually even worse than SideShow.

Jolly good.

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The whole thing is lit up brightly (you can see it thru the shell of the laptop):

He says "yeah, that is the backlight, this is just a prototype..... We choose the wrong colour"

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WTF?

Palm touch

Err I thought that was already part of touchpad drivers to ignore large-area touches to prevent generating spurious clicks and moves?

e.g. from running 'synclient -l' on the laptop here (Ubuntu, don't even bother trying, Windows users!)

PalmDetect = 0

PalmMinWidth = 9

PalmMinZ = 199

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Unhappy

Finally an excuse to use even cheaper plastic for the case.

Brilliant.

I can barely control my excitement.

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Coat

Pot, kettle...

"Nikiski is a very strange name, I agree," said Mooly Eden...

Has he looked at his own business cards lately?...

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