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Will Ericsson’s Minimalist PC Concept Evoke Envy in Apple’s Jon Ive?

Ericsson has just pulled the covers off a concept PC that takes the all-in-one concept and design minimalism to a whole new level. The spartan machine doesn’t have a screen or a keyboard, and instead opts to use projections for both.

Ericsson has just pulled the covers off a concept PC that takes the all-in-one concept and design minimalism to a whole new level. The spartan machine doesn’t have a screen or a keyboard, and instead opts to use projections for both.

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ericsson spider

It’s dubbed the Spider, and it’s Ericsson’s guess at the PC we’ll be using in 2020–it’s on the left in the image. For this demo incarnation, Ericsson used currently available picoprojector and laser-projected keyboard technology to mock together how the machine would perform–and presumably there’s no motherboard and Intel CPU chugging away inside that cylindrical case. But the idea is that electronics and optical tech will have evolved enough over the next ten years so the final Spider will be self-contained in an even skinnier cylinder with tripod legs (pictured on the right.)

The resulting machine is part laptop, part desktop PC–there’s essentially no reason to classify it as one or the other, considering its meager mass and easy portability. It’s presumably part home theatre PC too, given that projector technology should easily be able to beam out a 60-inch display by 2020. With another 10 years behind projected keyboard tech, there’s no reason it shouldn’t be more usable than the slightly clumsy versions that exist now, either.

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There’s certainly some logic in this thinking, and it represents one destination for the current trend in PC design simplification. Who would employ this sort of design, though? Sony? HP? Perhaps we should look at the Mac. Apple aficionados have pretty much a single person to thank for the sleek, clean, and almost Zen-like lines that nearly every Apple product now sports: Designer Jonathan Ive (on our Most Creative People list this year). He’s responsible for the styling changes that have reduced the iMac from a sweet but chubby multicolored beast to its current screen-with-a-computer-behind slenderness. But dear Jon must be jealous of Ericsson’s effort, which does away with the screen and even the wireless keyboard of the newly refreshed aluminum iMacs. Or maybe he’ll be inspired by the idea, and get wiggling on adapting Spider’s concept into a unibody brushed aluminum shape–and working it into the next-but-several iMac refresh.

[Via Gizmodo]

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About the author

I'm covering the science/tech/generally-exciting-and-innovative beat for Fast Company. Follow me on Twitter, or Google+ and you'll hear tons of interesting stuff, I promise. I've also got a PhD, and worked in such roles as professional scientist and theater technician...thankfully avoiding jobs like bodyguard and chicken shed-cleaner (bonus points if you get that reference!)

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