Dell Froot screenless concept PC

January 18, 2010 | 10:22

Tags: #all-in-one #concept #projector

Companies: #dell

Dell has released renderings of its latest concept PC - a system with neither keyboard nor monitor.

Okay, that might be perhaps a little misleading: what the Froot concept PC actually offers is a single-box system featuring a pair of projectors - a traditional pico-projector in the rear to turn any wall into a display, and a laser projector in the front to turn any flat surface into a keyboard.

Described as "a biodegradable, sustainable computer concept" on the Behance Network design portfolio site - via Gizmodo - the renderings provide a glimpse into one of the directions the box shifter sees things going.

The robust-looking unit is clearly designed for developing nations, where too many moving parts - as found in keyboards - have a tendency to break down with nobody nearby able to repair them. From that perspective, the system would appear to have promise.

On closer inspection, the concept is sadly flawed: as anyone who has used a keyboard laser projector as an input method will know, typing directly onto a hard surface is murder on the fingers - and the laser light used to mark the keys is often difficult to see in anything but dim lighting conditions.

The system's eco credentials are also questionable: while described as "biodegradable [and] sustainable," the simple fact is that projectors draw more power than a standard LCD display. Couple this with the fact that the unit will also require a replacement lamp - usually every 2,000 hours or so with standard projectors - and you're left wondering just how sustainable the design really is.

Objections aside, it's a neat unit - and one that certainly shows promise. While it's unlikely to replace anyone's primary PC, as a guest system which takes up a minimum amount of room and has a certain 'wow' factor it can't be beat.

Sadly for those who'd like to get their hands on one, it's merely a design concept with no plans for commercialisation - for now, anyway.

Can you see this representing the future of home computing, or would you need a real keyboard at the very least before you took the Froot seriously? Share your thoughts over in the forums.
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