In A.I. Apocalypse, Leon Tsarev, the main character, uses a mobile phone that goes back and forth between phone and desktop computer. By merely knocking the phone against a display, it syncs its output to that display device.
In the novel, Leon uses it with a display in his bedroom, a wall-mounted display at the kitchen table, and on his desk at school.
The Ubuntu Edge is very similar in concept. The phone would run the Ubuntu OS, a Linux based operating system, but could be docked to become a complete computer.
The phone is currently being funded via a IndieGogo campaign, and has raised eight million dollars already.
It is described as “Dual-boots into Ubuntu mobile OS and Android; converts into a full desktop PC”.
It’s a pretty piece of hardware too, futuristic and sleek.
This is exactly where I hoped we would have been a few years ago. Now with the advent of applications moving to the cloud and seamless data synchronization with apps like Dropbox, it seems a little less necessary: I can effortlessly move between my work PC and either of two personal PCs, and I can access all my mail, documents, and applications no matter where I am.
But it’s possible that the privacy concerns over the NSA could cause backlash against cloud computing. We might just be better off carrying a secure device with us whereever we go, and avoiding the cloud as much as possible. In that case, the Edge becomes pretty compelling.
Either way, it’ll be fun to see where this goes.