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Ever since the first laptop computers our infatuation with smaller and smaller computers has been driving a lot of the technology. Its looks like we want everything to fit into our pockets and when Palm bought the first truly mobile computers to life it was the start of something big. While pocket PC's have become a bit redundant with things like the iPhone and other smart phones, it laid the foundation for even bigger dreams.
Today, most mobile phones can do virtually every basic task that you can do on a normal computer. You can send and receive emails, create slide shows (and present it from your phone), surf the web and with thousands of applications coming out daily, its truly without limits. Every device has its limits and its limitations although and many of the problems with mobile phone devices is what keeps it from becoming as main stream as it should.
The biggest issue is screen size. While we want smaller and smaller computers, we want bigger and larger screens. This contradiction in technology is what's driving a lot of the technology. In many ways the ultimate mobile computer will be an an iPhone with a screen the size of your TV – while still fitting into your pocket.
Can this be done?
Well, although it sounds like a "new" problem its actually been something that scientists at IBM started working on for one of the NASA space missions. They developed a screen that's capable of folding up. Its as thin as a piece of paper and allows you to fold it of and unfold it when you need to use it. Although there was a lot of issues with the technology, its been reported that Apple got hold of that technology – who knows what they will do with it.
In the same vain, Sony's been experimenting with several solutions to this mobile computing dilemma. They developed glasses that you can put on to give you "the biggest screen" in the world. Although we've seen similar things in Sci-Fi movies, this is for real and apparently it's set for mainstream release and may we be the answer that we've been looking for. Just imagine carrying your computer in your pocket and your screen on your eyes.
Its not that far fetched to see how a complete and powerful computer will soon be able to fit into your back pocket. With infra-red keyboards already available, the only limitation is the screen and these 2 great ideas might just bridge that gap and lead the way in ultra compact computing.