While anxiously awaiting the Apple tablet, I took a look at the promo video of the original Origami device. Introduced in 2006 by Microsoft, it was an intriguing concept that was supposed to be something between a laptop and a phone.
What happened was what happens to the concept cars that are shown at exhibitions but never make it to production lines without losing their character. Sadly, the actual device failed to live up to the expectations set by the hype that surrounded the project. Just once when Microsoft was able to come up with a catchy name, it was watered to something like ultra mobile personal computer, UMPC. And the device was no better: David Pogue reported that he was actually able to click with it.
And you can “click the mouse” by pressing the Change Resolution button while also pressing the Menu button.
But nothing in this first crop is anything like what Bill Gates envisioned a year ago: a one-pound machine with all-day battery life and a price tag of $500 to $800. That dream, Microsoft admits, is years away.
[4 years, to be more accurate.]
My experiences weren’t any better (in Finnish).
Mockery aside, it’s interesting to see in hindsight that their vision was surprisingly similar to what iPad turned out to be.
Downloading photos from you camera.
Using it as a picture frame.
Typing with an auxiliary keyboard.
And watching videos, of course.
Ironically, the only magazine shown in the video is printed on paper:
Recently, Microsoft has been getting attention with a concept called Courier. It takes the ideas even further and relies heavily on advanced text recognition. Let’s hope it won’t take another four years before we see something concrete along these lines.
Otto Berke, who led the design of Haiku tablet concept at Microsoft, has also commented on the iPad. He thinks that it is unsurprising as a product but gives Apple credit for the execution.
With the 7”-display-based Haiku/Origami, I aimed for greater mobility in the tradeoff between mobility and display real estate.