Phase 1: Build something to big for your pocket and too small for work

Scoble says… Yes. The hype got too big too fast. 

The whole thing just reminds me of a certain South Park episode that’s commonly quotes on Slashdot…

Phase 1: Collect Underpants

Phase 2: ???

Phase 3: Profit

I believe the project has a great amount of potential and I like the concept of the thumb keypad.  However, IMO, The ??? in the Origami project is the scenario and the software to enable that scenario.  We’ve built a device that should have a market that fills the gap between the PDA and full Tablet PCs, but at the moment, I don’t understand what you do with that sort of device… I’m probably just getting old and someone will just tell me I’m not the target customer.

Comments (5)
  1. Charlie Eriksen says:

    Neither i can figure out what kind of scenarios this very handy product would fit into.

    One thing it could be used for, was education. But this is really the only scenario i think it would be good for. But i think this case is gonna depend largely on the price.  But it would work great with this education pack for the tablet pc, that microsoft have. Theres even a video about it on channel9.

    But to do the shape of the one i saw on channel9, you cant really walk arround, and place this thing on your arm, like you can with the big tablets, and do what you would.

    Im not gonna buy one whatsoever. I would rather buy a true tablet pc.

    This is a gameboy/playstation portable. Its just a bit larger, and more expensive, i would guess.  

  2. MSDNArchive says:

    Yesterday evening I ate dinner in a restaurant down the street, and got all excited when I thought a guy at the bar actually was using an Origami device.  Turns out, he was using the Nokia 770 Internet Tablet (, something very similar to the Origami, but more focused around web browsing and less around a full-featured computer.

    I spent some time trying to figure out what benefit he was getting out of the device compared to a WiFi-enabled cell phone or a full-fledged laptop.  I think the benefit is in a "laptop replacement".  Laptop’s are too big.  Trying to use one on the bus is a pain…mine’s so big that when I open the display, it hits the seat in front of me.  For watching a movie, listening to some tunes, responding to some basic email, and browsing through my RSS feeds, a sub-$500 Origami device would be perfect.  I could then free myself from 6 pounds in my backpack every day.

    Can you tell I’m trying desparately to help justify the existence of the thing?  🙂

  3. John Walker says:

    Gotta agree. It’s certainly a cool device, but I have trouble seeing where I would use it. I wonder if, like Josh, I am getting too old.

  4. Norman Diamond says:

    One of the recycle stores near me has a Panasonic AL-N0.  This was a real notebook PC around 10 years ago but two of the dimensions are in the category you guys are talking about.  It was as thick as an ordinary notebook PC though.  Today it would probably be 1/4 of the thickness.  The screen was 640×480 but today could be 800×600 or 1024×768 in the same space.  The pointing device is a trackball at the upper right corner of the keyboard, and mouse buttons are on the side of the machine, along the right-hand edge.  Turns out it’s actually not hard to use it in that configuration, unless you’re left-handed.

    Furthermore the price is only 525 yen.  So if anyone wants it to examine and think about its design, the biggest cost would be postage.  On the other hand, when a store prices a thing like that, and of course it’s in the junk section of the store, we can be pretty sure that none of the remaining components actually operate.  You only want it if you’re going to be thinking of copying parts of the design.

    On the other hand, how come even Matsushita, even in a country where people really do need things that can fit in a briefcase and can be used on a train, didn’t continue that form factor in later generations of PCs.  Even here there wasn’t enough of a market for it?

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