I was in a meeting a few days ago with a bunch of tech-savvy folks here in Silicon Valley, and, as meetings these days usually do, this one started with a good deal of shuffling around, with everyone pulling out their various gadgets, plugging in extension cords, etc.
Increasingly, one can't attend a meeting, at least hereabouts, without the constant clicking of keyboards as the meeting participants take notes (and, truth be told, do email, check Facebook, browse YouTube, etc.) on some form of computer. So, initially, as the clicking started, I didn't give it much notice.
After a half hour or so, however, as my mind started to wander, I glanced around the conference room table to check out the hardware on display. I was very interested to note that four of the eight attendees at the meeting were using some kind of iPad-with-keyboard combination, fluidly using both touchscreen and keyboard (for an example of a cool version of this (not yet available), take a look at this video about the Brydge keyboard).
I had thought that I was pretty up-to-speed, with my new MacBook Air, but I found myself wondering if the other folks in the meeting weren't inadvertently previewing/inventing the laptop of the future -- with the best of tablets and laptops combined in the same device.
Or.....more radically, were they presaging the death of the laptop as currently designed, with a monitor and keyboard that can't be detached from each another?
I assume that the Apple product folks are working on this, but, if they aren't, might be an opportunity for entrepreneurs here.
Anyway, it made me envious, so I went out and bought an iPad-compatible keyboard.