Apple has recently scored a patent for what it calls a “desk-free computer,” which the company filed for back in 2008. The filing describes a computer that looks like a Mac Mini or some other small computer that includes a built-in projector. This in turn would allow users to simply connect keyboard and mouse to this thing and place it on the opposite side of the wall, which would be used as monitor.
The “perfect setting” would involve using wireless keyboard and mouse, with the only cable being the one used to give power to the computer.
Now we could easily imagine something like this on a mobile device. Heck, we’ve already seen similar phone(s) made by Samsung. The only problem is that the battery doesn’t last forever in such setting with pico projectors pretty much draining the phone’s juice in just a few hours. There are so called “projector cases” that do make similar things possible but hardware is just one part of the equation; the extra screen estate is seldom used making these projectors more of a gimmicky toys than something usable.
Finally, it’s worth adding that just because Apple filed for some patent that doesn’t mean it will actually make a device using that technology. The chances are if that does happen, it won’t happen any time soon. We’ll see…