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The MacFlap

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Published on Nov 29, 2011

Laptop meets tablet - with a twist of origami.

Some of the key design features of laptops today are:
- Real keyboard.
- Screen can be tilted perpendicular to the users line of sight.
- Keyboard and screen fold to protect one another.

There are however at least two reasons why laptop screens are no good for touch.
Firstly they offer no resistance when you push on them. Secondly they are the wrong angle for your arm/wrist. Look at architects easels or the desk of a monastic scribe for good ergonomic angles.

The MacFlap draws on the best that computer manufacturers and monks have to offer. Use it as a laptop. Use it as a tablet. Give it a fold and you have a supported tablet screen.

The mock-up here has just one position for the supported screen (and hides the keyboard) but I'm sure its not beyond the wit of the Apple design team to have continuous positions or even just several positions - like a deck chair. The keyboard could also slide/flop to the front, covering the track pad and giving room for a supported screen behind it.
If you wanted to get really fancy, the wide hinge that joins the screen to the body could concertina in width to give an adjustable viewing angle for any given position of the supported screen.

In October 2010 I built the mock-up, filmed it and then mailed the mockup to Steve Jobs encouraging him to build it.

Unfortunately but perhaps understandably apple returned it.

They were appreciative of the prototype but explained it didn't fit with their policy of not accepting, reviewing, or considering outside submissions of product ideas for any purpose.  They explained they had adopted this policy due in part to the large volume of mail received and also to avoid potential misunderstandings or disputes when Apple's products or marketing strategies might seem similar to ideas submitted to Apple. http://www.apple.com/legal/policies/i....

Personally I'd love to use a MacFlap. Ultraportable, real keyboard, real-good touch.

Please leave your comments and if you like the design of the MacFlap:
1) Who would you like to build it? e.g. Apple, Google, One-Laptop-Per-Child...
2) what size/form would you want to buy? e.g. 11" ultraportable as in this video, 30" portable easel, phone, IPad accessory...

Thanks for watching,
Tim Helweg-Larsen, Oxford, UK

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