Computer of Future

Computers of the Future
Contributed by Carol Gafford

See those pens? 

Look closely and try to guess what they could be.

They are mini-computers.

Here is a better look at our objects of mystery. 
They are barely larger than a regular ball point pen.


Ladies and gentlemen,
you have just looked into the future...

You've seen something that will replace your PC someday....

What?  You don't
believe it?   Then check this out: 

In the revolution of miniature computers,  scientists are ahead with Bluetooth technology.  See the forthcoming computers you will carry in your pocket:


This pen instrument produces both the monitor and the keyboard on flat surfaces from where you can just carry out the normal computer operations you do now at a desk. 



Editor's Note: I was so astounded by these pictures, I forwarded them to two friends in the Biz.  One was Gary Richardson who owns TFW Computers here in Houston.  The other was Mike Fagan, head of the Computer Research Department over at Rice University.  Here is what they had to say:

Letter One

Gary Richardson:  It's true. I checked it out at, the Urban Legend Research Site. Here is what they said:

It seems to many of us these days that the pace of technological change is so great that it outstrips our imaginations just as soon as we can conceive of the next nifty electronic gadget we'd like to have, we find out that somebody has already built it.

Miniaturized devices such as cameras and telephones are examples of now-common technologies that just a few years ago most of us rarely encountered outside the fictional world of spy thrillers. Miniaturized personal computers are the next logical step, but many readers might be surprised to learn that a plan for PC components housed in devices the size and shape of ballpoint pens (as shown above) was showcased by a major electronics company over two years ago.

At the 2003 ITU Telecom World exhibition held in Geneva, the Tokyo-based NEC corporation displayed a conceptual $30,000 prototype of what they dubbed a "Pen-style Personal Networking Gadget Package," or P-ISM. As NEC described the P-ISM:
P-ISM is a gadget package including five functions: a pen-style cellular phone with a handwriting data input function, virtual keyboard, a very small projector, camera scanner, and personal ID key with cashless pass function. P-ISMs are connected with one another through short-range wireless technology. The whole set is also connected to the Internet through the cellular phone function. This personal gadget in a minimalistic pen style enables the ultimate ubiquitous computing.

The P-ISM system was based on "low-cost electronic perception technology" produced by the San Jose, California, firm of Canesta, Inc., developers of technologies such as the "virtual keyboard" (although the last two pictures shown above appear to be virtual keyboard products sold by other companies such as VKB rather than components of the P-ISM prototype).

Last updated: 9 December 2005

Mini-Computer Article at Snopes

Letter Two

 -----Original Message-----
From: Mike Fagan
Sent: Friday, September 08, 2006 1:07 AM
To: Rick Archer

Rick Archer wrote:
This seems fishy to me, Mike, especially the "keyboard" idea of tapping a picture on a wood desk. Plus it is odd I haven't heard about it from a more reliable source than some email being passed around. What do you think?

Rick,  Not fishy. Just expensive (for now). I've seen all of this stuff, and more.

One of the things I was most impressed with did not appear on the list.  In the (near?) future, you will be hearing the term "haptic interface".   This term means that the sense of touch is maintained.  What I saw (and felt) last year was a haptic scalpel simulator. You could hold the scalpel simulator, look at a screen, and do virtual surgery. The cool part was that the haptic interface got the 'feel' of the tissue resistance. It actually felt like cutting!

Perhaps in the not too distant future, there will be haptic dance dolls that can simulate the resistance of a dancer (so you could do lead/follow remotely)!

Best, Mike

And now for a cartoon that nicely sums up exactly how I feel about our brave new world of technology:

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