Netbands? Armbooks?

Imagine you were in the coffee shop, waiting on a friend. You decide to check your email. You put your coffee down, and press a button on the armband covering your arm from the wrist to the elbow. The screen uncurls from your arm, revealing a keyboard. You press the mail icon, and see a note from your friend that they’re running a bit late.

The technology for this is here, today. It’s possible to find slightly curved screens, despite the popularity of flat screens. The thinnest netbook screens on the market today are so thin you can bend them a considerable amount. By combining the two, you could have a screen that folds over your arm and snaps into place.

However, I can’t see it being manufactured for a few reasons:

  • I’ve never seen rounded or curved motherboards, so existing fabrication methods wouldn’t be adequate.
  • Big armband things are gaudy. There’s no way we could convince everyone it’s a trendy thing to wear.
  • The screen would have to be well protected. Arms get bumped by things all day, and something worn on the body will be crushed without thinking about it.
  • There’s no way to make it two-handed, so it’ll be a one-handed device only. That’ll make it hard for people to type on for any length of time.


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