Palm announces Foleo

Palm today announced their long awaited 'mystery device'. It turns out to be a full size keyboard/monitor for your smartphone. My first reaction was a big yawn.

However, it reminded me of a conversation I'd had several years ago about the future of computing. In that conversation, I suggested that the ideal situation would be for everyone to carry around a 'wearable' computer. This block would contain a basic processor and data store. There would then be a universal protocol to allow this data block to be plugged into other devices. A basic 'laptop' device would immediately become your computer. If you needed to do 'heavy lifting' you could plug it into a workstation with big monitors and supplemental processing power, etc.

The Foleo is not a realization of that dream, but it is much more interesting if you view it as a first step down that path. Your smartphone becomes your primary local data store, and your gateway to 'the cloud', which stores the rest of your data, etc.

However, at this point I have to say I don't find it compelling. For road warriors without laptops (are there any?) it may be a cheaper alternative to the main functionality they need, but I'd rather use my smarthphone as a modem and actually work on my laptop.

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