TED Conversations

Robertson Klaingar

This conversation is closed. Start a new conversation
or join one »

Within five years, laptops should be obsolete to the general public.

At the rate things are going, I think within five years the laptop will be obsolete (a bit like the desktop currently is). What new phones need is basically faster processors. But when memory and speed keep increasing all the time, who knows where we will end up?
If that happens, then we don't really have to worry about one laptop per child anymore, but perhaps one phone(or whatever it is called) per child, making things that much cheaper.

Or what do you think?

progress indicator
  • Comment deleted

    • Mar 9 2011: Yes it's pretty small, but it's pretty surprising what kids these days can get used to. Things like ipads will help when it comes to reading literary works. And maybe after all those hours spent texting on phones they might not mind reading on them as much... as long as we make it a bit easier.
      I am not ready to get rid of my laptop either, but see how you snuck in ipad into what you are not ready to get rid of yet? And it was just unveiled last year. These new techs are just absorbed and accepted so much faster.
      • Comment deleted

        • Mar 10 2011: Well, like Adam says above, there are devices like the kyocera echo coming out with dual screens. Something other things that might be more far out are sixth sense developed at MIT( I think it's still in development) and finally, there is text-to speech, which is getting better. People will also probably come up with new ideas as time goes on
  • Comment deleted

    • Mar 10 2011: They might and they might not. I would lean towards innovation though. Hopefully there won't be too many disputes
    • Mar 10 2011: I am not sure the truly disruptive innovations will necessarily come from the Googles and Apples and HPs of this world, but more from small, as-yet unheard-of companies. Already we have a keyboard that is just a laser projection onto the desk (or any other surface). Your fingers, when "typing", break the laser beams in such a way that the computer can tell which key you have "depressed". Similarly, there are glasses you can wear that simulate a 55-inch 1080p screen. Geeky, maybe, but not forever. If things like these become real products (when, rather than if?), you could have a full, totally portable "desktop" computer with just a phone, a small laser projector, and a pair of glasses.
      • thumb
        Mar 11 2011: maybe you can do with even less. What about a hologram instead of a monitor and interacting directly with the hologram instead of using any input devices ?
  • thumb
    Mar 9 2011: I think the answer is about demand of functionality. Will there be a demand for a keyboard (with a mouse) and a screen, or just a touch screen tablet type thing. We won’t be changing the way we enter information into a computer i.e. text, any time soon so I don’t see the keyboard/screen combination disappearing.

    I am looking forward to one vendor’s product which is two screens, so one screen acts as a touch screen keyboard and the other a screen. With the touch of a button you can lose the keyboard and have two touch screens. There is no plastic border around each screen so when its open flat it becomes a perfect tablet. Sorry cant find the link (promise I'm not making it up!).

    I think what will be obsolete in 5 years are keyboards on laptops.
  • thumb
    Mar 9 2011: I think the distinction that needs to be made is: are you a consumer or are you a creator?

    I like my giant screen and second display. I know people with four displays running external to their laptop screens. I don't want to work on 7.3 x 9.5" inches of screen as my primary work interface, thanks.

    I have seen some cool future tech that probably will replace laptops, desktops, and the like, but it's going to take more than five years before they are mass-produced and cheap enough to oust what we currently have.

    (Remember what prognosticators in the 1960s thought we'd have by now? We're moving, but not that quickly.)
    • Mar 9 2011: I agree. When I said obsolete to the general public I meant general consumers. Professors and artists who need more power for some powerful programs will prob keep them. And they'll remain at work, but with everyone on the move, having a little device that goes everywhere will probably make more sense to buy.
      • thumb
        Mar 9 2011: So you think we should/will keep on the path of masses as consumers as opposed to enabling them to create with ease? Can't people have both functions in their lives?

        And how are we to break that cycle if we don't start with the youth?
        • Mar 9 2011: I don't think we would be stifling creation. With the internet, you can have access to whatever creative information you need or want. Kids will still be able to fill their minds and access tutorials for these programs on youtube or elsewhere. It is staggering the amount of educational material you can find on social websites if you look for them. We just need to convince kids to spend less time "googling" Justin Bieber, and more looking for educational topics that they find interesting. It would have to be an exploratory process for them.
          WIthin the next five years, I don't think gettting artistic applications and software like matlab etc on these small device is feasible. But I hope I am proved wrong.
        • Mar 9 2011: I do get what you are saying though. The word obsolete was a bit strong. These devices should get adopted faster due to lowering prices and increasing capacity, leading to more of them being around than laptops. That should be possible within five years. Then eventually, I don't know how soon but eventually, we should be able to get them to perform as well as laptops. Some people are trying solve the problem of screen size, and some solutions I have seen are very promising and work right now.
  • thumb
    Mar 9 2011: I believe Apple has designed the integrated MacBook Air and iPad. They are most likely now iterating on that design which could take a couple of years. That is the future, a single device that can transform from laptop to tablet. HP and MS predicted this years ago but their first devices were too big and clunky.

    Now that HP is increasing its R&D budget maybe we'll see more design innovation out of them as well?
  • Mar 9 2011: I do not think neither Desktop nor laptop going to obsolete . But yes the way they operate through operating system will be changed drastically like Google is coming up with new laptop equiped with Android Software , This laptop wont have any application , After you connect to the NET you will be connect to the Cloud Computing . There you have everything , your data , your application whatever you want , But if you Internet connection is slow or not stable then this Google laptop is just not usefull , But the way all the countries around the world steping up to increase the internet bandwidth and Every airport , restaurant and common public places incorporating the wifi zones . if the internet will be available everywhere and easily accessible then this Google Laptop going to gain the momentum , but please note that Desktop and Laptop never going to be obsolete , only there will be changes how they will be operating .
    • Mar 9 2011: I didn't know google was trying to build that. It's interesting. Should check that out. When I said obsolete I didn't mean it would disappear completely but there would be much less of them. Just like you have less desktops right now, there should be less laptops in the future.
      I mean the price of laptops has been going down faster than that of desktops, helping sell more and more laptops. I just think the prices of smaller techs would also go down fast and be more widespread due to increased portability.