We have already seen laptops that use a smartphone to function properly courtesy of Asus and its Transformer line of products. It looks like Google is interested in this concept and aims to improve on it based on a recent patent that it filed. US patent 8,649,821 which was filed last September 2012 was granted to the search giant last February and describes a laptop that works in tandem with a built-in detachable smartphone.
Although the patent does not mention it, we may soon be seeing a laptop in the market that runs on Chrome OS which can work with an Android smartphone. Both devices can work independently of each other however when combined it enhances their individual features. The laptop can use the mobile connectivity access of the smartphone when Internet access on the go is required. The laptop can also use the smartphone to facilitate VoIP calls and other similar cases. The smartphone on the other hand can use charge itself using the laptops battery reserves.
A description of the device in its patent filing reads “Aspects of the present invention relate to a notebook computer and cell phone assembly. The cell phone is used in conjunction with the computer for telecommunication applications, including inter alia Skype, Instant Messenger and video conferencing. In addition the cell phone detaches from the computer for use as a standalone handset in private quiet conversation.”
“When the cell phone is attached to the notebook computer, incoming calls to the cell phone are detected by the computer, and the computer activates an indicator to notify a user of the call. The indicator may be inter alia a blinking LED or such other visual indicator, or a ringing speaker or such other audio indicator, or both. Activation of the indicator occurs whether the computer is in normal power mode, standby mode, hibernate mode, sleep mode, or turned off.”
The photos included in the patent filing shows a laptop device with a dedicated smartphone slot. This is similar to the Padfone series of Asus. While the Padfone series didn’t really sell well its concept of combining a tablet and smartphone in one device is more cost effective than buying a separate tablet and laptop. Google may try to follow on this concept with its latest approved patent filing.
It makes perfect sense that Google would want to come up with this device since people nowadays usually carry a laptop and a smartphone when travelling. By coming up with a way to make a laptop and smartphone work seamlessly together the company could supply the demand for an untapped market.
This is however still a patent and it may take some time for a prototype device to be made, if ever the company aims to pursue this concept.