Origami Laptop

We usually don’t feature products that aren’t for sale yet.  That’s based on our belief that it’s not an innovation if it doesn’t hit the market.  But this is so cool we made an exception.

It’s called the Flexbook and it’s the product of an industrial design competition sponsored by Fujitsu.  The basic idea is simple–a laptop computer that folds into a tidy, portable square.  That in itself breaks through the clutter.  But the Flexbook can also be folded to the shape of a tablet, or an e-reader.

Of course, the obvious question is: “Can they do that?”   Sorry to say, we don’t know.  But in theory it seems very plausible.  Actually, my first question was: “Will I have to take it out of my bag to go through airport security?”  If the answer is no, I’m ready to get in line at Best Buy tonight.  (Let’s hope it’s available by 2012.)

I really hope to see this on shelves one day.  Just imagine being the first one to pop it out of your bag on a plane.  Talk about electronics envy!

Why we love this “innovation”:

1. I get the benefit right way: Convenience.  That’s been driving product development for centuries–from Guttenberg to online check-in.  Nobody likes carrying a bulky laptop, but my iPad isn’t a great substitute.  I’d definitely buy a better alternative.

2. The designers didn’t stop with a singular idea, but pushed their creativity further and developed the different configurations.  The combination laptop and tablet is an ingenious feature that puts the Flexbook into the “must have” category.

3. It’s just … cool.

About Bill Aho

Bill Aho is a partner with The SagePoint Group, hands-on consultants that develop innovative products, services and marketing concepts. Bill has worked in marketing, strategic planning, general management and innovation in Procter & Gamble, PepsiCo, Darden Restaurants and ClearPlay. He has appeared and been quoted in multiple TV, magazines and newspapers, including Forbes, Wall Street Journal, Business Week, MSNBC, BBC, PBS and others.
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