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MacBook 2020: Flexible Nanomaterials, Holographic Display, Shape-shifting, What Else Could You Want?

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Written by Paul Strauss | June 21, 2011

How’d you like to fast-forward to the year 2020, and get a sneak peek at the MacBook of the future. Well, industrial designer Tommaso Gecchelin has already done the hard work for you, with his concept MacBook 2020.


For starters, Tommaso envisions the MacBook 2020 as being the first “molecularly manufactured laptop.” That is, the machine would be made out of “scalable micro-lattice nanomaterials” which would literally allow you to shrink the MacBook to fit into your pocket when you want to.


At full-size, the MacBook 2020 would offer a design which breaks into two separate tablet surfaces. This would be achieved thanks to magnetic hinges and a wireless connection between its two halves. Maybe you and a friend can share the same computer with this unusual split-component design, or you could use one screen for input and the other one for displaying content on the other side of the room.


That’s not all. The tablet-like surfaces would include a complex set of layers which provide 3D image viewing and capture, tactile feedback and unlimited power through a photovoltaic panel too. It even would have a “shapeshifter” coating on top which would allow the MacBook to change finishes from matte to glossy or from metal to plastic. Sweet. Sign me up! Can I get that for my car, too?


Instead of today’s LCD or LED displays, the MacBook 2020 would have holographic screen surfaces, capable of both displaying and scanning 3D objects.


You could then manipulate and interact with 3D objects in real time using a Kinect-like gesture control system.


While this all sounds pretty far-fetched, one only has to think back to how primitive computers and mobile phones looked 10 to 20 years ago to realize how far and how quickly technological breakthroughs occur. And Tommaso is quick to point out how many of his ideas are grounded in technologies which are currently in development, or in their early stages in the consumer market already. While I’m not certain we’ll move quite as fast as 2020, I think most of the technologies seen here will eventually find their way to market in one form or another. Except maybe the shape-shifter part – but I’m hoping I’ll be proven wrong.

[via coroflot]