While I’m the first to admit that I don’t spend much time looking at my keyboard or touchpad, since I touch type, there’s a reason for having them visible, especially when it’s late at night and you can’t find the right keys. Intel has upped the ante with its Nikiski prototype laptop, which features a see-through touchpad that has a few different features.
The touchpad runs along the base of the keyboard. When the device is closed, the visible gap converts to an touchscreen, using a custom Windows 8-esque “Metro” interface to display one or two rows of tiles. Users can tap them to access a summary of pertinent information such as their calendar, e-mail, Facebook or news updates. You can also view power settings, the date and time without opening up the laptop’s lid.
Keep in mind that the touchpad itself isn’t a display. It’s just letting you see through to the laptop’s screen underneath, and software automatically changes what’s displayed when the laptop is closed.
Intel is also partnering with Nuance in order to develop voice recognition technology for the device and wants to retail it for less than $600 (USD).