Beyond the black box?

In the CNET preview of next week’s CES show in Las Vegas (see video below), the panelists mentioned that the hardware designs of mobile phones and tablets are very similar: some sort of shiny black rectangle with a big screen.

That got me thinking: is there any room in this black rectangle world for the sort of creative hardware innovation that we are now used to seeing on the software side? This thought occurred to me earlier, when I pulled out my old Nokia N90 after reading some recent praise of this classic (2005!) device.

I remember demonstrating this device at a couple of trade shows in 2006 or so, when the Motorola RAZR was, for many people, the coolest thing around in mobile. People were pretty impressed when I showed them this new camcorder, and then turned it, Transformer style, into a flip phone.

What do you think? Is there a way out of the black box, and will we see anything like this at CES next week? I won’t be in Vegas for the show, and so will need to follow the updates online.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

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