HP CTO teases a future where devices are black voids, angles for SXSW panel | webOS Nation

HP CTO teases a future where devices are black voids, angles for SXSW panel 87

by Derek Kessler Sun, 29 Aug 2010 3:14 pm EDT

Phil McKinney HP CTO Phil McKinney (a standup gentlemen, if we may say so) has thrown his hat into the ring to get a panel at next March’s SXSW event, proposing a presentation titled “Hacking the Future,” wherein he would discuss his vision for how personal computing will be rolling along during the next decade, replete with “bold predictions.” While we predict that the fabled flexible display sheet will make another appearance, HP’s Mark Budgell posted a pair of teaser photos on the Twitter that have us in a bit of a tizzy.

See, there are at least three different devices teased here: a bigger tabletish thing, a smaller smartphoneish thing, and a wide wristwatchish thing. Problem is this: all three are blacked out into oblivion. So what are they? If we had to take a guess, it’s a webOS tablet, a new webOS smartphone, and that internet-sharing wristwatch HP’s talked about before (the watch provides the web connection and shares with your devices, ala Mobile Hotspot). But are these mere concept prototypes, or is McKinney playing with actual devices we’ll see in the near future. While we are hoping and praying that these are actual working devices we’ll be using soon, we wouldn’t count on it. McKinney’s presentation is on computing five to ten years from now, not six months to a year.

Enough of our jabbering and speculation - what do you see hidden behind the black boxes? If you really want to find out, you’ll head to SXSW’s panels page and vote for McKinney’s panel (registration required).

Source: MarkatHP on Twitter, SXSW; Via: Gizmodo; Hat tip to Andrew


Its a Roadrunner HD, Roadrunner Smartphone and Roadrunner Wrist phone.


It;s a black rectangle, another black rectangle, and an ESD strap for all the static he is going to get for posting pictures that don't show anything.

LOL-- Perfect!

looks like the next smartphone from hpalm will not be much bigger. which is good because i like the size of the current pre.

I'd like the form factor to get a little bigger to facilitate a bigger battery, micro SD and bigger keyboard. My eyes are fine, so I don't need a huge screen. I have an Archos for intensive multi-media. 3.5" would be a nice compromise between bigger while keeping a form factor that looks ok in your pocket without making the hot babes look at you in horror.


I fully agree with you. A slightly bigger device with about a 3.5" screen sounds good to me. That will also allow a larger capacity battery, slightly larger and better keyboard (similar to the Treo 680 keyboard).
But HP please keep the curvy design/style of the Pre.

I enjoy the Pre's form factor, but Palm needs to provide a rock-solid slider in its next iteration (i.e, no oreo effect, no slider gap, smooth sliding action).

I still haven't made up my mind on the size issue. I REALLY love the current size, and how nicely it fits in the palm of my hand.

However, if there is one thing I have some envy over with some of the new phones, it is the nice big screens. Really though, it's a phone, not a laptop!

Still undecided on the size issue....

A senior citizen could never use a Palm Pre... the bifocals wouldn't even be enough. An iphone or and HTC phone though.....

BEAR IN MIND, if Phil is testing any prototypes in these pictures, there is no reason be believe he's holding anything more than than a circuit board with chips and components soldiered on. Prototypes dont always come with full form factor bodies in a neat box with instruction manuals. Screen size, slider mechs, and the like, are a seperate tests from making sure the chips work well together. So he might be holding stuff that looks more like a PC upgrade card with a touch sensative LCD screen held on with a rubber band.

looks like the next smartphone from hpalm will not be much bigger. which is good because i like the size of the current pre.

sorry for the double post

Perhaps there is nothing behind the black boxes.

wooo this made my day. fun and exciting. yahoo! i mean, bing!

why does he have a touchstone strapped to his wrist?

Better question... why don't you?

lol. Now I want a touchstone on my wrist.

I'm just waiting for the TS earrings da ladies. Rowr!

yes.. The tablet is wide screen..

hmm, can anyone figure out the size of the phone?

He might be holding the hp slate and not the webos i.e palmpad. From the way his holding the phone it doesnt appear to be a pre size i am guessing at least 3.7inch+ screen size..

it's obvious to me that there is WebOS Toaster behind that black veil, not a slate/tablet. And that it charges via wristban touchstone for mobile computing/ cooking. Talk about multitasking!

For a second, I thought you said "multi-toasting". lol


What a great idea! I could toast a slice of bread, bagel and English muffin at the same time!

HP, would you like to buy this idea?

A WebOS toaster totally works. Here's how.

You have a toaster. And on it, there's a display that you can use to load a program that allows you to customize your toast.

But this is no ordinary toast-customizing application. No, you see, HP has merged its ink jet technology into this. You can not only select the crispness level, but the amount of butter you want sprayed on.

As if that weren't awesome enough, it can also spray cinnamon and colored sugar crystals into the butter layer to create images on the toast. The kids will love seeing their favorite characters in their morning meal, and the wife can touch-up her husband's breakfast with fun pictures of her own to wake him up.

See? Total synergy!

0.5 oz butter inkjet refill: $39
5g cinnamon inkjef refill: $49
20g sugar inkjet refill: $19

Ability to patch your toaster: Priceless.

crackin me up

LOL, with all that sweet stuff, it's more like SINergy.

hard to say what exactly these look like

obviously he's holding the device and cut it out with a black image.. so can't really tell

although seems as the phone keeps the original rounded edges on the bottom

Perhaps by identifying three other devices which are "revealed" in these photographs, we can somehow deduce what lies behind those pesky black pixels:

1.) Logitech Illuminated Keyboard


2.) Microsoft Optical Mouse


3.) Novation Launchpad


The owner must type a lot, because they have excellent taste in keyboards. That must mean that webOS 2.0 is going to be ready on schedule, because they've been busy. They also have poor taste in mice (or haven't bothered enough to replace the corporate mouse), which is good. That means more typing, more programming, and a faster release schedule. They also mix audio, which means they like music, which means they must love music too much to not have a sound card on steno pad, wallet and bracelet that are obscured by the black pixels in each photo. That's key. They're going to need sound to compete with the iPod Shuffle and Tamagochi. They also keep their compact discs on towels. Clean design? Who can say, but something inside me suggests this is the most telling item of all.

the phone from the way hes holding it...looks waaaay too small ):

actually the phone by the way he's holding it looks like he's already slid the phone upward and is touching the keyboard, so it's probably just a PalmPre. Which makes sense because thats exactly what HP plans to do with Smartphones anyway......NOTHING

if he taps his watch twice... He leapfrogs 5 yrs into future...
he spends quite a bit of time in the future...while we are stuck in the present ;-)

my request again :
nixon style watch running webos sync
10 inch flex display
4@inch flex display

run either display at any time ...pull it out / sync with watch solar powered ;-)

Flexi display is atleast 10 years off use..plus I dont see any real need for it, and It is not really something to mass market.

Also even if the display is flexi..the rest of the components are not,

yes... In the future. Phil spend time in future

watch running webOS solar powerd ;-)

Will it work after 10:00 PM outside of Anchorage in June? :-)

wonder does FLASH work on any of them

For all we know it might be a ipad and an palm pre just blocked out

Stuff like this is cute and all, but the lack of any new announcements of any legitimate products is really concerning to me. I love WebOS but I'm frustrated and annoyed there isn't anything concrete coming up that I can, y'know, actually buy.

Give me something (real) to get excited about HP!

lets be positive, enjoy the tease, and give him A for effort. Real announcement will happen in weeks.

Poeple have been clamoring for a hint. Here are three of them, and they'r still not happy. Do they want Palm to pick some specs and stick to them for several months like they did in 2009?

Really, HP and Palm want a device out today too, but they refuse to release it before it's complete. If people cant wait until it's ready, please go get an Iphone or droid. Dont worry, HP will find somebody to buy the cool device the impatients leave behind. If they dont, no problem, game over, I'll just move on to the next best device.

I agree, I am happy with this teaser, its better than any of the "leaks" I have come across. Much better! It a guarantees us 3 items we have never seen before, which is always great, and it runs the gamut of what the masses are clamoring for; a tablet, a smart phone, and a wristband that remotely controls your antimatter-propelled spacecraft.

These photos are almost as good as an official announcement, to me. I hate being in the dark.

Don't know about the other two things, but the item on his wrist is clearly a Transmat band powered by zero point energy.

Stop being such a Palm/HP apologist and ragging on anyone who has the "nerve" to be impatient. One year + is too long to wait for updated hardware. Palm deserves every bit of heat they get. And I think instead of picking up an Android or iphone, I'll just continue to hang around and complain and irritate tools like you.

Susie! The fricken originating company virtually collapsed during that year. They haven't exactly been in Maui working on their tans and hula technique. You can hang around and complain, but the more you smell like Kinster02, the more the regulars are gonna "accidently" spill beer on you.

And really Susie, would an apologist encourage a complainer or malcontent to stay with Palm and wait it out? As you see in the post you replied to, I'm encouraging people to leave. There's the door, dont let it hit you in the Touchstone cover on the way out.

doesent the phone look small ?? lik pre small.....mabe its a pre with new gutts similar to the nex device?

Hey it looks like he has the same laptop as me that I just bought only two months ago. Looks like a Compaq CQ62 from HP. I recognize the keyboard :D

The next phone better be better than anything out there right now or I'm done with Palm!

Tried to put my hand in the same position that he's holding the phone. My index finger (supporting the phone) comes up to exactly right over the Palm logo. So he's either holding a bigger phone, or a Pre-sized phone with the keyboard open.

if you'll notice, you can see the headphone cable coming out of the jack. if the slider (assuming a similar setup to the Pre) was open that jack would be hidden behind the screen. so either its open and the jack is attached to the screen, or its a closed device and a fair bit taller than our current Pre.

EDIT: I just looked again. Its fuzzy, that might just be a cable on the desk behind the device that I thought was a headphone cable.

Who cares! Just get it to market!!!!!

This shit is getting old...

you know it! If they don't come with a device better than what's out there I'm done... Love WebOS but they need to provide good hardware, not ok, but good!

if he taps his watch twice... He leapfrogs 5 yrs into future...
he spends quite a bit of time in the future...while we are stuck in the present ;-)

my request again :
nixon style watch running webos sync
10 inch flex display
4@inch flex display

run either display at any time ...pull it out / sync with watch solar powered ;-)


Good call on it being photoshopped. I thought he was holding black pieces of paper before your brilliant deduction enlightened me. Thanks.


I think they put David Vogt's C-40 mock-up in his hands. It's the only pic HP could get as well! :)

Looks like he's holding a Pixi to me

Can HP really pull off a hat trick?

That phone doesn't look like it has a big enough screen for my liking. >:(

I'm sure these are the new devices that are forthcoming...
In regards to the size issue everyone is discussing; You need to keep in mind the angle at which the picture is taken, in relation to Phil's body and how he's holding it. This isn't a straight-on shot, so using the rules of perspective, I can figure that both devices are larger than the black box makes them appear.. jusssst a thought!

Actually they are SMALLER than they appear... the black boxes are only 2 dimensional, they are hiding a 3 dimensional object behind them.

I sure hope that we won't have to wait till SXSW to see these devices, considering it takes place march 11-20 2010.

A new HP-01 with webos?

LOL - you people understand that all three of the black images are photoshopped over the devices right?

Santa Claus said they were black voids his elves made. What are you blabbering about?

Maybe it is the Palm Vampire Series which Photoshop's itself out of pictures!

Hate to burst your bubble guys but I think he was making a point at a meeting and someone thought his gestures were just the right angle to photoshop this blackness. Notice how he casts no shadow nor do any of the devices? What's the story, morning glory!!!

You've discovered that Phil McKinney is a hologram.

for real, I love my palm and think it's great hp has the cash to make it happen but come the hell on. I'm not a kid here, stop running around the bush with this damn thing. I don't need specs right now, just a date!

Looks like an Iphone, Ipad, and a medicalert bracelet for diabetes.

I say poor showing to HP for teaseing the webos community. They all know were clamoring for a new device anything news. So they use US to try to get a vote out of US.

I for one will not be surpised if indeed they get selected for the event, and if nothing is shown in the way of a webos product. And all this considered. I would hope by 2011, they will have already shown off a webos product. Hell, if HP skips out on CES show off. It'll be doomed.

All things said.. I voted :-D

I won't guess on the shape or size of the blacked out "items", but if you focus on the first picture of the big black rectangle. At the bottom of the black shape there is a single metal round tip-black elbow-red chord that resembles Dr. Dre's mini-headphones "Beats"! Remember that HP has done a commercial with Dr. Dre promoting their new hardware...so...maybe...he is holding the new Urban "pHalm DRE"... Hey do you call when your units ain't selling so well? Call the Dr.

SXSW is not until March, right? I was assuming the new hpalm phone, as well as the webOS tablet, would be announced well before then. And was hoping they would be out by then. I know this isn't really a time line, but seems strange he would be promoting them as the big secrets he would reveal at SXSW.

my upgrade eligibility is in 11 days. Sept 9.... Cmon palm! I dnt feel like waiting TOO long past that. May be till christmas or so... Then again, my bday IS inmarch.. Well c

Boy I bet his wrist gets really hot when he's in a bad reception area. I've always wondered when the Dick Tracey watch was going to happen. Thank you 21st century.

Overseen device! Not covered by black box!

Nobody has mentioned it yet.
But if you have a close look at the pictures, at the bottom right you see a device, which could be the one he wears on his wrist!

It seems as the folks modifying the image have overseen this one. :-)
And everybody else has been focused on the black boxes and also overlooked it.

I found it. :-P

exactly what I was thinking. The white circular object looks exactly what like something you might wear on your wrist

Speaking as someone who's seen Phil McKinney speak in person (he gave the keynote at an event I went to a couple of years ago), he may be a standup guy... larger than life, ok... but he isn't plural. He isn't a "standup gentlemEn" (vs. mAn) any more than any other individual out there.

There's at least one other typo, though not as amusing. Surprised no one else has spoken up yet.

an internet sharing watch makes no sense. Mobile hot spot kills the battery and I can't see a watch that is wearable lasting nearly as long as smartphone.

A bluetooth handset/ringer (so you can keep your phone in your bag/purse) with the ability to display text messages/phone numbers. would make more sense. (Sony makes a limited one http://www.sourcingmap.com/bluetooth-alert-watch-for-cell-phones-sony-er...). However it'd be much nicer to have one that did more (other than text messages it could display emails, number of voicemails, etc, heck it could even be a headset if you wanted). You could also have it as a security measure in that, if the phone gets out of range of the watch it'll lock down/require a password to operate, but otherwise you would not need to enter a password every time you use the phone.

actually the phone by the way he's holding it looks like he's already slid the phone upward and is touching the keyboard, so it's probably just a PalmPre. Which makes sense because thats exactly what HP plans to do with Smartphones anyway......NOTHING


I think there will be a webOS powered grav gun in Episode III.

so mabe its the new ipod nano that he made into a wristwatch??
just sayin...lol