Palm files patent for dockable cell phone netbook tablet... thing; Update: Filed in 2001
Update: some digging by our own Jonathan Ezor and tha2nddunn in the comments reveals that this patent is actually just a continuation of a patent originally filed way back in 2001 under patent # 7054659, which means it predates the Foleo and, well, plenty of other gadgets. So while it's likely not a harbinger of things to come, it's at least yet another example of Palm's massive patent portfolio.
If there’s one thing that we always want to have made simpler, it’s hooking up our computers to our phones. While Mobile Hotspot is plenty easy, there’s still more than a few steps to set it up and make the magic happen, not to mention all you’re doing there is sharing your cellular connection, but not any actual data. That’s where Palm’s freshly-filed patent for “Compact removable voice handset for an integrated portable computer system/mobile phone” comes in. It takes the ill-fated Folio concept to a whole new level by turning the pre-netbook into a dock for the phone that acts as an input device, larger screen, and other magical things. The patent notes that while the connection is decidedly physical, the phone and computer could also communicate wirelessly.
It’s also worth noting that this patent does not envision a smartphone-type device, instead a fairly basic phone that for making calls, while the netbookish half of the combination is used for heavy productivity lifting. It’s exciting to see that the Folio (a great concept, with flawed execution like so many mid-2000’s Palm products) isn’t completely dead in the minds at Palm. All-in-all, an interesting patent is we must say so ourselves - what application do you all see for this kind of system?