I seem to be seeing a lot of patent applications, made by major electronics corporations, covering things like new ways for a sliding clamshell phone to be switched into a fliptop rotary keyboard interface etc… These guys are definitely in the fashion business, rather than technology.
Today’s invention is a new laptop interface combination: consisting of a normal screen and a touchscreen in one machine.
The touchscreen would take the place of the normal keyboard (no more bits of lunch, dust or coffee between the mechanical keys). This would be thinner than a keyboard (which I can never get the hang of) and open up all sorts of opportunities for interfaces -including eg the much heralded new era of ‘surface computing.’
Drawing or typing on the horizontal touchscreen would cause the output to appear on the upright, conventional one. Otherwise, the laptop would perform as usual with the normal screen acting as the stand-up display.
Turn this system through 90 degrees and you can read content just as in a book (with one page informing the other) or even set up a stereoscopic display for 3-D content viewing.
This approach would surely also work for mobile phones.