Video: The Acer Extend concept is the future of computing, but how exactly do we get there?

Acer is at IFA in Berlin showing people a concept device called the “Extend” (video below). Their idea, to turn your phone into your primary computing device by attaching it to a larger screen, a keyboard, and a mouse, isn’t a new one. Back in 2008, an accessory for Windows Mobile and BlackBerry devices called the “REDFLY” was released that did the exact same thing the Extend concept promises.

Is the Extend/REDFLY idea really the future of computing? I’m going to go out on a limb and say yes. The phones in our pockets today are about as fast as the computers were on our desks five years ago. Later this year that gap will shrink. And in another year, the gap might even be closed. For most people, the kind who do online banking, watch YouTube videos, listen to Spotify, and are addicted to Facebook, the phone has more than enough power to satisfy their needs.

But what has to happen for this concept to reach mass adoption? Wires need to be eliminated. We need to read a point in the future where you come home, plop your phone on a table, and then all of a sudden it starts charging and connects to a wireless display, wireless keyboard, and wireless mouse (or touchscreen display).

Who will be the first to successfully sell this concept to consumers? You’re going to think I’m crazy for saying this, but I think it’ll be Microsoft. They have all the ingredients in place, and they have the least to lose since they’re (oddly enough) an incredibly small player in the mobile industry.

Google doesn’t care enough about Android to push this concept, but Chrome OS might be a little bit different. And Apple would rather you buy a $500 tablet, $700 phone, and $1,500 computer than a $700 phone and then a bunch of generic accessories that can turn it into a desktop computer.

Am I crazy?

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  • http://crunkfish.wordpress.com Simon Davies

    Well, maybe you’re a little crazy :)

    “For most people, the kind who do online banking, watch YouTube videos, listen to Spotify, and are addicted to Facebook, the phone has more than enough power to satisfy their needs.”

    Exactly. People do all that stuff on their phones already. A bigger screen, keyboard and mouse aren’t needed.

    • guest-on-a-quest

      People like having bigger screens. Or at least that’s what all the manufacturers keep telling us. So it must be true!

      Anyway… writing documents, essays etc. without a proper keyboard? I don’t think so. Even us regular everyday normal guys need to write more than tweets every now and then. ;)

      • http://crunkfish.wordpress.com Simon Davies

        I’ll have so much respect for the first student to complete a dissertation entirely by smartphone. Their thumbs will be nothing more than tiny stubs by the end :)

        • guest-on-a-quest

          Well, since “cell phone novels” have existed for quite a while now, why not indeed complete a dissertation on a mobile! :D

          ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cell_phone_novel )

          Getting all those references etc. in should be pretty “interesting”… But it would certainly be easier than it was for those cell phone novelists, I’m sure.

  • guest-on-a-quest

    The EXTEND chassis should provide users some internal storage for LOCAL device backups at least. Or at least provide connections for external storage devices for this and other purposes.

    As far as wirelessness is concerned… Yes it’s somewhat more convenient, but the connection would have to be *fast*, secure, and reliable for it to be more practical than a simple dock connector, for example.