The Nikiski's See-Through Touchpad with a Translucent Screen Allows Users to See Status Updates, News Feeds, Messages and Calendar Items without Opening the Lid
Intel showed off an "Ivy Bridge" laptop concept that featured a large see-through touchpad with a translucent screen. The demo product created quite a stir at the company's Ultrabook press conference Monday at the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.
That's right, a concept laptop that wasn't even an Ultrabook almost stole the Ultrabook show.
Intel software engineer Peter Adamson said the concept system, codenamed "Nikiski" with the second "k" reversed, was really designed to show "a usage model that we think people might use" and was clearly designed to show potential Ultrabook usages as well.
The "Nikiski" concept laptop has a large touchpad that runs the length of the keypad. Translucency allows it to serve as a see-through window when the lid is closed. (Flickr photo)
The laptop was running Intel's "Chief River" platform using the next-generation Intel Core processors coming later this year. It featured a relatively standard (by Ultrabook standards) 20mm chassis, but judging by the crowds that rushed the stage after the press conference to get a closer look, the idea might be a winner. Ivy Bridge processors will play a key role in Ultrabooks this year, as the company seeks further enhancements in power efficiency and performance.
The "Nikiski" system featured a large touchpad that runs the length of the keypad. Translucency allows it to serve as a see-through window when the lid was closed. When open, the touchpad will recognize the difference between finger-tip scrolling and the palm of your hand resting on it while typing. When closed, a see- through window/tablet concept allows you to view news feeds, messages and calendar items without opening the lid.
The demo system was running Windows 7, but when closed the see-thru window had a very familiar tile-based user interface reminiscent of the Windows 8 Metro look and feel. Adamson said that was a coincidence; the tiles had been demonstrated before Microsoft showed its new Metro UI. The company had only recently begun to show it off more broadly to customers, however, and Adamson said he was anxious to show it to more OEMs. Oh yeah, and Nikiski? "I think it's the name of a valley in North Korea but don't hold me to that," said Adamson, who added, "we're not always that good on our geographic naming."
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