Go to content

Industry Report

Industry reports, briefs and video-clips issued by Samsung Economic Research Institute

Concept PC

Concept PC

KIM Jung-Woo

July 11, 2008


Welcome to our video program. I am Jung-Woo Kim from the Technology and Industry department.

You may have heard of “a concept car.” Have you also heard of “a concept PC?” This may sound strange for you.

A concept PC is a PC prototype specially designed to show off new concepts and functions. In the “Next-Generation PC Design Competition” set up by Microsoft in May, many concept PCs attracted the attention of the media and related industries. Let's take a look at what innovative ideas were hidden in these PCs.

The first trend for concept PCs shown in this competition is that PC design can be integrated into your everyday life. The most conspicuous characteristic of future PCs is that everyday products and tools can be turned into PCs. The “Napkin PC,” the first winner of this competition, is a prime example. The design of the Napkin PC resembles a napkin on the dining table, and comes with touch-screen, full color “e-Paper,” and a stylus pen. Napkin interfaces are kept in the holder, the base station of the PC. When an individual or a group of people wants to use this PC, they simply pick it up out of the holder like a napkin and use it. Since napkin interfaces are connected to each other, Napkin PCs can be a very convenient tool for collaborative work.

Meanwhile, the “Smart Chef” PC is targeted at chefs and homemakers. This cutting board shaped PC is designed for use in the kitchen, and consists of two parts, a cutting board and a portable display. The cutting board also functions as the base station of the PC, and houses its processor, memory, and network equipment.

Such concept PCs may not seem very practical but they do give us hints about the new ways PCs will enter our daily life.

The second trend in new PCs is computers targeted for new and highly specialized demographics. WITHUS is a good example of this. Intended for preschoolers, WITHUS PCs are intended to create an environment for children to play with other children, in contrast to the solo use typical of most PCs. Children can make a big desk or digital canvas by connecting WITHUSES and drawing pictures or solving puzzles on them. WITHUS aims to help children develop appropriate values and thinking abilities by driving them into playing and learning with other children.

The third trend in concept PCs is PCs that encourage leisure and recreational activities. PCs have helped to resolve one common annoyance for musicians, turning paper music pages. The “CLEF” PC shows music notes on an LCD touch screen, allowing musicians to turn pages by pressing the foot pedal or touching the touch screen.

There is also a PC for travelers. “Backpacker's Diary” is a PC that uses the traditional form of a book. Travelers can write down memos on travel information with a pen in the same way they keep a diary. Power can be recharged by sunlight and lighting. In addition to this, GPS embedded in this PC informs travelers of their location. This PC will be welcomed by tourists around the world for its convenience.

Thus far, we have looked at various concept PCs. Though most of these PC designs have very divergent functions and purposes, they have some common characteristics, including “simplicity” and “home use.”

These concept PCs indicate that PCs incorporated into house wares and purpose built PCs will dominate the future PC market because enhancement of PC functions seems to have reached its limit. How can you utilize today's concept PCs in your business?

Think about it.

Go to list