By >Daimaou - G.G-B
A UMPC concept by Mr Jones
The Japanese company PBJ asked Mr Jones to design a UMPC, and this is what he came up with:
This UMPC is designed to be a non-business machine – whereas once we lived in a world where computers were solely for business, today our personal lives are often experienced through the computer. However we are still stuck with the business machine paradigm. For example looking at family photographs on a conventional laptop is a slightly sterile experience – certainly compared with looking at a traditional bound album. This design brings the more emotive qualities of the traditional photo album to the world of technology.
The top and bottom of the case have been considered with equal importance – the underside of a computer case is normally neglected as being unimportant, but the underside is the outward face to people sitting around the user, therefore it has an important role to play in advertising the machine. The surfaces have slightly different qualities – on the top the engraving is shallow and fairly discrete whilst the engraving on the underside is deeper and forms an interesting tactile pattern for the fingers as they hold the tablet (designers have long understood the aphorism “the eye loves to be involved”, this deep engraving tries to involve the tactile senses on the same terms). The underside is also visible to people sitting around the user, which makes them curious about the object.
The rubber feet on the unit allows the UMPC to be laid horizontally on a work surface, or leaned vertically when not in use, in this vertical mode it can also be used as a digital picture frame. The interaction design is paired down – there are no buttons or track pad on the top surface – the primary interaction is either through the stylus or by using a finger. The stylus itself is the same length as a normal pen and so can be used comfortably for sustained periods of time.
The design was partly inspired by looking at the traditional Japanese writing boxes (suzuribako) – these objects were essentially functional (they held the writing implements together), yet they were also very decorative and sensual – qualities which aimed to inspire the writer in their work. In a similar way the design of this UMPC aims to inspire the user in their work by being more than simply utilitarian.