Intel researcher James Scott has been doing some work with Networked Surfaces, or tabletops that network devices that are placed on top of them. He says that objects this could be useful for “include desktop computers and peripherals, laptop computers, palm pilots and other PDA’s, mobile phones (for charging), and any device which could benefit from either networking or power.” The problem I see here is that with devices becoming more wireless, why would a surface that connects them be useful? Chances are the devices will be in your pocket connecting over Bluetooth, not on a table together where they could be mixed up or stolen. The charging idea seems cool, but I wouldn’t want to be putting my hand on that table and the only practical thing I could see it used for would be in restaurants where people put their mobile phones on the table while having a meal. I guess the surface could also power a hotplate under your food!
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