HP may have purchased Palm to get its hands on the WebOS operating system rather than the company’s hardware technology. But that doesn’t mean the Palm Pre and Pixi are the only things Palm has been working on. Unwired View dug up a patent application from April which shows an intriguing device which could function as a palmtop computer with a removable phone component.

In other words, it’s a handheld computer — but unlike the huge phones we’ve been seeing from Dell, HTC, and others recently, you don’t have to hold the whole thing up to your head to make a phone call. You can just pull out the phone component for making voice calls.

The phone would actually stay in communication with the base over Bluetooth at all times. But the handset is really just for talking on, while the base is used to dial calls, manage your contacts, or do just about anything else you’d expect a smartphone or portable computer to do.

Among other things, this would let you take an incoming phone call without closing out of an application currently running on your Palmtop. That means you can proceed to ignore your friend and continue reading that web page… or you know, look up directions to that restaurant you’re both trying to find without having to put down the phone.

The patent application is written in legalese, but it still makes for kind of interesting reading if this is the sort of device you’ve been waiting for.

via Gizmodo

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5 replies on “Palm patent reveals a handehld computer with removable phone”

  1. Problem is, that US Supreme Court ruling on patents, that if “obvious” then no patent. This is obvious, a combinations of two things, to make a new thing (could be not valid, as the case that made the test “obvious” or “non-obvious” to get a patent was the combination or a technology with another technology… no real science, because it is obvious to just think it up and ideas can not be patented, only non-obvious inventions can be patented. So, we shall see if this patent is one that can pass the test. I am sure that many have thought of this before, and even might have written about it. So, is it obvious, or non-obvious?

  2. It would be very very nice, if you could have a tablet that had the antennas and what not to make calls, and could be paired with a bluetooth headset… You get a huge screen, an all day battery that no smart phone will ever match, AND you don’t have to carry around a phone, and could use a speaker phone approach when making calls off the ‘pad’… I could see that challenging the ‘Pad + Phone combo in the long run honestly. IMO The current smart phone is already a fairly ungainly balancing act between a phone and computer anyway, this would just further skew it more towards what I want while still giving me the ability to place calls… It’s just a thought. Something like this patent would work very well for me as well, since it’s basically the same thing in concept.

  3. It’s highly likely that the “smart” part of a smartphone will head off to a different device, perhaps a touchscreen slate or compact ultra-portable laptop, and we will return to having phones that are just phones that are very, very small. I don’t think the two devices need to be this highly integrated, especially physically.

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