Of all of the promises Intel made today about the future of ultrabooks, none was quite as appealing—or at least, attention-getting—as this wonderfully odd concept that uses a keyboard-wide transparent trackpad that doubles as a window into your screen. Hello, Nikiski. You're a beautifully odd machine.
The prototype was demoed briefly today by Intel's Mooly Eden, and while it's far from showing up at your local Dixons, it was perfectly functional on stage. What function? Well, it's a touchpad, sure, just like the one you use now. And as a touchpad it's got a clever feature or two, like its eye-catching transparency and its palm-recognition (so you can type without your cursor going crazy. But when you close your clamshell? That's when the magic starts.
The quirkyfuntimes: When your laptop is closed the touchpad keeps working, displaying and letting you navigate your email or calendar, whatever browser page you left open, and presumably whatever else devs can think up once (if?) this reference becomes a reality.
It's one of those rigs that smells like vapourware but feels like the future. Let's hope we don't have to wait to long to figure out which wins out.