Google Patents Hinged, Folding, Sliding, Flipping Tablet Concept With a Software Keyboard

By Gary Cutlack on at

That complicated sketch comes from a Google patent, which sees the company planning for a future in which tablet/laptop hybrids become the norm.

The patent sees Google creating a device that has a clamshell format like a laptop, only, instead of a keyboard, the bottom part of the unit is one big touchscreen. The patent calls this a "virtual keyboard," which presumably would be a changeable thing that uses software to display keys or could be used as a massive touchpad.

Plus, instead of just flipping open so you can go on Twitter, the possible future Google hybrid lets users fold it into a tablet mode, or bend it upright and have it used like a little freestanding display.

It looks a little complicated and overly businesslike, but given we're expecting Google's Chrome netbook OS and Android to eventually combine into one enormously varied ecosystem, perhaps this could be the hardware designed for exactly that tech eventuality? [Patentbolt via Slashgear]