With a lot of teases at Computex to new 'always on, always connected' features in next generation processors, Mooly Eden gave a sneak peek at a new concept notebook design — Nikiski. Think Windows SideShow reborn, with a dash of tablet experience while your notebook is actually in sleep mode.
A Nikiski notebook is a fully functional notebook when it's open and running. The one special element is a transparent touchpad zone across the entire trackpad and palmrest zone. A full multitouch interface.
When the notebook is closed, the transparent zone keeps a section of screen visible but protected. This is the new SideShow-like area, but as you can see in the shot below it looks much more like a Windows Phone 7 / Windows 8 tiles and touch interface. With the new 'always on, always connected' features set to arrive in future processors, your sleeping notebook will still receive a drip feed of data from the sources you choose. Inbox counts, news headlines, upcoming appointments, status updates.
There's little more than this right now. The concept is focused on making a more useful set of information available, and accessible through a touch interface, while the notebook is in a sleep state. So there would obviously be limits to the interactions available in order to keep battery drain low.
Would it really is just become a glorified SideShow concept? Or will it be something vastly more useful in a day to day context? We won't see much more on the concept before 2012 (unless Nikiski is fleshed out at IDF) but it's an interesting idea. Ultra thin notebooks with these sorts of features might ultimately cut out many of the reasons for the current tablet craze.