OLO Computer – iPhone Docks as Trackpad Mouse

Tomorrow Apple is set to announce a new product. Most believe it will be updates for the MacBook and MacBook Pro and may include a trimmed down MacBook or NetBook that is around $800. This would be a light weight laptop built for mostly web or light weight apps. As great as all this sounds there may be something else, not coming from Apple, that integrates with your iPhone. It’s called the OLO computer. The feature that sets it apart from anything Apple has is the iPhone dock positioned right where the trackpad goes. I’ve thought about this and there are pros and cons to the whole idea. Now all we have is a picture and no specs so everything will be pure speculation.

Pros include the OS of the laptop which is OS X. Not sure how Apple is going to like that but I do. Other obvious features would be the iPhone charges while in the dock, you’ll have access to all your music, contacts, etc. and the iPhone would be your mouse so you would most likely have multitouch options.

All of that sounds great but here’s some problems I see. There are two models of iPhone so does it support both or just the new 3G? Is there an alternate mouse when the iPhone is not docked? Does the iPhone provide internet connection to the computer when docked? What happens when you get a phone call? If there aren’t positive solutions to these questions then this product may flop. We’ll keep an eye on it for you and get you specs once they are available.

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  1. Hmmm… Does anyone remember the huge success of the Palm Foleo? ;-)

    The Foleo, too was an extension of the Palm device, with a bigger screen and keyboard. Yet it failed to attract enough attention to be launched successfully. Only time will tell of the LOL (sorry, I wanted to type OLO. I swear I did! ) will meet the same fate or not.

  2. looks like (trough the screen’s image) that when you get a call it will appear on the computer and you will talk trough it. Analize the picture and tell me if i am wrong. Hope that’s it!

  3. Can you do a review of iPhysics in the app store? No one seems to know about it!

    • dominick c says

      look through the school, you’ll find something
      iphyics was one of the first games I remember having with the 1.1.x firmwares.The newer versions is cleaner, but functions the same.

  4. also works with iPod Touch ???

  5. Dustin James says

    lol.. This is not going to work..

    Think about it.. Apple has the multi-touch on their trackpads already… no reason for an iphone trackpad. (same chip)

    and another thing is that apple would not allow them to ship their OS on a 3rd party Computer.. especially a non-big-name company.

  6. I call a fake. It’s running tiger. Why would they make a laptop that runs an old OS.

  7. Absolutely useless !!!

    First of all, they are catering to only iPhone users and Not all notebook users. Secondly, they are catering to iPhone users that prefer a Mac instead of a Windows computer. Thirdly, there is a very small no. of audience that would want to buy a computer that needs the iPhone to function as they cant work while talking on the phone and keeping the iPhone connected to the charger for long hours also decreases battery life!!!

    Besides, they could use the EeePC touchpads for providing multi-touch!! They are also pretty cheap.!

  8. SeijinZero says

    I wonder if you could use the keyboard on the laptop as a keyboard for the iphone, like typing emails and text messages on an actual keyboard

  9. I wish Apple would make something like this but with the bluetooth keyboard–ie, the main keyboard would be a bt keyboard that pop’s out. Also, would some-company make a baby bt mouse that fits into the express slot…

  10. OLO LOL i dont know what to think….sorry i just dont like it..

  11. How in the Hell is anyone gonna type with a docked iPhone serving as an obstacle for the hands and blocking the keypad?! This is not only boring, but totally impractical. Nobody with a working brain is going to pay money for this device.

  12. Mr know-it-all says

    The Internets are buzzing about a mysterious new product called “Olo,” a sort of dock that could turn an iPhone into a mini-laptop. Basically, it’s like the Celio Redfly, but for an iPhone – a ‘laptop’ with a big screen, physical keyboard, trackpad, and Webcam, but no brain. The phone would act as the brain.
    I agree this is the future of computing, which is why I’m so bullish on the awkward Redfly. I’ve seen several concepts from major manufacturers where you basically carry a portable CPU with you that adapts to whatever locale you’re in. At home, you could pop it into a big screen and keyboard to be your home PC. On the road, if could be your cell phone, or pop into a little laptop body. You could slot it into your car. One brain, many bodies.

    Unfortunately, I’m pretty sure the Olo is a concept product – there’s no hint that this would actually come to pass. And there’s a good reason it will never come to pass: Apple hasn’t released an API for the iPhone’s dock connector (see the last Q here) and generally won’t permit third parties to write drivers for new hardware for the iPhone. In other words, this would be so forbidden by Apple, so fast … you get the picture.

    Rather, Olo seems to be a publicity project for a pair of French innovation and design consultancies – idea guys, basically. The fellow behind the Olo Web site appears to be Giacomo Bersano, a European business consultant. He runs a group called Active Innovation Management which purports to improve companies’ innovation record through thought-process management tools like TRIZ.

    The fake PC’s design was done by Gregoire Gerard, an industrial designer whose “Neovenz” Web site showcases various concept products he’s done, including a little urban people-transporter and an RFID device which helps you compare product prices at stores. The products Gerard showcases on his site generally don’t exist – rather, they’re concepts that may eventually trickle down into more practical devices.

    If these guys are basically promoting their imagination here, I give them five stars for capturing the zeitgeist, but zero for new ideas. Sometimes, though, innovation is all about capturing popular imagination with the right product at the right time, not about being first with a new idea.

    By the way, I found this out through about ten minutes of Web searching. I’ve emailed Gerard and Bersano to get the full sccop, and I’ll update this post when they respond. (Via Engadget.)


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