The Nexus 7 is an Android tablet computer co-developed by Google and Asus, the first tablet entry in the Nexus series. The Nexus 7 is a 7-inch tablet, primarily competing with similar devices such as the Nook Tablet, Kindle Fire and the Blackberry Playbook. So what could possibly be next for the Nexus 7 to keep the competition on their toes? Well, how about a smartphone that could be integrated into a tablet and in fact be the brains of said tablet. While that may sound a little crazy today, it's exactly what a recent Asus patent reveals. Report Updated
Asus's Patent Background
A smartphone could be used to browse websites and edit documents and is portable and smaller than other handheld electronic devices. However, the size of its screen is also limited, which is difficult for the user to operate with.
If the user needs a handheld device with a larger screen, a tablet computer is available. However, most of the tablet computers do not include a communication module, and the size of the tablet computer is larger than the smart phone so as to occupy more space and isn't convenient for portability.
Furthermore, since the operation systems of various handheld electronic devices are different, when the user transmits data between the handheld electronic devices, the handheld electronic devices may be not compatible with each other.
A Tablet with the Brains of a Smartphone
Asus's invention relates to an electronic tablet configured to electrically connect to a portable smartphone. The user is able to operate the smartphone conveniently via the tablet. A tablet is configured to electrically connect to a smartphone. The electrical connection or a data exchange may be a physical or unphysical electrical connection.
The smartphone includes a first connecting interface and a processing module. The tablet includes a body and a touch panel. The body includes a second connecting interface connected to the first connecting interface. The touch panel is disposed in the body and generates a touch signal after a touch. When the smartphone is connected to the tablet the touch panel displays information of the smartphone. The touch signal is transmitted to the first connecting interface via the second connecting interface. After the touch signal is processed by the processing module, the processing module generates output information and transmits it to the second connecting interface via the first connecting interface, and the output information is displayed at the touch panel.
As stated above, smartphone could be operated via the touch panel of the tablet. Since the tablet utilizes the processor of the smartphone, no processing module is required in the tablet which decreases manufacture cost.
The smartphone could be kept in a stand configuration instead of storing it in the tablets casing. In that scenario, the smartphone could be folded down and kept attached to the tablet via a magnet system involving parts 15 and 440 as shown in patent FIG. 4D.
Asus points out that the smartphone will be able to connect to the tablet by either micro USB or micro HDMI.
When the smartphone is connected to the tablet it will allow the tablet to access data from the net without the need of creating a personal hotspot which could be convenient. With the two connected, the communications signal is strengthened by an additional antenna module built into the tablet.
Considering that the Nexus 7 was co-developed by Asus and Google, one has to wonder if the tablet accessory will be designed to work with other future Android Phones beyond those from Asus. That would be a very powerful twist to this design.
Thanks to Alex Dobie from Android Central for his email to us stating that the Asus product noted in our patent report was released in the States in June under the brand name PadFone. Alex Dobie reviewed it in May. Here's a video of this cool patent pending product which reveals a few additional twists not presented in the Asus patent.
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