'obento' by rené lee   'FUJITSU design award 2011' competition shortlisted entry 'obento' by rené lee   'FUJITSU design award 2011' competition shortlisted entry
may 03, 2011

'obento' by rené lee 'FUJITSU design award 2011' competition shortlisted entry

  ‘obento’ computing concept by rené wooram lee

the work of US-based designer rené lee, the ‘obento’ computing system concept integrates a notebook, tablet, and smartphone into a single modular device, expanding the possibilities of networked use while extending the life cycle of the product and providing easy portability of each component. ‘obento’ was shortlisted from over 1000 designs in our recent designboom competition ‘a life with future computing‘, organized in collaboration with FUJITSU.

a laptop with 15" OLED screen serves as the structural base of the design. when used as an integrated system, the 11" tablet (‘obento board’) and 4" phone sit in shallow depressions, flanked by a solar powered lithium-ion battery and a 1TB SSD drive (‘obento drive’). when charged, the tablet and phone can be removed and used wirelessly, or utilized independently as individual devices.

the basic laptop structure fits a tablet, smartphone, battery, and hard drive

when connected either physically or as a networked system, each screen may be used for different purposes and content. for example, in daily use the tablet might display a keyboard while the notebook screen is used for visualization, with the smartphone docked as a music player or clock. in photo editing, reference material may be loaded onto the phone, while the tablet runs photoshop and the image being edited is displayed on the large screen.

the modular nature of ‘obento’ facilitates the use of multiple hard drives to store content, in a way that is not only portable but also easily transmissible from one system to another by simply docking the drive in place. in both an ecological and economic advantage, battery and disk storage can be upgraded without buying an entirely new device.

example of the devices in use in tandem for a common purpose, here photo editing

even when docked as a common system, each screen can be used for a different function

when charged, the devices can be removed from the dock and used together wirelessly, as shown  in these two renders

each component is also fully functional as an independent device

— those wishing to republish an excerpt of this article, please have the courtesy to link back to this original article, and to mention that the project was designed for the ‘FUJITSU design award: a life with future computing‘ competition, organized by designboom in collaboration with FUJITSU. thank you.

  • I have been copied.
    I got this idea for some time and discussed in another post on the same site (ideas4all), the possibility of using the keyboard and screen.


    I have been copied. says:
  • I send a similar concept to this contest, but I have to admit that this one is very good.

    I think that the idea itself is not completely original, but the application is very good and well made.

    You has not been copied, let’s face it, this is something that you can imagine easily if you make some investigation about where technology is heading. In this kind of projects is not all about novelty is about quality of development, usage scenarios and coherence. This design is very interesting and has a very strong concept. This can’t be qualified has a copy.

    Of course, is just my opinion and I’m just a student

    Sergio Scotta says:
  • I designed a tablet pc with the same concept than the IPad, 5 months before the IPad was released. I presented my work for an Asus competition, but they didn´t awarded my project. Obviously Apple´s IPad has a better design, because Apple is a company, and i´m just a student who had 4 weeks to design that.
    But that´s how life is. Don´t pay attention to injustices and never give up. It just matters what do you think about yourself as a designer.

    Here you can check my Asus tablet. Best wishes.

    juan manuel bustos says:
  • I thought of a cell phone used with my finger when i bought my first cell 10 years ago. In design the point is not thinking but doing!! if you think you were copied, you have a serious problem as you can´t appreciate the difference between your idea and this work.

    Keep on trying man!!

    great job Juan Manuel, unluckily, Asus never do something before seeing it at pccity.

    nauzet rodriguez says:

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