For instance, Rattner has seen research into building a laptop with two screens -- one where the screen typically sits and one on the laptop base where the keyboard usually sits. A user might watch a move on the upright screen and tweet about it on the touch-enabled base screen.
"I think this is a period of exploration," said Rattner. "As I travel the globe and look at all the innovation taking place in terms of form factor and materials, it never ceases to amaze me the incredible range of ideas that this sort of rebirth of the PC has ushered in. It's just extraordinary."
One thing that has Rattner intrigued about the computers of the next five years is how much they should work together to act like actual friends or colleagues, and become "true personal assistants" rather than just digital gadgets.
These smarter devices will alert us to traffic jams on our morning commute route and offer an alternate drive. They'll also sense our moods, when we're angry or frustrated and possibly say, "You might want to try that again," instead of simply popping up an error message.
"Our phone, laptop, tablet, car, house -- they'll all have an equal knowledge or an equal understanding of you and how you live your life," Rattner said. "We're going to move into an age where we will literally think of these devices as friends, colleagues, associates, assistants in a much more personal way. We'll probably have to choose a persona for them."
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Sharon Gaudin covers the Internet and Web 2.0, emerging technologies, and desktop and laptop chips for Computerworld. Follow Sharon on Twitter at @sgaudin, on Google+ or subscribe to Sharon's RSS feed. Her email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
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