In September 2008, I contributed this "Future Shock" vision of computing in 2018 to InfoWorld:
Smartphones take center stage: I see the smartphone evolving into the preferred instrument for constant connectivity, with voice interaction, facial recognition, location awareness, constant video and sound input, and multi-touch screens. The keyboard won't go away completely, but it might be virtual: Think about typing in the air on an image projected from your "smart glasses." Business desktops would evolve into docking stations for your smart phone, with large screens and input devices, Gigabit or better connectivity, and local resources comparable to one of today's big servers (technical desktops would be similar, but with way more onboard CPU and GPU power as well as massive memory and storage, all connected to massive servers and cloud resources. In this vision, the laptop nearly goes away.
Recently, I've seen glimmerings of hope that pieces of this vision might actual become real. For example, at TED India, Pattie Maes and Pranav Mistry of the MIT Media Lab's Fluid Interfaces Group demonstrated SixthSense, a "wearable device with a projector that paves the way for profound interaction with our environment." This is a pendant that combines a camera with a projector and could indeed provide a highly portable interface for a smartphone.
[ For more on the future of computing, see InfoWorld's "10 future shocks for the next 10 years." | Find out which smartphone wins the "Ultimate mobile deathmatch: iPhone vs. BlackBerry vs. Droid vs. Pre." ]
Closer to home, I've been playing with a beta-test version of a $100 commercial "docking station" between a BlackBerry and a PC that's basically a Bluetooth USB key and some software, called Bayalink Liberty.
The picture below shows the Liberty in action (click on it to see a full-size screen):