Butler UMPC concept runs your home

Chris Davies - Oct 30, 2006

I’m really enjoying these UMPC concepts from Via, and the key to each of them appears to be modularity – whether that be snapping a UMPC unit into a full notebook chassis, or choosing different innards in a UMPC-cum-purse.  Their latest is an even more obvious – and, some might say, more useful – design in modularity, a hooked form-factor which can be augmented with a microphone/speaker/camera module for cellphone and VOIP calls or a even a tiny printer.

Butler UMPC concept 

Called The Butler, it’s designed to be the electronic gateway to organising and controlling your home.  UML envisage heating, home entertainment, recipes, lighting and more, all accessed from the one slender pad.  The hook on the top edge allows for the unit to either be hung from a bar in the kitchen, lounge or even bathroom (not that you’d use it while, ahem, also using the toilet, would you), or to accept the expansion modules.

Butler UMPC concept hanging

Distribution of notes, recipes and reminders is easy with an optional printer attachment:

Butler UMPC concept - printer

Some shots of the VOIP/cellphone attachment:

Butler UMPC - speaker/microphone/camera module

Butler UMPC concept

Like with all the other concepts, the likelihood of seeing a device with this exact form factor is not very high.  But it’ll be interesting to see how mainstream commercial design follows the “expansion as key” pathway, with customised units being as much or as little as their owners desire.

The Butler [ultramobilelife] [thanks to Bjorn for the tip]

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