SAP is an enterprise software giant that has long made products that do the boring blocking and tackling in corporate data management.
But wait! The company has now published a patent application it filed last year for a new mobile device — a piece of flashy hardware — referred to in the patent as a “foldable information worker mobile device.”
And the device is a jack of all trades. It’s apparently designed to assume whatever mobile form factor that today’s Corporate Worker may desire at any given moment.
From the patent application: “An information or knowledge worker may use several communication devices for daily work, such as a cell phone, a smartphone, a tablet PC, a laptop, a personal computer, a netbook, a personal digital assistant, an e-book reader, a TV and/or other computing devices . . .” SAP says in the bouncy language of patent-speak.
So the SAP device would fold into all those shapes, and each of those modes would mimic the form and functions of its standalone cohort (look and act like a smartphone, look and act like a laptop, and so on).
The patent describes it this way:
“A foldable computing device, comprising: a foldable display including a material configured to be folded and one or more folding axes; a processor; a computer-readable storage medium coupled to the processor having instructions stored thereon. . .”
The German software company has been looking for ways to break out of its legacy software business into more cloud and mobile endeavors. The patent application may have grown from that desire.
And the product may remain just a drawing — SAP has said nothing about actually producing the device and bringing it to market. Indeed a leap into a business so distant from its traditional stomping ground would be difficult, and risky.
But, hey, not boring.