Whenever I see coverage from the International Space Station, I am reminded of my work. So many of the devices and gadgets in orbit and on the job don't have front panel controls in the conventional sense; instead, you plug in a computer, either via a LAN or directly and increasingly, without any actual wires.
I was reminded of this by a major CATV provider's latest app: a program guide-based TV remote app for the iPad. (I wonder if it has a "randomize" feature?)
The clock's tickin'. It is only a matter of time before that phone in your pocket or purse becomes the "front panel" for nearly everything around you.
And it is very neat-o, too. Only -- what happens when your phone is misplaced or stolen? Man, you thought losing your keys was bad! (Look for your phone to replace your keys, too. Why haven't they worked up a garage door opener app already?)
For me, the only bar to phone - laptop fusion is that I need a decent-sized keyboard. My 1000-series Eee is about as small as I can use comfortably. Add a mechanical-feedback keyboard to the iPad (bonus points if it folds up like the early Motorola full-sizers -- and yes, they already did it) and a wordproc app as handy as Q10 and I'd be interested. Kinda hard to beat the Eee on price, though.