Rumors are running around the web
about a new Microsoft gadget codenamed "Origami" that will unfold on
March 2nd. Interestingly, in 2001 National Semiconductor showcased a
concept prototype device called Origami, which it said could morph into
eight different types of gadgets by folding and pivoting.

"I do know that Origami is the code-name for a new kind of device," Microsoft evangelist Robert Scoble said on his blog.

National’s Origami concept prototype

National described its Origami prototype
as "a flexible device that "folds and unfolds to perform eight popular
consumer electronics functions in one easy-to-use device." The device
was said to be 7.5 x 4 x 1.5 inches in size, weighed roughly 10 ounces.

claimed its Origami prototype could fold and pivot into various
configurations to provide the following eight functions:

  • digital camera
  • video camcorder
  • smartphone
  • MP3 player
  • PDA
  • Internet access and Internet picture frame
  • email access
  • video conferencing
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The Origami prototype was based on the company’s Geode SC3200 processor
and ran Microsoft’s Windows XP Embedded operating system, National said.

A larger view of National’s Origami prototype showing three of its eight configurations is available here.