Watching some students in this coffeehouse and how many of them are trying to do a load of textbooks, notepads, and laptops, I propose something a bit more efficient – based a bit on the Future of Screens video, and the touch-to-share concept that is coming for the HP Pre 3 and TouchPad:
Tablet with Multiple, Multi-Directional Projectors
Person has a tablet, and at least a table and wall to work with. They turn on their tablet, prop it up, and then by using either a function button or gesture (pinch small to large while gesturing to one of the four corners of the device), the current screen is projected into the next available surface. This becomes the workspace(s).
Open notes on one, browser on another, and use the tablet and the input/editing space.
In this configuration, a maximum of three workspaces can be used, but depending on the browser or application, one could have all kinds of possibilities.
Tablet Connected to HID-enabled Glasses
Biased because I am wearing glasses perhaps, but this could also work. Person has tablet or smartphone, but only one surface (like a table, window, etc.). Person then navigates to the first slate of work, possibly notes in Evernote, then uses a flick-offscreen gestures with multiple fingers (this way it is not interpreted to close the app, re: webOS) to push that to a projected workspace.
The projected workspace though is only seen through the glasses. Any gestures done with the hands above/near the mobile and in the range of the glasses would be “seen” by the devices and then content could be moved or edited.
If you will, there is an economy to space in a coffeeshop, and people seem to shoehorn things rather than the tools being more able to conform to the environment. We only take what we are given though. As I sit in this little space here, I can see how this would work, just not sure that e tech is completely here. And if it is in terms of hardware, I wonder about the software sides of this. It would seem that to respect physical space should be just as much the aim of using productive devices as much as they intrude on our mental spaces.