There's a reason the iPad is such a successful product. It's not merely because it's so thin, so light, and looks so good you'd lick sugar off of its glass display. It's a hit because "When technology gets out of the way, everything becomes more delightful, even magical." Or at least that's what the iPad TV commercials have us believe.
Project Rimino is an exercise in how people can influence the ways technology works for them, instead of conforming to what technology already provides. Rimino is about cutting away all the technical intricacies of a powerful mobile device and simplifying the device and the UI to its most basic structures, so that we can use technology when we need it, but not be consumed by its entirety.
No larger than what appears to be a deck of cards, the Rimino device is an E-paper concept with an adaptive touchscreen (no bezel!) and a UI inspired by old posters. In the video demo, we can see it combined with other Rimino devices to extend its display, smartly transform into a kitchen time after scanning a recipe, become a music player and morph into a map and GPS by just writing a location name on it.
Apple's iPhone and its multitude of apps have already begun this process of transforming our devices into all-in-one-tools, but it has yet to become as connected to our everyday objects around us. As mobile devices become equipped with more smaller and powerful sensors, cameras and scanners, these barriers will eventually be broken down over time. For now, it's just a designer's dream.
Interestingly, the Rimino's interface and emphasis on textual menus (stylish ones!), actually reminds us a lot of the Zune HD and Windows Phone 7 UI, which is not necessarily a bad thing, as we quite liked Microsoft's different alternative approach.
To check out the Rimino concept in action, check it out on Vimeo here.