Razer’s Project Valerie laptops made a major splash at CES 2017, with a triple-monitor display that folds out as you open the device. It also made unintended news, as someone has stolen two of the prototypes from the technology show.
Razer is offering up to $25,000 for information leading to the arrest of the individual or individuals involved in the theft.
The missing laptops from CES 2017 were a marvel in laptop innovation, as the use of a triple monitor could be useful for several applications. Gaming might be the most obvious, but the Matrix-style display could also be used to ease coding hassles or watch a movie while you browse the internet with multiple browsers up front. The primary business use is to have more than one screen available so you’re not constantly switching between which application is “on top.”
Of course, there are downsides to this technology as well, especially since it’s still just a prototype. The weight of the laptop reflects the added materials, as well as the thickness, meaning that stuffing it in your laptop backpack could be cumbersome.
Having not been released officially, there is no support in case it suddenly stops working. This is a problem the people who stole them could face, as requesting support would mean revealing that they stole it and could easily get them arrested.
Watch out on eBay as well, as even though you might see it there (the most likely intention is to sell the devices at a premium), having it in your possession would make you an unknowing accessory to the crime.
According to VG247, Razer CEO Min-Liang Tan is working with local law enforcement to find and apprehend the thief or thieves.
“Our teams worked months on end to conceptualize and develop these units and we pride ourselves in pushing the envelope to deliver the latest and greatest. We treat theft, larceny, and if relevant to this case, industrial espionage, very seriously. Penalties for such crimes are grievous and anyone who would do this clearly isn’t very smart.”
If this is industrial espionage, the most likely culprits would probably be any company which comes up with a copycat device within the next year. A worst case scenario is that the schematics are revealed on WikiLeaks and Razer’s effort ends up in the public domain. Even then, there is likely a trademark on the schematic, and it is a federal crime for anyone but Razer to use it.
The other prototype Razer had at the Las Vegas show was Project Ariana, a smart projector that could be a literal game changer. Imagine you’re playing Overwatch and literally scanning the walls around you for threats. This is made possible through Razer Chroma and a device that determines where the walls are and projects the image accordingly. It could make technology like that seen in Video Game High School suddenly look outdated as you don’t even need a screen for virtual reality.
It’s unknown yet, but Project Scorpio’s successor could use Ariana to rival even the latest standards in video game immersion, while Sony struggles to keep up with a natively 4K resolution console.
While nobody has taken a Project Ariana smart projector, the theft of Razer’s Project Valerie on Sunday around 4 p.m. Pacific Time could eventually lead to it never being released, except possibly to government contractors.
This might not be the case, however, as Razer faced a similar problem in 2011, says GameSpot. Laptops were stolen from their offices, which ended up being the Razer Blade. If the Project Valerie laptops can be retrieved before schematics can be leaked or someone ends up illegally in possession of them through eBay, it could be 2018’s biggest PC gaming innovation.
If you have any information on who took the laptops, Razer asks that you contact them at email@example.com.
[Featured Image by Denis Simonov/Shutterstock.com]