The future of mobile devices
Originally published at https://www.tumblr.com on August 7, 2010.
For those who missed my last post on The future of web (browsers) this is kind of an extension to that as it builds up on ideas mentioned in my previous post. You can't really underestimate the importance of mobile devices given the huge penetration worldwide. Almost every e-commerce company has a mobile presence now, and for those who do not yet have it, it might as well be too late! iPad’s ruthless entry into the market left the netbook market without any credible competition. But it also added an important device into the spectrum of mobile devices. It was mostly about form factor, because it really changed the way people browsed the web. But that was about it. Mobility will still be the key and so most of the innovation still needs to happen in mobile phones which can do more and can be taken anywhere. Mobile internet will become faster and mobile devices will be able to do more powerful computational tasks. That means there is more sense connecting to the cloud and have everything synced up with your other devices. This is already happening with music, email, address book, applications etc being stored, accessed and synced up in the cloud. With more breakthroughs in battery life and processing power mobile phones should be able to “overhear”, “see” and “interpret” things. Things like recognizing gestures, using your location, velocity and making sense of your data in conjunction with that. This might sound too futuristic at this time, but we are really talking about wearable computers or stuff that can “augment” human beings enabling them to work more efficiently. Imagine built in screen in your glasses where you can glance through your agenda for the day or the research you did last night to prepare for the meeting. Or speak words you want to search and your glasses (built with screen, ear-phones, camera and microphone) can transmit the information to your mobile phone via bluetooth which searches Google and presents a synopsis of your search result right on the screen converting you almost into a cyborg !! You can even go a step further and your mobile device would recognize gestures like handshakes and exchange business cards automatically or alert you about a meeting which is not where your current location is. But before that happens, mobile phones will with time become more aware of their surroundings with the help of more and more hardware and sensors. For e.g. when digital compass and GPS were introduced it gave birth to augmented reality. This will happen slowly but surely because commercialization of technology needs to catch up with technology first — sad but true. But you can always spend those extra bucks and build your own wearable computer using your mobile device and some other expensive hardware :)