The Mobile Handset, an Inflection Point? — 4 Comments

  1. Wearables? Dunno. There’s lots to overcome. I haven’t worn a watch since Mrs asked me to stop diving and I hung-up my dive watch. I don’t think they’ll be useful for stubby fingered people like me. I’m curious about their use as sensors or transducers. Certainly with skin contact they’ll be able to sense a lot about us. I can see them used in simulations: position, context they’d be able to pick that up and still be unobtrusive. I can see them used in gaming for you-are-here stuff. But mostly I think they’d have to be paired with something that has a larger GUI. In this context they’d be like embedded integrated circuit applications: controllers in appliances.

    Want to know what they’ll be like? Think about the people who will wear them first. What contexts lend themselves to spatiality?

    • Thanks for the thoughts, Urbie. I also see wearables as being paired (at least in the near-term) with something with a larger GUI – or the larger GUI could be yet another peripheral for a more generic Internet and telco access device. Not to mention that antenna size is tied to power requirements – smaller antennas (in smaller devices) require more power to amplify signals, so the small wearable won’t have direct connectivity in the near term. I do, however, see them being somewhat more capable than simply sensors or transducers. With an array of such devices deployed around the world, the concept of, “Big data,” just got even bigger. Ultimately, it will be a contextual evolution. People won’t use what doesn’t fit naturally into daily and business life, and they won’t use what is deemed socially unacceptable. My next post on this topic addresses this issue, stay tuned – I’d love to hear your thoughts on that.

  2. I’ve been guilty of leaving my phone behind in the past but having it strapped to my wrist will be helpful in avoiding that traumatic event from reoccurring. I hope watches will replace phones and if we need a larger screen, then there is always the iPad.

    A lot can be done with very little screen space, especially if it uses Spritz reading technology:–3

    And perhaps watches can also have a projector to project pictures, etc. like this one:

    • I like your future vision, Lisa; thanks for sharing. I’m no futurist, but I believe in natural selection and evolution in consumer electronics. The Next computer never took off, despite it being a superior computer platform than many other options in the marketplace; the Macintosh continues to hold its own against the PC, despite higher up-front cost. In the case of wearables, I don’t see these in the near-term having autonomous access to the Internet or wireless telco networks, simply because of antenna and power limitations: small antennas need more power to amplify signals. Instead, the devices will use low-power technology to connect through other devices like your smart phone and whatever its successor becomes. But you still won’t have to worry about leaving your phone behind if you wear a smart watch – it should alert you when its paired access device is out of range.

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