Of all the gin joints in the world. You pick this one. I love that line. I have, however never had the opportunity to use it until today. It doesn’t fit my concept, idea or even blogging style but I wanted to use it once because it is the coolest line. I began my smart phone journey with a Pocket PC phone now more than 11 years ago, before there was iPhone there was PocketPC phone. Starting in loosely 2000 Microsoft had begun to release the phone OS that started the revolution. The iPhone, which came along in 2007 started the popular movement, but the pocket pc phone was the first.
Why does that matter? Well because of the reality of that market there are things that the iPhone changed that have never gone back to the way they were. But there are capabilities exposed by the Pocket PC phone that are still here today. The reality of functionality we all take for granted, was started in those original PPC phones. The PPC phones introduced the concept of cameras and GPS functionality long before the iPhone made them popular.
But the one concept that Microsoft missed on was the cost of software. The big change today? Microsoft has learned to let go of making a killing on every single software package sold. What once cost 19.99 now costs 99 cents. Plus, in the old MSFT market, you paid for every upgrade. Now unless it is a major reworking of the software, the 99 cents cover you for a long time. The cost of having software dropped to nearly nothing.
But Microsoft changed directions a little and now releases office applications on the iPhone. They still get you with a required office subscription on your PC or Macintosh but the overall cost is a lot less now than it would have been in the PPC days. Then you would have paid for office on your pc, and another 19.99 per app on the portable device. Except of course for PPC phones where you got the application for free. There were other phones struggling to become smart phones as well back then. They were less functional and died much faster than the PPC phones did when the iPhone and Android phones hit.
4 paragraphs in you are thinking what is this a history of things that were blog? It is not. While what was is important, what is well that is real. The real of the phone market today is integration. Using your phone as a sensor enabler to gather information quickly. There are a number of things you can do now, with a phone, that 11, 12 years ago, were things we dreamed up. You could, connect a weather station to your phone 12 years ago, but it was expensive and required three points of integration (the weather station to your home network. The home network to the Internet and to a service that could consume your weather information and finally your phone to the service in the form of a web page or application). While the points of integration are the same now, the unification of the integration allows for a more seamless process. You see in the past the three points of integration were unique. Now the weather station provides all three.
Since I like to look forward in this blog why am I still talking about what was? Because there is a change coming that is huge. It is not Microsoft existing the smart phone market. That has been looking for the past two years. Rather it is the reality of what we do with smart phones. Today there are any number of interesting add ones you can have for your smart phone. You can monitor your blood pressure, you can monitor your blood sugar and you can monitor the quality of the air in your car and house. You carry in your pocket a computer system with incredible power. You know it has a lot of power because the phone is a lot warmer now than it used to be. In fact, some of them are great as fire starters as well.
If we consider the landscape of technology today, things are evolving. IoT, the Internet of Things, gives us a view of the world from the small to the remote. The concepts of mesh networks are expanding. What is a mesh network? It is a network of sensors that know about each other. You can over the reality of 1000 sensors embed multiple points and types of connections at a much more effective price point. From cellular, to Satellite connectivity you can built a resilient network of sensors. Sensors smart enough to know if my connection fails, talk to my neighbor.
The same is true of your phone. If I can’t connect to a network, connect to another phone. Beartooth and Gotenna are two such examples. They are shipping now and changing the way we communicate. You are no longer bound to cellular or Wi-Fi connectivity. Using the interconnection of either Gotenna or Beartooth you can communicate without a cell signal.
A brave new world of communication.