I have talked, in the past about my quest to replace the circular slide rule my father gave me in 1975. In part because I loved the things I could do with that slide rule but also because it came from my father. There are times when I consider both what was, and what I chased and I wonder if, in fact, I was heading the right direction.
First, off the initial direction I took in the phone world was the PocketPC. That involved a lot of extra stuff, in the dawn of cell phones. There was a time when GPS, Camera, and maps were add-on features you had to purchase. There was a time when storage was not abundant. You ended up adding a sleeve to your device so you could add additional storage. Back in the days before Micro-SD cards. Back in the days when the memory card cost a lot of money!
So what was complex and sleeve based became integrated? In 2007 the iPhone changed the market. Yes, there are more Android phones now, but the market was changed by that launch not only of the phone but of iTunes. The concept of 20 dollar mobile applications was dead. Yes, there are still applications that cost 20 bucks, but for the most part, applications moved to the 99 cent range and everything changed forever.
Then the smart watches started to appear. First the wonderful Pebble (I still miss both the company and the product). Suddenly you could interact with a phone in your purse or pocket on your wrist. From the Samsung Gear to the iWatch the market continues to evolve. In fact, there is a product CMRA that is shipping later this year that will allow you to actually use your watch as a camera, as well as an on the fly video conferencing system.
What was the functionality of the slide rule, long ago replaced. Long ago found, and expanded. I do still miss my father, but the slide rule quest itself is over. I no longer seek to replace the functionality of a device that was before the before.
I am instead looking over the horizon. I am looking now past the UV camera, the infra-red camera and even beyond the car phone and other connections we don’t even think about anymore to the concept of what is the phone of tomorrow? In part a more durable screen (I dropped my phone on Saturday, the screen shattered). Over the horizon, there are many interesting potential options for phones. I think for me the biggest is the ability to connect to and create services within the phone itself. Such as I see a television in front of me, should I use that as a screen. Or you have a camera connected to me, via wi-fi should I use it for pictures instead of my less quality integrated camera? The phone intelligently understanding that there are features and functions available outside of it. Taking the cloud concept of machine learning to the phone, so the phone begins to learn its environment, the capabilities and also what the user needs.
The future phone, phone learning!
The phone futurist…