Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Is The Mobile Phone Becoming The Central "Interactive Hub" Of Daily Life???

You can't escape it .... it's everywhere. The mobile phone, cell phone, PDA, Smart Phone, etc., etc. etc (pick your poison) .... seems to be one in just about veryone's hands. Driving, in the restaurant, on the airplane, in the boardroom, at the kitchen table, at the ball park ..... everywhere!

The reality is that the mobile phone is already part of our lives!

We "can´t" live one day without it! Everyone is so use to the mobile way of life, always connected, always reachable, .... that it can be taken as an unadjusted behavior not to have the mobile phone at hand. Yes, I think mobile devices will be interacting (even more) with lots of other devices that we use at home, in the car, at the office, … everywhere! I think mobile devices will even interact with us ...... like monitoring our vital signs, warning us about health risks.. and so on.

But .... notice I said mobile devices. Not mobile phone. BIG difference.

Simply, a mobile phone is too small to interact with consistently and reliably. Screens are too small, buttons are not convenient, storage and communications (such as memory cards and bluetooth/wifi) are limited on many devices. Current UI designs on mobile devices don't lend themselves to extensive functionality, quick commands, or lots of typing.

As devices more like iPhones continue to develop, I think we'll get closer to a place where the mobile device can dominate. There is still a very specific need for something bigger, more robust, like a laptop/desktop computer - the mobile device isn't even close yet to the power and usability.
Mobile voice-activated multi-media appliances will be the main devices of the future.

Everything will have embedded chips and will be connected to everything else.

We will live in a real-time anyplace anytime world, where everyone is interconnected and will live most of their lives through this global interconnected multimedium.

While it will not be the center of our lives, our lives will center around it, and it will be the glue which holds society together as well as the medium through which cross-cultural understanding will be bridged.

These devices, as I said, will be voice-activated and will also be multi-lingual in that they will automatically and simultaneously translate voice communication as well as text documents.

Again, I DO NOT believe our lives will center around mobile phones. Rather mobile phones are, and will become even a more important, part of our lives. If we are looking at industry trends over the last decades then we can see that we are coming from isolated, stove piped technologies and applications .... and are in the midst of a transformation to connected systems with a continuum of devices to access the applications we use to be most efficient at any location.

This is clearly the way we are heading, being able to access information at anytime from anywhere with a very similar if not same user experience regardless of the device.

However, the question implies and uses the term mobile phone. That in itself may soon not be accurate anymore. Today's devices are way beyond mobile or cell phones, they are mobile devices, which provide us with the means to access information and are becoming less phone every day.

The ability to make a phone call becomes just another feature, and being able to email, surf the web, Twitter, or navigate using the built-in GPS chip are features that are already more important for many people than the pure calling feature.

Which answers the question .... Mobile phones may not become the center of our lives, but devices that allow phone calls as well as accessing information already are and will become even more important.

For example .... Many people have already dumped their landlines at home since phone calls can be made already through data connections or the mobile phone, why pay twice for the same service? Look at TV, this will cease to exist in most households in 10-20 years as we know it now, since people may want to be able to watch it where they want and not where the cable company has put the wires. "My" mobile device (not necessarily a phone, but a device with phone capabilities!) will do that instead.

So, what that means ..... We may not only have to get used to new services and ways to use these but also to new devices to access them and new terms. A Desktop Computer is something people will not know what it was in 20 years from now, and the same may happen to "Mobile phones".

The mobile devices will be able to do so much more. You won't call them "Mobile phones" any longer, since this would demean them.

But they will become (and have already) your life line to the world ... and your doctor (healthcare!!) .... the world around you .... and yes, likely to your family as well (not sure if that is good or bad .... though and only time will tell).

To peak at what is out there "now" ... and see what could be hints at what's to come .... look through examples that are shared here (includes some deals you should take advantage of):

* Mobile Phones

* Cell Phones

* Mobile Devices


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Blogger Dominique said...

Although I agree with the bulk of your vision I think it is a bit too simplistic and all-encompassing. For example, saying that mobile devices will replace the television and cable ignores the fact that most people enjoy watching media on a big screen. I'm definitely never going to trade my 46 inch screen for a 3 inch one! Another example... we'll never get to a point where "speaking" documents into a mobile device completely replaces the usefullness of the PC. I want to be able to change words, move paragraphs and do other editing tasks that will always be more esily done using a mouse and keyboard. The "interconnectedness" of devices and services however is key and is the focus of my business model.

2:05 PM  

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