Monday, July 27, 2009

Why Can't I Have Technology "Gadget" Functions Do What I Want .... The Way I Want It?

We all have mobile phones these days, laptops and/or netbooks for work and home, our own WiFi networks at work and at home, plus Bluetooth, plus plus plus!

So why can't I put all these together ?

Why can't I listen to music from my personal mobile whilst taking calls using the same headset on my Blackberry from work and from MS Communicator on my PC?

Why can't I forward my Live Meeting conference calls to the mobile?

Why can't I pair all these devices together with Bluetooth at the same time?

Why doesn't it recognize that I am in the car and switch to the car radio handsfree without switching off the stereo headset?

How come I can't store all my work and personal documents where they are equally accessible but highly secure?

How many more generations will I have to go thru before WiFi and 3G (or 3.5G or 6G etc) work out the best price performance for any given connection / application automatically?

I want my applications (and documents, music, books etc) all stored somewhere "in the cloud" and not tied to specific devices or applications or locations.

Who is going to fix this for us ? and WHEN ???

This is one of those things that looks very easy but it is quite hard. It will be a very long time before this is accomplished.

First, all these different things you mention require memory and processing power that is not practical in a cell phone. One of the most common complaints with smart phones is that the battery runs out too soon. The more performance, the more current required to sustain it.

Battery performance is stuck in some principles of physics and safety ... how many Kw hours do you want near your body parts. At a certain point, the amount of energy becomes more like an explosive than a battery.

Another issue is that mobile phones obtain the battery longevity they do by sleeping a lot, literally between key strokes. Something active and animated live meeting would run down the battery in minutes, even less time than a typical meeting.

Bluetooth is a point to point protocol. It is a radio replacement for a wire. People think of it as broadcast because it is a radio but it is not. To connect to multiple devices would require multiple buffers, multiple processors to account for time lags in each device. This would kill the battery and create a need for more RAM than could be readily and inexpensively provided.

For storing work and personal documents where they are highly secure, I recommend the IronKey.

I also suggest a netbook instead of a cell phone. This device is larger than a cell phone but not as large as a laptop and is a good compromise for some of the stated needs.

The reason for generations of connection rates etc. is quite simply that the supporting infrastructure needs to be built out. For a cell tower to handle Multimegabit traffic to all the cell phones in its vicinity would require say, 100 fold that capacity to the tower. That pushes the envelope and is quite expensive.

"The Cloud" is not what its being hyped to be. It is not a concept of some nebulous and unformed "out there" that does everything for free. The cloud is about resources expanding and contracting with need, using a particular software interface design. Although some services might provide you with the ability to store all your stuff, there will always be a catch of price, enduring advertising or uncertain security.

It will not be fixed in the foreseeable future. It is neither technically or economically feasible.

It's interesting to look at "The future" as it was anticipated 30 or 40 years ago. It has not turned out as expected. A favorite touch stone is the Kubrick Movie "2001". There you see a spaceport in the sky, routine trips to the moon and a manned trip to Jupiter. You also see a computer that has a personality and responds to conversational speech. These things seemed in reach to many people in 1969, but to people who looked deeper, completely unrealistic.

The movie and others of its time also assumed computers would be very large, something you would walk into. They are very small and modern design actually requires a computer to be small since the switching speed is so fast that a signal crossing a room would take too long, due to never exceeding the speed of light.

The best approach to technology is to work within what it provides. There are reasons why your dreams are not fulfilled and they will not be fulfilled in your life time (at least not all of them). On the other hand, there are things that you don't think of that are already in the works.

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