Monday, July 9, 2007

The Future of Mobile Phones?

The launch of iPhone triggered thoughts of what can the mobile phone become in future. If I put together isolated emerging technologies and some imagination, here is what the picture evolves to. I have given links to related technology wherever possible. My dream phone is probably quite some time away, but I hope to see this surely in my lifetime. Dreams have never harmed me. :)

  1. I will be able to purchase mobile phone hardware separately from the market. I'll be able to load mobile phone OS of my choice on the hardware.
  2. Will it become something like the PC market? Where I will be able to assemble a phone for myself? This seems unlikely, because phone components will really be very specialized compact little things and tightly integrated.
  3. Phone operating systems will allow me to load software and services of my choice from multiple sources. I can probably get my address book from Mozilla and calendar from Google. If I’m not happy, I’ll also be able to switch to Yahoo whenever I want.
  4. WiFi and cellular networks will be meshed together. Calls can be made on wifi whenever possible with cheaper rates. This has already started and will only become more popular.
  5. I'll have number portability. Choosing my service provider will become easier and I will be able to switch service providers at ease. I'll probably go for services from multiple service providers on the same phone. I’ll also have something like GrandCentral. Services like GrandCentral would have become popular and there will be multiple providers to choose from.
  6. Phones will become smaller and smaller, buttons will disappear and will be replaced by touch screens with context sensitive buttons and voice commands. The phone will have reasonably good TTS engine that can read my e-mail to me when I want it to.
  7. Phones will have massive storage no doubt and they will also be able to access online storage (like Amazon S3) when connected. I can access all my music and movies and files at all times.
  8. Displays will become projection devices. They can either project directly onto my retina or onto a surface when required.
  9. The phone will become my wallet. It will store my credit card numbers securely and I'll be able to transact on the internet or through NFC at a shop.
  10. It will become my remote control. Every equipment I buy for my home will let me program my phone to be able to drive it - through IR, RF, or over WiFi/Internet.
  11. It will become my computer. With secure storage over the internet, shared computing, wireless input devices, projection screens, what else do I need to compute?
  12. It will have biometric security. If I lose my device, I just lose my device. All my data is secure online. Phone memory self destructs if it does not find me using it for some time.
  13. Phones will use a variety of power sources. Batteries can be recharged remotely or from solar energy or from body heat or from sound. Phones will need to become more energy efficient. This will be the real challenge. I hope they don't become microwave ovens. If they do, they should roast my chicken and not fry my brains.
What is your opinion? Is this reasonable to expect? Do you have any similar thoughts?

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