Thursday, June 12, 2014

The Next Evolutionary Step in Computer Platform?

The modern smartphone has more computing power and capacity than computers we used only a few years ago.  So why isn’t your Smartphone your primary computer?  There are a few reasons, the first is a mindset.  Many see these devices and their compact size and place them in the category of, “fancy phones with email.”  The second (and the biggest) reason is their small size.   While diminutive stature makes them great for taking everywhere, a thumb keyboard and 2-4 inch screen makes them a bad choice to work on large documents or to give presentations.

To try and emulate the functionality of a single computing platform, we sync data between devices. While this works for many applications, it adds time, extra steps and loss of data (in some cases) between mobile and desktop document formats.  It also begs the question of, why we are spending time synchronizing (even over the air) our new 32+ GB smartphones the same way we did with our 16mb Palm Pilots.  Many business users can easily fit their past few year’s worth of documents into a few Gigabytes of space.   

Not to dismiss devices like the iPad, because it’s truly a half way point, most people don’t strap an iPad to their belt every morning like they do their smartphone. 

The statistics show the popularity of the smartphone platform.  A survey conducted by IBM in October 2008 of Internet users in the US, UK and China found that over 50% of all users preferred surfing the web on their smartphone over their desktop PC.  In May 2008 cellular provider Verizon Wireless got a big boost in mobility and operating efficiency by replacing the eight pound laptops of 2,250 of their field technicians with five ounce Blackberry devices.

Devices like the Redfly Mobile Companion by Celio, the Celluon Laser Key, micro sized projectors and the Impatica Showmate can now give you a larger interface to your mobile device.  Are they are the precursors for heralding in the next generation of the computing platform?