Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Mobile Future: Part 2

"Biometrics And Broadband"

Imagine an inconspicuous device that you could wear that connects you, in a reasonably seamless way, to the rest of the world. A device which allows you to be mobile and was still powerful enough for any mortal human. It's a fact that the mobile phones you know today are becoming more and more like mobile computers that specialize in the areas of communication. With each generation bringing better network coverage, integrated cameras for higher resolution images and video, and faster Internet speeds, all wrapped into a small more usable device. With the advent of wireless and nano technologies, it is now time to start thinking about the possibilities of enabling more obvious integration of our mobile tools into our everyday lifestyles.

Sunshades that also host embedded displays, jewelry that provide microphones or speakers, wristwatches that double as network attached storage drives, and so on. Not only can these devices connect via wireless, but they could also be powered over wireless technology. I imagine at some point you'd need only be in wireless and wireless powered hotspot with just your shades as a network terminal and connect to the expansive web without batteries, "local storage", or central processor. You would connect to your other networked items you left at home and could work on whatever documents you needed to.

But wait, what about input methods? Well, not only could your glasses serve as the display, but could also incorporate some form of retinal input. Not feeling good about that idea or would rather have more traditional input methods? How about having your wearable terminal map a virtual keyboard and mouse on a table, wall, or other viable surface at a moments notice? It would solve a lot of privacy concerns in public places like cafes and restaurants, as you would be the only one to see the layout. At a time when biometrics becomes more prevalent in our society, you could pay for your coffee through a variety of biometrics options at the counter. Plus, the increased availability and decreased cost of Internet access combined with all these great new technologies will be nice to have. All so seamless that we'll sometimes forget they're even there.

Next week we'll return to answer some questions about the story in Mobile Future: Part 1.


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