I Smell Singularity...
We are quickly coming to a point where mobile technology is becoming the next major paradigm in computing and will provide many more avenues of connectivity, interactivity, and creativity than ever before. With the number of mobile devices growing at an exponential rate, I imagine it will not be very long before we start building some of this technology into ourselves. Many are worried about this inevitable future trend, but it will be not much different than getting a piercing or tattoo. In fact, it will more likely be similar to picking a pair of new shoes or clothes. I would go so far as to say that my next 6 mobile devices will be the last ones that I will have to put down or accidentally leave somewhere. I could elaborate in so many words how this would be possible, but it would probably take the fun out of actually making it a reality. That said, here are some cool new developments that will give way to that future.
More Mobile Traffic, Faster Networks
According to Cisco, global mobile traffic will increase about 66-fold between 2008 and 2013. With the advent of 3G and the upcoming 4G mobile broadband technology in place, I find the projection to be fairly realistic. Online video for mobile will be huge. Real time editing of online documents, photos, even video will blur the lines of how necessary a dedicated PC will be when those features become available to mobile devices between this time frame. Of course, technologies such as GPS, accelerometers, and augmented reality that would be useless for PC are quickly becoming big hits for mobile. Cisco is on to something here, and I'm sure they and many other companies will be key to fostering this rapid growth in mobile network usage.
Electricity When Needed, Less Needed
What if you could power your mobile device by pressing it's buttons, walking with it in a pocket, even just by talking on it? The technology is one step closer to reality thanks to researchers at Georgia Institute of Technology. The nano generators developed have the ability to convert biomechanical energy into electricity. Once this technology is made efficient enough and cheap enough to produce, It could be possible for on-demand powered mobile devices (think phones that don't need batteries). Combined with microchips that use 30 times less electricity while still running seven times faster than today's best technology, you'll have some interesting new mobile devices to choose from in the future.
And So Much More...
With so many new technology developments surrounding the mobile industry today, it's a safe bet that the mobile devices of tomorrow will blow your mind. I envision the world having biological enhancing mobile devices available soon afterwards such as contact lenses with wireless connections to ultra high speed networks, capable of augmented reality and enhancing services (things like real time language translation, location based advertisements, and night vision or automatic tinting). Of course all of these features will be thought controlled with the same ease as reading a screen, typing, and using a mouse used to be. Most are waiting for, fewer are dreaming of, and only a handful are working towards always on always connection to the world and all that it holds. And even though the world seems to be growing ever so small thanks to our technological advancements, it's also growing so much larger at an amazing pace thanks to human ideas and creativity. All we want is a faster way to access and add to the collective human knowledge database. It has the potential to transcend time and space and right now we are using very "disconnecting" (i.e. keyboard, mouse, screen) tools to connect to it. The tools will change gradually over time to become more a part of us as our hands and eyes and ears are. The funny thing is, those tools are closer than you think.