Monday, November 29, 2004

The Future Of Mobile Phones

Here's a cold fact – People don't like to carry a lot of devices. There has been the PDA, the Walkman, the Discman, the MP3 player, stuff like that. All these devices were revolutionary in their own right. However, none of these devices were so great that people would not mind carrying them around all the time, even though that's how they were designed to be.

That was, until the mobile phone came along. Suddenly, people have started discovering that the phone is not really a luxury item, like the other gizmos they've been carrying around before, but is actually a necessity. I know that others expect me to be available at the other end of the line, so I make it a point to keep my phone turned on, available and with me all the time, even though I do not use it to make a lot of phone calls. I am sure this is the way most mobile phone users think.

So, electronics manufacturers have been able to get the common man to carry an electronic gadget with them all the time - just when manufacturers thought it would be an impossible task.

Does this mean we don't mind carrying more devices? I sure mind. I don't want to carry a separate device for say listening to music, especially considering that I'd like to travel or commute light and don't want to stuff my pockets with too many gizmos that don't do too much.

So, what happens then? The smart manufacturers have decided to pack the mobile phone with extra features – the other gizmos that people love, but will never carry. The not so smart ones have followed the smart ones. Suddenly, the mobile phone has started having Contact Managers (or Phone Books), reminder and scheduler tools, XHTML browsers, e-mail, instant messengers, still and video cameras, MP3 players, even something as analog as torch lights!

So, what's in store in the future? I repeat: The mobile phone is the only device that people are willing to carry with them. This little device is only going to get more and more powerful. It will come with more and more built-in devices that we'd need when we are mobile but would never carry separately. I cannot even begin to imagine what these devices would be, but I can tell one thing for sure – the mobile will put the desktop to shame. Very soon. Who knows, Apple might launch the iPhone!


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