Friday, January 12, 2007

IPhone 2012

I was thinking about the future of the IPhone. We'll assume they sort out the lawsuits.

The device I see coming out around 2012 is just about the coolest thing you've ever had. I'm guessing it'll look similar in size to the current version, although I have this strange feeling that the IPhone will be coming in two basic flavors.

IPhone Big: This is what they debuted recently. It'll be an ipod replacement, smart phone and media player. Will really wind up being a laptop replacement. Everybody seems to agree on that at this point.

IPhone Small: This will be primarily a phone. Smaller form and screen. Under the hood, some of the really sweet laptop replacement stuff may be there, but the physical size constraint will push out some of the interface fanciness.

Because of the split in form factor, I'm thinking there's a small possibility that Apple will attempt to put the little keyboard on the Big one. While not as elegant as the '07 design, the keyboard is pretty sweet. Here's what they may do. On one side have the main, full form display. On the back, have a partial size display, with a very slim factor (height wise) keyboard. The weight sensor should be able to guess which side you're looking at, and if not, when you hit a key it'll be pretty obvious. This will also allow for some interesting display options while you're talking, as you'll have the whole other side of the phone to display stuff on while talking (to annoy other train passengers or whatever. Maybe you can start a mobile ad service...)

Anyway, we're getting ahead of ourselves here. Smartphones will start to replace full sized machines as time goes on. This has been discussed a lot recently, and it seems like an obvious move. Coupled with a flash based drive of reasonable size, 50-100gb, the phone will serve as a computer itself. Here's what I'd like to see:

Wireless monitor connections. Hold the phone next to your (or any) monitor, press some confirmation on your phone, and you start broadcasting an image to the screen. This is nice for displaying on a real screen. I could see this working on a plane, in little airport booths, meetings, etc. Also, expand it out a bit, and you can imagine a little "work station" (not a new word/phrase, but its used in many different contexts with different meanings, so I put it in quotes). A small reciever/transmitter. Put the phone next to it, click the confirm, and you have access to keyboard, mouse, network connections (if you need something other than wireless), and monitor(s). You can do some work, then just grab and go.

These little work stations should also have another really awesome thing. The little node you communicate through should have a universal charger. You really need to connect nothing. When you get home, put the phone on that little stand, and you have keyboard, mouse, monitor, and its charging. Awesome.

Phone will have built in firewall services. I think its also imperative that the long term storage on a such a device should should encryption built in. If stolen, the data should not be readable without a key of some type. This is an absolute, and certainly not out of the realm of current possibility.

On the OS end, we absolutely need more transparent management. I like using windows, but lets be honest, even nerdly experts such as myself wind up with tons of gunk running after a while. I'm not even talking about all the spyware out there. Stuff like the "Install Anywhere" update process that completely hides itself, but occasionally pops up to tell me it wants to update itself. Apple annoys me to no end with the Quicktime install. I DON'T CARE IF IT TAKES LONGER TO SHOW A VIDEO!!! I don't want something resident in memory. I'm sure it won't happen, but on my wish list is better management for this kind of gunk. Come on, we're all grown up now. Time for something more professional.

Hmm, what else? Oh yeah. Smart card payment technology. Obviously.

Really weird. My roommate barged into my room to give me an article about the iPhone, and he's not a computer guy. Pretty funny. I was actually writing this when he did it. We talked, and I thought of something else. If the phone is going to replace my laptop, I need to be able to buy it and then choose the wireless service. No two year lock-ins, etc. Also, as part of service, I'm thinking some type of online backup.

This could merge with a google business idea I had way back when. Offer wireless service. In exchange, you get location based advertising. Like if I walk past a starbucks, a little deal might pop up on my screen. Walk past Best Buy. The phone knows I like metal and I have an Xbox, so it pops up some type of deal. It would have to be relatively un-annoying. Like google ads now. However, this type of coupling, advertising on the phone in exchange for service, might work. I'd be ok with it as long as it didn't get too detailed into my personal info.

Also, along with this, I was thinking Google might just come out with its own gadget. Something like the iPhone, that offered phone and smartphone/computer service, in exchange for location based always-on advertising. The economics would probably be way off to do it ALL for free, but if google said I could have a mini laptop and service for $300 and some moderately annoying ads, assuming the device and service were quality, sign me up. Sorry Steve.

By the way, I'm looking for a job right now.

Other stuff, like a mini projector would be nice, but I'm thinking the wireless monitor thing might make that less useful.

That's it for today.

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