Cell phones becoming more like desktop computers
Cell phones can do things these days that you never dreamed possible just a few years ago. And looking ahead, as these mobile devices get pumped up with more powerful microprocessors while leveraging additional bandwidth and more sophisticated software, you'll be able to do things like shoot video film clips and transmit them over the network or employ GPS functions so you can find your way out of Kalihi Valley or even East Los Angeles.
Naturally, these cool new functions will first be introduced only on high-end models, but just as cameras are now standard on most phones, these added features will also become common.
So what can you expect to see shortly?
» Improved browsing: New browsers will emulate surfing the Web as if you're on a regular PC rather than the stripped down browsers that currently work with mobile phones. The new browsers will be able to handle common Web-page components such as videos or photos, and have a look and feel more akin to your laptop or desktop machine.
» Data accessibility: In the near future you'll be able to easily access large data files--almost as if it's stored on your phone. What this means is being able to display files such as photos, videos, word files, power-point presentations or other work-related docs on the fly. They will actually be stored online but new technology will allow you to easily upload them on your phone.
» Voice controls: Technology just on the horizon will let you dictate and send text messages and e-mail without tapping your fingers or pushing a single button. (This technology has existed for desktops but not for phones.) Other cool voice-activated functions will allow you to find a music track online, pay for it and play it.
» 3-D maps: Google Earth allows you to zoom in on almost any place on the planet and check out detailed satellite photos of vacation spots or even your own home. Imagine having that same capacity on a mobile phone. It's coming soon.
» Cool games: New phone technology will be able to run "virtual world" applications such as Second Life. New game software (as in upcoming maps) will have 3-D capabilities similar to your desktop.
» Mobile Web cam: The cell phone as movie camera could be employed as a surveillance device similar to today's security Web cams that you may already have in your home. Companies are now working on phones that could stream video from a commercial camera to your mobile phone. This would give you the capability to check on your keiki or an ailing kupuna from your cell phone.
As time goes on, the confluence of greater computing power, bandwidth and ever more powerful software means your humble mobile phone will take on the characteristics of a computer. What was once just a cool way to communicate over the phone now allows you to access, display and transmit enormous amounts of data to others.