When Am I Going To Get a Mobile That Does Everything
- 30 Aug 06, 11:33 AM
This question has been bugging me ever since so much paint came off my SonyEricsson P900 that I decided to upgrade this year to the new model. I have blagged a P990 (which is launched in the UK 1 September) and been trying it out. The problem is, though it's got Wifi and a better camera, it's clear we are years away from a smart mobile device that can replace wallet, keys, ID card, credit card etc. But, as my research has shown me, only a few years. Here's why:
1) High spec mobiles have started to ship with Wifi.
2) A lot of basic phones will ship with a technology called Near Field Communications: its basically an Oyster card and a card reader on your handset. Phillips estimates there will be 500m mobiles a year produced with this by 2010.
3) In Tokyo they are already rolling out WiMax: a powerful public version of Wifi. In theory that means you can use your mobile handset to go on the internet, make an internet phone call, and bypass your mobile network.
4) The people I've been speaking to map out a future for the mobile that sees ever more devices being slotted in under the cover - a GPS satnav, Wimax, even a tv receiver. Its just a question of a few more rounds of silicon development.
What fascinates me is the unplanned changes in human behaviour that have been happening, basically in the last five years, as mobiles have become cheaper, smarter and more pervasive. At Manchester City FC on Saturday, where I saw the launch of the first Near Field Communications trial, using mobiles as season tickets (I kid you not) the really interesting thing was how pervasive mobiles were in the crowd and its behaviour: they seem to have become the primary bonding device between lads and dads. Basically at a footyt match now everybody is texting, taking pictures and the natural extension is to use the moby as a form of payment and ID.
That's just one of the ways mobile is developing: tune in tonight to see me tell the story of the disrputive future of the mobile industry. Oh, and because I kept banging on about the new psychological impacts of smartphones my producer made me write it all as a pastiche of the Woody Allen's movie Annie Hall. Decide for yourself it it works. I am not giving up my day job.