Recently, my notebook computer started to fail. Actually, the notebook’s hardware is fine. It’s just that its little processor heart can’t seem to keep up with the newer operating system and application software I’ve loaded onto it over the course of the last few years.
Reflexively, I reached for my smartphone and started browsing for a replacement unit, when it occurred to me that I was already holding what should be my notebook’s replacement. If only I had the right kind of smartphone. With the correct operating system installed. And, the connections needed to interface with a monitor, keyboard, and all the other convenient peripherals upon which I have come to depend.
I can already perform most of the necessary tasks and optional activities I do on a laptop on my smartphone, such as:
- Receive and send personal and business email from multiple accounts
- Read the attached documents in PDF and word processing formats
- Research information posted on websites
- Keep in touch with friends and coworkers
- Store data in the cloud
- Watch videos
When I arrived at my favorite technology store to make my purchase, I was surprised to see the selection of desktop computers still available. I definitely didn’t want one of those. What, in the past, had seemed like the end-all be-all of technological wonder now seems dated and passé.
I had already narrowed down my selections online by using a browser on my smartphone, and knew which laptops I wanted to review. Luckily, the exact laptop I wanted was in stock, resulting in my not having to order it online and culminating in total, instant, gratification.
Here’s a fun fact: An Apple iPhone 5 has 240,000 times the memory of a Voyager spacecraft. Voyager 1 is now more than 1,000 light-minutes from earth. The sun is about eight light-minutes from earth. Imagine the amount of computer processing power you could be holding in your hand by the time the Voyager 1 is 1,100 light-minutes from earth!
Make no mistake, the technology industry is busily working on packing more and more power into smaller and smaller devices that can interconnect with an increasing number of other devices. And, more often than not, through wireless connections.
Now imagine the day when you return home and your handheld mobile communication/computing device automatically reconnects with your home network as you walk in the door. The video is now displayed on your TV, your remote acts as a universal input device\mouse, and a virtual keyboard is available to facilitate more productive pursuits. You now split the display on your screen to simultaneously view your latest edits in a word processing program while also catching up on your favorite sports team’s continued march to this year’s post-season playoff.
Does such a scenario sound too far-fetched or too far out into the future? Just type a search string, such as ‘dockable smartphone,’ into your favorite browser using your favorite search engine and see what’s in your very near technological future.