Seeing a couple of passengers browse the Internet using a netbook plugged with a “mobile connect” USB stick on the MTR yesterday, I told the companion travelling with me that if someone could make a mobile phone which can be enlarged into a netbook with the press of a button, he would be very rich. Reading a BBC article today, I realise that my wayward remark may not be very wide off the mark.
The article pointed to the future of mobile computing and quoted people from the mobile industry by saying that “the smartphone-personal computer boundary will get fuzzy". As Google boss Eric Schmidt said: "The smartphone is really not a smartphone. It's really a GPS device, it's a camera, and a video camera and a place that you can play games and you can browse, and oh by the way, you can make calls.”
Notice how he used the present tense rather than the future. Notice also how the writer concluded his article:
"My vision? Your phone will hide an extremely powerful computer and internet access base station. Thin sheets of roll-up electronic paper would replace your computer monitor and phone screens.
When I put this vision to the chief executive of a rapidly growing Asian phone manufacturer, I get a startled look, then a wry smile: ‘You should visit our labs, you will find that we've got something very interesting there.’"
The device I envisioned is probably already on the drawing board.