Technology is quickly taken in stride when it becomes part of the daily media. When watching a news program, I’m likely to appreciate the new advances being made, but I don’t think about it long enough to let it boggle my mind. Yet if I’d been told fifteen years ago that we’d be talking on small wireless phones, sending instant messages to people in another state, or playing video games in our vehicles, I never would have believed it.
Things that are now mainstream are still being advanced. According to a recent article in
Fast Company magazine, the handiest device of the future is the widely used and still simple cellular phone (Rosenberg, Yuval. “Digital Disruption: Phone Flip.” Fast Company Feb. 2017: 30).
The reference to a cell phone as simple might sound funny. After all, what’s so simple about a device that can surf the net, download ringtones, instant message, show video clips, and play music MP3 style? Fast forward into the future that this article shows the cell phone and none of these functions are as impressive as they seem.
In his article, Rosenberg quotes a member of CTIA-The Wireless Association as saying “They call it a remote control for life.” This statement is about the ways that cellular phones are being used in individual Asian countries. The technology is still being developed, but it won’t be long before Americans begin seeing even more practical uses for this handy device. Some users are already emerging.
Cell phones now offer entertainment on the go. While this concept is still new, Rosenberg projects that it will be standard in 3 to 5 years. Sprint has already jumped on the bandwagon by offering a $6.95 per month pay-per-view service which allows the user to stream a full-length feature film on their cell phone. Forget about the portable DVD players.
Watching TV on the same device, you use to make phone calls will make for greater convenience.
In the works are plans to turn the cell phone into an all-in-one remote control, capable of changing channels and radio stations, dimming the lights, and locking the doors of your house. Again, we’re already catching glimpses of this.; launched a program through Cingular that allows users to monitor their own home security through their cell phone.
For those serious about keeping their property safe, the price tag isn’t even that huge. With a setup fee of $199 and a $9.95 per month charge, users can check live feeds of their home and receive alerts when certain motion sensors are triggered. While not as close as the movie-going experience, Rosenberg gives this function 5-10 years to be an everyday cell phone use.
With everything that’s already being tapped, what else do we have to look forward to? Plenty. This article focuses on three more future functions of the cell phone, all projected to happen in the next fifteen years. Possibly one of the most important features is the mobile phone as a medical monitor. With particular add-on devices, patients and their doctors will be able to control diabetes, heart conditions, and stress levels. Japan already has a phone that alerts women to when their ovulating.
The cell phone is also likely to replace the card and cash stuffed wallet. A company called Obopay is working to make paying for things credit card style possible via text messaging. Over time, e-cash with a cell phone will be more attractive. How does it work? Like the easy pay scan tags many credit card companies are putting out, all it will take is a wave of a cell phone to make a purchase.
Finally, the article directs our attention to the cell phone as the future in information technology. While search engines can currently be used on mobile phones with internet capabilities, the future will bring us phones with enough storage capacity to have volumes of information right at our fingertips. For those of us who don’t find a hand-held encyclopedia to be that exciting, the cell phone will also be able to interact with things around us, helping to locate lost items for example.
With the mobile phone on its way to being the multitasking machine of the future, will we still have the use of our televisions, credit cards, and medical files? Don’t go making plans to throw them out right away. If past technological advances have shown us anything, it’s that nothing comes without a few bugs in the system. I have no doubt that the technology will be developed, especially because we already see signs of it. It will be a long time though before any of it reaches perfection. Besides, what will we do if we lose our cell phone?
It’s an exciting time in technological advances when we’ve come from big bulky mobile phones for car use to small ones that can play music. Now we’re getting ready to see all-purpose ones that can give us a history lesson and lock our front door at the same time. It’ll be interesting to see not only the people that Rosenberg talked about in his article but all the other things that the tech world will come up with as well.