Convergence is the Key to Cell Phones of the Future

The high-tech world is advancing at a breakneck speed! The influence and penetration of incredibly versatile devices into our daily lives is dramatically changing the way we live. It was not so long ago that if you needed to call someone from a public space, you needed to use a public phone. And if the person you wanted to get in touch with was not at home, leaving a message on an answering machine would just have to suffice.

In just a few short years connecting with people has become virtually instantaneous. Unless you are at a place where you must turn off your cell phone, there is nothing preventing instant contact. But of course connecting with friends, family and colleagues is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the capabilities of today’s hand-held devices. (I hesitate to say “cell phone” because many devices today are really computers that also happen to have a cell phone function.)

And that brings us to the future of cell phones. Today we are at a turning point where having a mere phone is seen as a waste of the plastic the phone is made from. There are no longer many cell phones that don’t allow internet access, and more and more phones are of the ‘smart’ variety, containing within them an amazing number of functions from GPS to cameras, to large memories and storage capacities.

What is there to prevent our “cell phones” from truly becoming our computers? They are already loaded with great memory, apps, and operating systems. Everything else that a computer allows you to do can exist on the internet, in the up and coming “cloud.” Eventually, it seems pretty clear, we will be able to take our computers everywhere we go, and when we get home, or arrive at work, all we will need to do is place our devices down on our desks, wirelessly connect to our keyboards, mice and monitors, and we are ready to roll.

And if a great photo op presents itself, just pick up your computer (phone!) and snap a picture; or if your spouse calls to tell you he/she is running late, just press a button, (or maybe you won’t even need to press a button) and start speaking. And let’s not forget about the entertainment aspect of our cell phones. We are already using our phones to house our vast music and video collections which we then access via our TVs and stereo systems. In the future TVs and stereos will most likely be made obsolete by our versatile phones. As our technology continues to advance, we might not even have to touch our phones to operate them. Hand gestures, and speech will more likely than not become the mode of operation.

The future of cell phones is a future in which almost everything we do to interact with the world around us will be achieved through the convergence of all the various tasks into one, hand-held device. Who knows, maybe your ‘phone’ will one day even have a personality all its own, listening to your troubles, soothing your worries, and even being your newest, disembodied best friend.