Mobile Computing @ Barcamp Pune June 18, 2006Posted by rajAT in barcamp, barcamppune, mobile, technology.
The first talk I attended was of Atul Chitnis. The topic was Mobile Computing – Think beyond the PC. Atul has given an excellent talk on the topic. He used no jargon but lots of examples to explain the idea that in coming times digital accessories will be very much part of our lifes. He defined digital accessories as the small gizmos which are always there with you. You don’t go to them. e.g. To switch on a music system you will go to it and switch it on. I know remote is there but maybe switch the main power. I think you got the idea what I am trying to say. But digital accessories like pda’s are always there with you in your pocket like your wallet.
Normally people complain that these gizmos have got small screens or are clunky and are slow or have less space. The Moore’s law will take care of the latter. Memory is getting cheaper. Technology is improving day by day which will surely improve the mobile digital experience. Coming on to the screen part. Atul has used very interesting examples to explain that size doesn’t matter.
A cinema hall screen when viewed from 30-40 feet away has the same impression on a viewer as compared to small pda screen when viewed from a distance of less than a feet. Interestingly, Mobil Extra is running a campaign where the long distance is crunched between a thumb and an index finger. I think that will give you an idea of the perspective. In short, a small screen if it is in your hand will give you the same if not more experience as compared to a bigger experience kept at a distance.
I agree to all this but I think the renewed interest in mobile computing is not because that users have suddenly found them interesting. Users have always rewared them – case in point Sony Walkman. If there is a compelling use case and there is a gizmo that accomplishes it beautifully, consumers are going to just buy it like crazy.
After the presentation I and Atul discussed what is going to be the next Mobile Computing device. Atul is all for the Personal Media Device sans Mobile Phone but I think that the next generation Mobile phones or Smart phones will have all the capabilities of Personal Media device. It makes a lot more sense for a person to carry a single device. Otherwise he will carry a mobile phone, iPod, another gizmo with big screen for movies and browsing the web. This seems a bit far fetched to me. It is difficult to maintain 3 devices – one has to check that they are all charged up. Just couple of times if you found that your favourite, next generation, portable, music player is dead ( no charge ), I am sure you will become a convert i.e. get hooked to converged, smart mobile phone. 🙂
In the end, how much space does a woman has in her purse anway. 😀