Hyperpat\’s HyperDay

SF, science, and daily living

A Really Universal Phone

Posted by hyperpat on August 31, 2006

What happened to the days when a phone was a phone? Today I see people playing games, taking pictures, listening to their music, surfing the web, anything except make phone calls on their phone. Now in some ways I can’t complain, as my job to some degree depends on cell phones using ever more powerful chips to do all these other functions, but it just seems to me that doing these other things is not what a phone was designed for, and it is not as efficient (or as pleasurable) to do these things with a tiny screen, a tinier speaker, and buttons so small you really should have a toothpick or something similar to poke at the keys.

I guess what I’m really complaining about is the phone’s interface. If somehow it could be hooked to a virtual screen driven by circuits in a pair of glasses, a bone induction sound interface, and had a voice command interface for your input, we would really be entering the age of the totally wired, totally on the go world, very similar to something like the society portrayed in Vernor Vinge’s Rainbow’s End.  To do these things, though, would mean even more, and more powerful, chips as part of the overall package. Someone needs to design these things soon, before the entire populace goes blind from staring at microscopic screens or be subject to major continuous finger cramps from trying to poke those buttons. And when they start producing these things, my company’s stock price will go probably go up, as there obviously has to be some way to test all these micro-circuits, and that’s what we do.

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