I recently read an article that suggested that within a year, a phone might be your only computer.
At first I scoffed. Come off it. Nothing is replacing my laptop. Then I read the article. It started to make sense.
For me the first issue is the keyboard. I really don’t like the keyboards of touch screens for anything more than short text entry.
In the tablet space we have seen this as a common problem and seen the solution emerge. The Microsoft surface tablet comes with detachable keyboard. Problem solved.
The same thing can obviously be done for a phone too. A quick scout of Google reveals 5 folding keyboards for your smartphone.
Next one is the monitor. Yes. This too is already happening.
So now, we have a situation where effectively we have a computer situation with just a keyboard and a monitor. You also will need a mouse as well by the way, but that is also doable of course. All you need for all of this is simply a usb hub to connect everything,
So basically you are using the phone as the brain of this setup – the processor. But what about processing power? Well this article explains how the processing power of mobile phones is about to grow to the level where they will be able to handle 3D gaming by the end of next year.
Finally there is storage. What? I can’t do without my hard drive. Why? Everything is online these days. What are you storing on your laptop now that is so important? Documents? Store them in the cloud. Movies? Now they take a lot of space don’t they? Well this is the funny thing. What has slowed down piracy is not the threat of legal action from big companies, but the emergence of low cost streaming providers. Why keep a bunch of movies and TV series on hard drive when you can have them on demand any time you want for $10 to 15 dollars a month? And if you’re not comfortable with a commitment like that, there is so much content on Youtube for free that you could never get through it.
Music? Same thing. I’m not downloading MP3s any more. It’s Spotify or Pandora.
Photos? Well photos are usually very important to people because they contain memories. Photos are kept on phones. But of course there’s also Instagram and Flickr for photos which serves as an important backup. I have written in the past about the cloud and how it’s transforming how we do things. This is the shape of things to come.
I know right now it all seems a little fiddly, and only a geek would contemplate it, but that’s what happens with technology. At first only the techies do it. Then after a while it’s commonplace. So while I say now that I won’t be replacing my laptop any time soon, there may come a day when it just is the natural thing to do.