Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Service, not device

Jon Udell has now chipped in to the Tim/Jeremy/Russell debate on do-it-all cell phones:
Pervasive connectivity and ubiquitous computing don't depend on the device you tote in your briefcase or clip to your belt. Or anyway, they shouldn't. The environments we visit, as well as the ones we live and work in, could provide for our communication and computational needs. Service portability would, in many cases, trump device portability.
Absolutely. Why should I have to worry about toting a device everywhere? One day the phone will really be a viable all-purpose computing device, and that could be way cool. But for now, I have a tiny cell phone that is voice-only but ultra portable. I only carry my Blackberry when I want email access, and there are a lot of times when I don't. Jon's vision is appealing:
The ultimate freedom, to me, would be the freedom not to have to tote my TiBook everywhere, because I'd know its generic equivalent would be waiting for me in all of these places. Identify to the device; flow your preferences and data and applications to it; use it for a while; wipe the slate clean.
I'd extend that vision to include cooperative computing. Because I will likely have some device, but a that device isn't going to have all of the capabilities of a stationary device, if for no other reason than form factor. For instance, the portable device should be able to take advantage of free WiFi VoIP or a larger screen. The fixed device should be able to take advantage of the cell phone's radio if the fixed device loses its standard connectivity.


Blogger Olin said...

I myself am a proponent of "do-it-yourself" services. I've had my on web server in the house for years now, an in-home file and backup server for months and as of last weekend, my own in-house VoIP PBX...not just a PBX but a SIP plarform, (Asterisk). After playing with a WiFi SIP phone, I now can see a future with all sorts of IP based devices and services, (most I may create as in-home "appliances"), available via Internet connected WiFi. I'll get to my stuff with different devices using standard protocols using IP, Wired or wireless. For example, I could watch a time shifted TV show captured by my in-home PVR and re-transmitted privately to me whereever I am. Or check phone messages left by PSTN and Internet callers. Checking and replying to personal email and the family calendar is going to be easy on the WiFi SIP devices. I'll be testing SIP video phones soon. More later. The shape of the future is getting clearer by the minute...

2:39 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home