Thursday, June 5, 2008

Smart Phones

An article in today’s San Jose Mercury News noted that Nokia wants to transition from a mere hardware manufacturer to an all-encompassing internet company. Your one-stop shop for all things digital. As of now, the Crackberry leads the nation in smart-phones by 44.5%, with the iPhone a distant second with 19.2%.

We’ve come a long way since the rotary phone. I remember they were always black and you couldn’t disconnect it from the wall without disabling it.

But Science Fiction introduced us to the phone of tomorrow in many ways. Dick Tracy had his 2 way wrist communicator. Maxwell Smart kept in touch with The Chief using his shoe-phone. Gene Roddenberry’s world of Star Trek gave us the pocket-size, flip-top communicator, a wrist communicator in Star Trek: The Motion Picture and a delta-shield communicator badge in Star Trek: The Next Generation and series beyond.

Yet the ultimate smart-phone seems to have come from one of my all-time favorite television series: Gene Roddenberry’s Earth: Final Conflict. Always a cutting-edge tek show which dared you to get comfortable with the protagonists, E:FC showed us an “almost tomorrow” future where visiting inter-dimensional aliens known as Taelons brought their technology to Earth in hopes of helping humanity to cross over to the next level of evolution. William Boone, Liam Kincaid and Renee Palmer kept in touch with their Globals, communicators with a fold out, flexible screen. They had video-phone capability so you got more than just voice. And of course it had the requisite touch-sensitive screen. One could send computer files back and forth almost instantaneously. These hi-tek devices were used in much the same way as smart-phones are used today, only faster.

I’ve had…four cell phones to date, including my current Samsung SCH-U740 (recently renamed The Alias). His name is Jakub, named after the childhood toy known as the Jacob’s Ladder. I named him this because of the way it can fold out in one of two ways: portrait and landscape.

Of course, my dream phone has always been the Nokia 9500 Communicator. It has everything. I think the next model comes with an espresso machine. It has word processor, spreadsheet and presentation programs which are compatible with Microsoft Office. It also includes a hefty price tag and last I heard they were only available in Japan. I could buy an unlocked one on eBay but then I also have to get it activated and I really don’t want to go the AT&T route if I don’t have to.

I often tell family and friends that my dream cell phone is two years away. And the industry is taking baby steps towards that end. But I’m reluctant to switch over and over again like so many people I know do. I guess I’m just biding my time until I can get a Taelon/Doors Industries, my phone's ringing. Hmmm...yeaaaaa, I really should take this. Leter.

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