The Future of Phones - Supercomputing in your Palm
Photo by Mark H. Anbinder
Let us pause our frantic pace for a moment and consider those ancient times when supercomputers occupied entire rooms. If you are curious as to the future of computing, well rest assured, the future is safe -- in your hands! With everyone and their pets on Facebook today, is it any surprise that Facebook might choose to foray into the world of mobile computing with their very own handheld device? No, it's not going to be called the FacePad or FacePhone (or it just might). Though it just might find itself a place in every teenage girl's handbag right next to her compact. I'm pretty certain the killer app on such a device would be a mirror!
After the Microsoft fiasco with it's Kin and Google bowing out of the race and handing over the reins of the Nexus One to HTC to rebrand as the Desire, is there still room for another branded smartphone. While the Palm and RIM's Blackberry devices offer strong Facebook integration at the OS level, Apple iOS and Google's open source OS Android offer surface level integration and the native Facebook apps are yet to catch up with their counterparts.
According to Facebook statistics, more than 150 million out of Facebook's 500 million active members access the social network on mobile devices, and Facebook mobile applications are "deployed and promoted" by more than 200 mobile operators in 60 countries. These mobile users are twice as active on Facebook as non-mobile users. Facebook Credits, the virtual currency is now standard in many of the biggest and most popular games on Facebook's developer platform therefore bringing Credits to mobile is a likely forthcoming step. Launching its own mobile handset or operating system may be the strategy that Facebook seeks to avoid limitations by handset, carrier & OS restrictions. Facebook has been categorically denying reports but sources have confirmed that they have reached out to hardware manufacturers.
If that thought isn't fascinating enough, try the new Seabird for size. Created by Billy May for the Mozilla Labs Open Concept Series, the Seabird is an Android based Open Web Concept phone. The Seabird offers an 8 megapixel camera, pico projectors on either side of the phone to deliver netbook-quality interaction working with the projector's angular distortion, wireless charging and believe it or not -- an embedded Bluetooth dongle that would augment the gestural interface with greater precision offering direct manipulation of content in 3D space. All this packed into a delightfully sinuous body that exudes poise and takes it's styling cues from various aerodynamic, avian and decidedly feminine forms. The future is in your hands!