In just a few short years, technology has come a long way. Computers used to be vast machines hidden away in government departments and utilised by engineers, technicians and other professionals through tape and punched cards. Those of us old enough to remember the earliest home computing and gaming devices will recall the Sinclair ZX81 and the Atari Games Machine on which we could play basic games such as Ping Pong, marvelling at the graphics as we did so! Nowadays these early games and machines seem almost prehistoric, but back then they represented the cutting edge of all that was new and exciting.
The advent of mobile technology
In the 1980s mobile telephones were just beginning to appear but were bulky, fiercely expensive and owned only by a few individuals. Most people expressed wonder that anyone would wish to be contactable at any hour of the day or night and there were plenty of naysayers who predicted that this was one craze which would never catch on!
Even as recently as 10 years ago in the middle of the mobile phone boom such devices were still predominantly telephones first and foremost. Most screens were still black and white and wireless internet was in its infancy.
Compared with the smart phones, tablets and other wireless devices which proliferate in today’s world, the technology from even a couple of years ago starts to look out of date and out of touch. No sooner have you bought the latest all-singing, all-dancing model than it’s time to upgrade again and so you find you need to sell a Blackberry Torch 9810 and purchase an even more up-to-date model.
The future of the mobile device
As mobile phones have become smaller and lighter they have also become much more powerful than earlier models and in some cases can even rival the power of a computer. Thanks to the rise in VOIP, which allows video calls, it is also possible to see the person you are talking to and services such as Skype and Apple’s Facetime are helping to drive forward this technology.
Cloud computing is the current new trend, which allows for remote storage of files, documents and data. This development allows for devices to become even smaller and infinitely more portable as the need for on-board storage is greatly reduced.
Google Glass is hailed as being the ‘next big thing’, allowing the user to access information from spectacles in a move worthy of science fiction. Developments are also on-going to link wristwatches with mobile telephones in order to provide additional services on the move.
It seems entirely plausible that the smart phone will eventually replace the functions of a computer altogether, providing an easily portable solution to all our technology requirements. Smartphone apps are already available that can turn on central heating, close curtains and switch on lights and these are all potential areas for further growth.
The many people who believed that mobile phones would never catch on are being forced to eat their words and will continue to do so as the technology improves and advances still further.