Who Needs An Actual Phone?

Over at InfoSync they’re trying to think outside the box, and ended up thinking outside the phone by suggesting that we can get rid of the mobile phone altogether. They had originally suggested the “two device” concept of having a PDA and a “dumb phone” that share the same network connection. Voice calls go to the phone, everything else goes to the the PDA. Now they’re realizing that if all the smarts are in the device anyway, the “dumb phone” can easily shrink itself all the way down to a Bluetooth earpiece. Of course, previous attempts at simply adding phone features to a PDA via an earpiece has shown that people like having a phone to hold against their head. With a small earpiece it’s a pain to put it in before the call goes to voicemail, and it’s much easier to lose. However, the general concept of moving different functionalities to different boxes sharing a network connection is not new. IXI has been working on such a “personal hub” for some time, as have some bigger companies like Samsung and Motorola. The real question isn’t one of whether or not it can be done (it doesn’t seem all that hard) but whether or not people really want to use a system like that.

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