I happened upon a post that talks about what might be in store for us in the future when we reach for the phone on our belts. It's bogus.  I've seen many of these types of prognostications lately, and they're starting to annoy me. It seems like the people reporting this stuff can't tell the difference between a feature that is a futuristic accessory (powered car windows) and futuristic folly (hovercars).  Sure, I think many of the imagined ideas are neat, but I'm still even unsure of the utility of the custom-colored faceplates they sell for some phones at the mall. I guess I've always thought of my phone more as a tool than a fashion accessory. That is to say, I've never once thought, "Gee, if I must carry this, it might as well look good on me." Whereas, I have had the thought, "If they didn't waste all that space for two outer layers of plastic, they might have fit in some more useful electronics."

Sadly, I think consumers are used to just getting what they're given when it comes to electronics, and then paying whatever is asked. The company advertising will tell you that you need to change the color of your phone to match your outfit (nevermind that it stays inside the already color-coordinated case or purse), but never mentions that you could have GPS capabilities, or real email, or real web browsing.  Verizon's Chocolate phone seems to have GPS in it. This is a huge step forward for phones. Why? It's not surprising that people wouldn't know to want it, because they don't really advertise this feature when they sell phones.  GPS would allow you to know where you are on the planet using satellite positioning. It's odd because most phones should be able to tell you where you are just by your apparent distance from the cell towers, but GPS puts the capabilities into the phone rather than putting the computational muscle on the service provider's side of the connection.  With GPS in your phone, you can tell exactly where you are, and potentially figure out which direction you need to travel to get to where you want to go. It's a navigation system in your phone.  Phones have also failed to meet their potential in terms of media capabilities. Many providers offer video and audio services within their phones. The videos are of questionable quality, and the jacks on the phone make them of limited use for enjoying sound.  If a phone were to provide upgraded sound and video capabilities, it could replace those devices entirely. I'll say it another way - You would not need an iPod. You could listen to your music and watch your recorded TV/movies on your phone.  Cameras on phones are going to continue to suck because the quality of the photo is proportional to the size of the sensor that collects the light. Small phone equals small sensor. But there are some improvements that could be made.  Phones that don't record video, should. The lenses on the camera should be improved. Using some of the liquid lens technology that is currently in testing could radically improve (or simply add!) the zoom capabilities of cameraphone lenses. It might also be a good idea to include a real flash on a phone. As long as you're not continuously using it, you shouldn't have to charge your phone too frequently.  Being a lucky user of a real smartphone, I'm used to keeping all of my contact information in my phone. My Treo has enough power in it to run applications - everything from word processing, to games, to powerful graphing calculators. Service providers need to untether their phone service from the specific hardware that their phones provide. By making available a general connection to their network that can be used by any application, they can ditch their proprietary formats of video and audio and use the freely available standards.  Ringtones. We don't need ringtones. Our phones are powerful enough to play MP3s. Why on Earth would we need or want to pay 99 cents for a bleep-bloop-bleep version of some song we'd like to use as a ring? Use MP3s, for pity's sake.  There are some more advanced things I would like to see built into future phones that I think would be more practical. For instance, I wouldn't mind seeing a real USB port on my next phone. This port would not be only for syncing with my PC, but also for possibly connecting a real keyboard or display device. If there was a way to put my phone's video on a larger screen, it would allow me to use the phone as a presentation device.  I don't understand this trend of contorting the technology to be shaped in fashion. I really don't want a phone shaped like a macaroon. I can't even imagine what shape I would enjoy other than a shape that looked like a functional phone.


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