I am all for device convergence and over the last few years I have seen more and more devices blend into the mobile phone and disappear from my pockets.
With the SonyEricsson K800i I find my self listening to music (MP3 and radio), securely reading company emails, browsing the web for news, watching short video clips, taking decent digital photographs, playing games and even doing the occasional phone call.
While the mobile phone hasn’t completely replaced a digital SLR, a portable game device or a portable music device (iPod) it is perfectly good at those tasks for everyday usage.
One last thing missing is GPS support so I still have to carry a GPS enabled stop watch during running sessions, rent a car navigation device when abroad, geotagg photos manually and have a separate personal locator for our child.
What I would like is future mobile phones to have integrated GPS functionality (but not at the cost of size or price).
When GPS on future mobile phones is as common as Java support is on today’s phones, a wide new range of possibilities will open up.
I have experimented with j2me application development on my mobile phone and it turned out to be a piece of cake. With integrated GPS a host of mobile applications can be created personally or in an open source environment:
- personal tracking for the whole family
- workout performance measuring
- simple tourist sightseeing (never be lost in a foreign city again)
- automatic geotagging of photos
- location based games
- and much, much more
It looks as if my prayers may be answered with the rumored Nokia N82:
Quad-band GSM, GPS, Wifi, 3G, Bluetooth 2.0 with A2DP, FM radio, 5-megapixel digital camera with Carl Zeiss lens, auto focus and Xenon flash.
One familiar with SonyEricsson phones will see that the form factor and feature set of the Nokia N82 is a identical to a K800i with added Wifi, GPS and an upgraded digital camera.
The N82 is rumored to ship Q4 2007 and thus one cannot be sure it will materialise with all the mentioned spec. Also by Q4 I wouldn’t be surprised if SonyEricsson had an upgraded K800i with added GPS on the market.
In any case the holy grail of convergence is near, very near.