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January 06, 2010

My future communicator device

Some guy at BBC posted an article about "death of netbook" about two or three weeks ago. His point was that overgrown cellphones will usurp the personal communication role and personal computing will return to real laptops (only small ones). He thought consumers cannot live without merging functions, so they demand one universal device to carry.

I carry a cellphone and a camera at all times, so perhaps I'm not one to consult about it, but anyway, here goes. I had a chance to play with Moto[rola] Droid. It's quite impressive, but as far as personal communication device goes, I cannot stand its small screen and keyboard (love the resolution slash pitch though: NLQ displays FTW). I did not really know it until I tried, but my ideal device would be something twice, maybe three times bigger than Moto Droid (or a general smartphone). But then, you ask, how would I carry it? Certainly it becomes too big for a pocket.

Well... I don't carry anything in my pockets anyway (except keys). A belly pack is so much better. So, unsurprisingly, I would rather adapt to carrying a bigger device in a holster of some kind, than adapt to pitifuly small screen and keyboard. Come to think about it, Droid is about 2 times smaller in both directions than a rectangle into which a regular 1911 would fit. Say, if I have a shoulder holster on the left side, I can carry my ideal communicator on the right side. Other arrangements are possible too (such as carrying it in a utility poach on the belt, purse, etc.).

Of course, my 2x format communicator cannot be brought to one's ear as a cellphone, but it's nothing a little Bluetooth earpiece cannot handle.

UPDATE 2010/1/20: Another hilariously retarded article from a guy who has the same amount of clue as a BBC journo (via). Also, it refers to... Katie Seirra! Yes, the lady who presented at LCA 2007 and made me rage so hard. He's right about one thing though: it is quite likely that smartphones will continue to undermine the market for my "ideal communicator" and thus make it non-viable, so I will never get it.

UPDATE 2010/1/27: Apple unveiled iPad today. It is somewhat bigger than, for example, Kimber Custom II. iPad is 9.56 by 7.47 inches, whereas Kimber is only 8.7 by 5.25 inches. However, iPad is 37% lighter at 24 versus 38 ounces. I still think I can carry something like iPad easily. Unfortunately, I really need a keyboard and I'm not sure I can live with an on-screen one. On the other hand, a virtual keyboard designed for thumbing might be interesting.

UPDATE MOAR: Look at input methods in Gizmodo post. The two-thumb virtual keyboard ("DialKeys") seems promising (right until I lose a thumb in a freak accident).

UPDATE 2011/11/16: Received my Amazon Kindle Fire. The format is that of my "ideal communicator". Report to follow.

Posted by: Pete Zaitcev at 10:44 PM | No Comments | Add Comment
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