Possible directions – one engine – many uses
Will we have the ONE device, it opens the doors for us, it controls our home electronics, it acts as our entry to all portals, it is a personal hub for our real and virtual lives.
Today we have a number of devices. Why? Well at least one thing is clear. None of them perform in well in all circumstances. So for example. I have my work laptop and my personal laptop [mac powerbook]. I like the psychological separation of the two. I like the fact that they are different. I am on my computers alot [no different to so many others] and it is great to look into a different world when at work versus when at home. This could, I think, be done cleverly on one hardware, but I have not seen that yet. Part of the issue is the ‘what gets booted up and what does not’, when all you really want to do is check your e-mail. If I want to just check my e-mail, please don’t load everything and take so long to do it. There are signs that this kind of separation of tasks is about to happen.
Now the discussion about the Swiss Army Knife of mobile devices [does it all] can start shifting slightly. Instead of dreaming of doing everything with one hand size tool we can configure what we need. As the processing power and so on improves soon a match box size ‘engine’ can do as much as a laptop does and more [e.g. think of ipod]. There are flexible screens, projected keyboards and so on. These mean that we could have one engine for everything and several input/output concepts for the many purposes and styles of sharing and communicating. This works, as long as we do not have to think too hard what to take with us.
Another reason why two different laptops [while we wait for the full on mobile tool] are important to me. Companies are taking control of the work device networked to the corporate network. Soon we will see our laptops swept for content – even automatic publishing somewhere on the corporate systems – and ahem I am not keen on the company looking into my private stuff, a folder just does not cut it.