Can Smartphones Replace Personal Computers In the Future?

         After the first truly handheld phone, the Motorola MicroTAC, was released in 1989, cell phones have evolved drastically. Think about all the uses for your iPhone 5 or other smartphone can do today: GPS, stream video, update social media, check e-mail, read a book, and playing games just to name a few. As the technology has evolved, cell phone ownership has risen, surpassing the sale of PC’s in 2011 for the first time according to a February 2012 report by Canalys. While it may seem a little outlandish, here are four reasons why I believe smartphones can make the personal computers a niche market within the next decade.

1.)    Developing projection technology for smartphones

One of the biggest problems with any mobile device is the screen, with no major smartphone on the market exceeding five inches. How do you solve this problem? By the use of a mini-projector! You will finally be able to view everything you wish at a comfortable size. This idea comes from the concept developed by Mozilla called “Seabird”, it features a “sensor controlled sensor-controlled virtual keyboard around your phone like a pair of wings” and a touchpad area projected below your phone. Either by an attachment or shrunken down on the back of your phone, the Seabird concept seems to be the best way to expand the screen without increasing the physical size.

2.)    Continual advancements in Microsoft’s “Kinect” technology

Designed for use with the Xbox 360, the Kinect allows a user to use your voice to direct and detect your movements to play games such as Dance Central. We have seen this already to a degree with Apple’s “Siri” technology, but being able to do this would help to easily be able to navigate menus and make smartphones even more convenient to use. If the tech industry could shrink the Kinect down to the size of a phone camera, this could be a real possibility down the road.

3.)    The popularity of Cloud storage

Not the boldest prediction since tech giant Gartner suggested that “The reign of the personal computer as the sole corporate access device is coming to a close, and by 2014”, but an important key to the smart phone takeover. The virtually unlimited amount of storage available to a user has long been a valid argument for the long lasting existence of PC’s. Cloud has changed the game, allowing users to store on the internet all their documents for later accessibility on all of your electronic gadgets. For a variety of uses such as work, recreation, or backing up important documents, buying storage is reasonably inexpensive now and will only get cheaper as the years go on.

4.)    Expansion of mobile operating systems

Being able to pick how big or small you want your PC to be will always have the edge in this category due to sheer size and weight. However, I believe to attract the majority of the market you just need to have a consumer friendly ability to use programs such as Microsoft Office, Adobe, and iTunes. Being able to produce a PowerPoint on-the-go, crunch the latest data in Excel, or view and edit a PDF document would eliminate the need for college students, small business owners, and casual users for using a separate device when paired with the technological advances above.


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