8 years ago today I started blogging about a non-existent device called the Carrypad. On the 21st of Feb 2006 I posted 11 articles that defined the device I needed in my life… 5″-7″ screen, min 800×480, total size – DVD cover. For navigation, video and internet.
A few days later, at CeBIT 2006 in Germany, Intel and Microsoft introduced the Origami PC which was targeted at moving the PC more into consumer territory. They knew what was happening to the market and to this day I don’t think Otto Berkes, the project leader, got enough credit for the results. The campaign video (a copy is available on YouTube here) is effectively what you see in ‘phablet’ videos of today. 80% pleasure and lifestyle, 20% business.
The ultra mobile PC market struggled due to hardware and software that just wasn’t fit for purpose. It was too early. When a product with the right software and hardware came along 4 years later it stormed the market. It killed-off the ultra mobile PC too. In 2011 I barely posted one article per month. Today, things are different. The ultra mobile PC is alive and, according to my stats, heading toward significant popularity and sales numbers.
We’re heading into a new chapter and with the great changes that happened between Windows 7 and 8 and the progress made with i86 processor design we’re at a point where the dream of a highly dynamic device that spans work and play is here. I’m flying to MWC to meet Intel tomorrow. They’ve invited me (and paid for me) to come and see the progress they are making across the board with tablet and smartphone technology, operating systems and software so hopefully i’ll get a better idea of what’s coming in 2014. 8 years ago though I wrote some predictions, it’s interesting to read them today. Here’s to the next 8 years…
ultra mobile PC Predictions.
This list is taken from a post I wrote in Feb 2006. The original articles are available here. (images are very broken though!)
It takes a fair bit of CPU power to do speech recognition. I personally dont see this taking off though. Speech recognition has been around for a while on desk pc’s but I dont see a load of people really talking madly into microphones. And people certainly wont do it in social scenarios.
Built in scanner
This could be a good one. I know of a Java aplet that allows cameraphone users to read bar coded URLS. If one could read the bar codes on food, link to a live database and get all the nutritional info somehow. Or even scan a product and see if its available somewhere else for cheaper.
Advanced scanning with OCR could be useful in certain situations but it needs a decent application before its worth having.
Here’s one for the next 5-10 years. Built-in laser projectors. Just imagine projecting a film on the wall from your mobile! Wooh!
Games have been mentioned before but to be honest, I didnt give them the priority they deserve. A decent games-playing mini pc could potentially be good. There’s certainly a market for them but displacing the established products would be very hard
Video telephony over IP.
Here’s one that could be good. Currenly video calls over 3G networks are very expensive. If a big voip provider started handing out mini tablets with cheap audio and video telephony contracts, it might be a way to subsidise the cost of the tablet. I like this idea a lot.
Live TV over DVB-H and DMB is on its way. Watching it on a nice 5″ screen will be much more fun than on a mobile. Again, there’s a way to subsidise the cost of those tablets with a DVB-H contract from your local provider. It might not have to be DVB either. Could be live TV over internet.
Again, I like this idea. Maybe it can be combined with the Video/Voice over IP solution. That would mean someone like Sky/Easynet (in the UK) being able to knock out some cheap tablet products.