Monday, November 17, 2008

Five Gadgets That Were Killed by the Cellphone

I found an article on Wired discussing the gadgets that the cellphone has incorporated as one of it's features - thus eliminating demand for that gadget. The first gadget that the cellphone has 'killed' is the PDA. The PDA (an acronym for "Personal Digital Assistant") was originally used to store contact information and act as a calender. Many modern cellphones now have features which give the users the ability to set reminders (you can send messages to yourself at a certain time of a certain day), which eliminated the need for a completely seperate device containing a calender - and in practically every cellphone you can add additional information to each contact (such as alternate numbers, emails, photos, fax numbers, adress, and so on) - Thus eliminating the need for a seperate contact list. The incorporation of these two features into the cellphone made PDAs completely obsolete.

The second gadget that was 'killed' by the cellphone is the camera. It is stated that cellphones do not eliminate the demand for digital cameras, but simply replaces the lower end models. Cell phone cameras can get a good amount of Megapixels (I've personally seen 5 MP at best). The best aspect of having a digital camera built in to your phone is convenience. A phone camera is something you always have with you, and 'Wired' quotes the famous saying: "The best camera is the one you have with you." - you really never know when your going to need your camera handy! So, the cellphone hasn't quite killed digital cameras yet - and I am guessing will never truly be able to completely do. Even when camera phones get as high as 10 MP (at the rate they are advancing - im guessing in the very near future), there will always be something bigger and better on the market for professional use. I do think that in the future, cell phones will be able to replace cameras for common use - but the market will always exist for professional and upper scale use.

The third device killed by the cellphone is the UMPC (The Ultra Mobile PC). Before reading this article, I had never heard of a UMPC - and 'Wired' calls it a failed project. The UMPC was pretty much just a tiny mobile computer that looks somewhat like a portable video game console - in the following link is a photo: The reason why it failed was due to it's unreasonable prices, terrible battery life and tiny *practically unusable* keyboard. The price is almost triple that of a regular laptop. The cellphone practically is a UMPC these days - if you look at the Blackberry and Iphone - you are able to surf the web, add applications, store files, and so on. Phones are already becoming mini computers and are continuing to advance at a fast rate. This can be tied in to what 'Wired' thinks the cellphone's next victim is - the Laptop.

The third gadget that was killed by the cellphone is the old fashioned wired phones. Land line phones are becoming much less popular - the main reason for that being is the cellphone is always with you - in the house or outside. Another huge plus is due to the fact that your contacts are all stored in one place - 'Wired' makes the point that when you do dial a number with your land line, theres a big chance that you will be typing it in from a number that is already stored in your contact. The main reason why people do keep normal telephones around are for emergencies (just in case an emergency occours and your cell phone is out of battery). Another reason why it is nice to keep an old fashioned telephone around is so that you always have an alternate number - there are some people you don't want to hear at while out of the house working. The telephone has been criticized as not keeping up with technology.

The last gadget that has been replaced by the cellphone is: Mp3 players. Today's cellphones almost always include an mp3 player. It is predicted by 'Wired' that in the near future, Mp3 players will become obsolete. I disagree - many times it is nice to simply upgrade your mp3 player and having to change and get used to a new phone each time you want an upgraded mp3 player would be a huge inconvenience. Until a phone comes along with an mp3 with at160 gigs, I don't think the mp3 player will die out. It would be great if you could just get a phone with the ability to simply change memory cards - so you could transition from 80 gigs to 160 gigs without actually changing phones. I think that the cellphone will be able to kill the mp3 player - but its going to take a while. I used a Sony Ericsson mp3 phone and didn't have a good experience with it at all (took way too much time to transfer files from the computer to the phone - literally consumed about an hour each time, I was also unsatisfied with the memory - I could only get up to 2 gigs on it, and finally major issues with freezing. It will take alot of improvement and convincing before I ever invest in a specialized mp3 cell phone again.


Patrick T said...

I don't think that the mp3 player will be replaced. Personally I don't want a music player in a phone, because then I'm sitting there listening to music and worrying about whether or not the battery will run out and I'll be without my phone. Whereas if I'm just listening to my mp3 player I don't mind if the battery runs out.

Patrick T said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Corey Laub said...

battery life is becoming longer and longer although i also dont belive that the mp3 player will become extinct. i believe that phones can essentially serve the same purpose.

Kayla said...

I also agree that it will be a long time before the mp3 player becomes obsolete. I have a Sony Ericsson slider phone and it has the capabilities to function as a radio or an mp3 player, though I don't really use those features. It runs out of power after a few days just because of how much I talk and text. I don't need to run down the battery even more by listening to music when I have an iPod. I don't have to worry about my phone or iPod dying if I just use both.