At some point in the near future, the term mobile "phone" will be too limiting to describe what we’ll be carrying around in our pockets.
Take the iPhone (or any smartphone) as an example. Currently there are 8GB and 16GB versions available, but at the rate memory is increasing and coming down in price, soon we’ll be getting 32GB, 64GB and 128GB versions in the next few years (or months?). What will it mean to carry that much capacity on a mobile phone.
All my music files are about 50GB, all my photos 30GB, my email 5GB, and another couple for all the movies files shot on my camera. That means I can be carrying all my digital possessions with me on my phone. The term "phone" refers to a communication device. With high-quality camera and movie capture capabilities along with massive storage, it is something more that a mere phone. At this point it become a life caching device.
Nokia and Samsung have already been busy exploring this concept, however they are still in very early stages of development. I always thought that Cyworld needs to move in this direction in order for it to remain relevant – i.e. provide a life-caching service closely coupled with mobile service, but I digress.
For a life caching mobile device/phone to be useful/usable, it needs to address some pretty fundamental challenges:
- Powerful Search When you have so much stuff on such a small device you need something more close to Apple OS X’s Spotlight to find the stuff you are looking for.
- Rapid Browsing Browsing photos on a traditional cell phone is pretty painful with the key-mapped interface. Touch interfaces (à la iPhone) with flicking provide faster access and browsing experience to photos, music, movies, email and message lists.
- Logical Cross-Referecing It’s still a communications device after all, and it makes sense to be able to access content via people. When you find a person in your address book, you should be able to view all the content related to that person.
- Easy Backup Heaven knows what will happen if (or is it a matter of when) you lose you life-cached possessions stored on your device.
- QWERTY Keypad You’ll need to do a lot of typing to tag all the content coming into your device and well as for posting and sharing your content with others.
- Web-PC-Device interoperability Your portable device is good for capturing precious moments, communicating and transporting content, but for sharing the web is still king. As for editing all the movies and photos, and backing up, the PC is still your best bet. Each device has its merits and content should be easily transferable between platforms.