One of those panecas of technology is that device that simply lives forever. If you will, a device that starts with you when you are young, and through minor hardware, and sometimes major software updates, it basically stays with you for years – instead of that traditional 12-18 month cycle mobiles tend to go through.

I read one excellent post over at Talk.Maemo and it pointed me to this thinking that Nokia might be trying to do something on the lines of a Rosie (re: the Jetson’s robot) – a mobile device, empowered by services, enhanced by personal use and knowledge, connected to everyone, which lasts for a long, long time.

Now, if you’ve read that initial post at Talk.Maemo, here’s my resulting comment:

You all but say that we are moving to a point where the hardware doesn’t matter because the inertia from those interested in a community will be able to literally create environments where devices need to simply be seeded by a large co (Nokia, Google, etc.) but the watering happens externally. The hardware, when done right, is easily maintainable by users, and therefore grows along with the capability of the user. Nearly a cyborg (far end) but throwing away the idea of disposable hardware… in the big picture, its revolutionary on all kinds of scales, and you point to it much as Nokia has in many of its recent and conceptual videos.

Amazing isn’t it. Now peep this video which was published a few short weeks/months ago by Nokia:

Get it? Its not the hardware that needs to match you anymore, but the software that comes ready to live with you that’s the next step.

So how does this play out? Well, let’s say you have a device like the Nokia N900. You now know that Nokia and Intel have the MeeGo platform to which will be underpinning future devices, however, that is just the core of the plumbing. The key thing here is what will be connecting that plumbing to you and to the water system – namely Qt: an application tool set that can be utilized not only on Maemo/MeeGo, but also on Symbian, Windows, Linux, and tons of other places. It also allows the resources (data, connectivity, etc.) to be separated from the device, so that you can now have computing happen amongst other devices – think like the connected fridge.

But back to my main point: a device that lives with you.

Imaging never having to purchase another mobile device for a few years – think like you only purchase a car every 5-7 years. And like that car, you can do more than rims and tints (cases and themes), you can get into the CPU and turn your gas guzzler into a ultra-low-emissions vehicle. Image learning a bit more, and turning your mobile into something that’s as capable off-road as it is bagging the weekend groceries.

You see, the future of computing, at least how Nokia seems to be positioning themselves, is the mobile device as one of many devices, but connected to something bigger – connected to you and how you live. And as you grow/mature, it does as well (the Morph Concept shows this too).

Now, they are banking on the fact that you might learn to code a bit and create your own applications and services. And this is a logical thought given how education needs to change in light of the times we are in. And if it does change, this is what will happen. We will have multiple devices, or just one device, that morphs into what we need when we need it. It will be the quintessential toolset and tool box. And like Rosie, it will open doors to living that we only dreamed of.

These are amazing times, and to think, we’ve not even opened the bottle yet. The preparations are still being made for this to be.


9 thoughts on “Becoming the Jetsons

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  3. I really believe the manufacturing and distribution costs are rapidly heading for the point at which smartphones and mobile computers are commoditized to an extreme, which will validate your premise. Of all players, Nokia is best positioned to capitalize on this… something many industry analysts don’t appear to appreciate.

  4. Exactly; its almost so apparent that its missed. My questions about the approach sit on its implications for computing as we think we do it. I don’t know that people even see it, and when they do, it might shatter a few things.

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  8. Why I don’t think the mobile market will be commoditized any time soon:

    Manufacturers won’t be lazy to do the same thing that PC manufacturers did in their time. Commoditizing reduces your margins and equals you to everyone else (thus affecting customer “branding”).

    To be able to commoditize this market, I’d guess you need to power a company that only develops the OS. Apple would never do this, because they earn money with their different platform in a heterogeneous ecosystem.

    The only company to do this in a short time is Google. World domination, commoditized markets that give full access to their software business. However, they need the manufacturers, which takes us to the starting point.

    Nokia wouldn’t in a short time. In a long time, they may do this, but only to some extent. They are clearly putting a foot on the software world, which could help them avoid the plague of trying to push new hardware by avoing updates to older models.

    I feel this video is public relations BS. 😉

  9. Hehehe, aren’t most videos 😉 The point is to project and image, and get some kind of discussion going.

    I don’t know that Nokia and Apple will stay in hardware too long. Maybe they’ll keep some presence there, but I can see things becoming subscription and services based all over for both. Given the price of smartphones now (less than 200USD at retail for non-subsidized models), this might happen sooner; the key is making sure that the services pieces work very well as a replacement and enabler of more.

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