About a month ago a very nice chap from codeworks asked if I would be interested in writing an article for the journal about gadgets - and today that article has been published! You can find it in the business section today (5/7/2007) - or take a peek at it online here
Here is the article in full:
WHEN gadgets are integral to your life and all equally important, it’s never easy choosing which ones to carry with you. After all, there's only so much room in your pocket.
As an IT consultant, gadgets have always been essential to me – but these days there's only one that I actually use. My gadget of choice is the Windows Mobile Smartphone. It’s basically a Personal Digital Assistant (PDA), but one that does everything.
It has Sat-Nav, email facilities and reminds me of appointments. It’s my mp3 player, camera, games machine, I can watch films on it… and every so often I've even been known to use it to call people!
One of its best features is instant messaging. I am heavily involved in “Unified Messaging” (UM) – the incorporation of different kinds of messages into just one inbox, accessible by a variety of devices. In particular, I use “Presence”, which gives you the ability to see the status of colleagues and whether they're available to talk.
Having my phone Presence-enabled means no matter where I am I can be contacted, as calls are automatically redirected to me. The whole ethos behind the function is that people don't care whether you're on your mobile, office phone or email – they just want to get through to YOU.
There're only two real problems with my smartphone.
First, the user interface/experience is pretty cumbersome as a result of having all these devices rolled into one. You can't beat an iPod for simplicity, or the Tom Tom Sat-Nav for its big, easy-to-see screen.
The second problem is that all of these different uses really drain the battery, and often I get less than a day’s use out of it.
Running out of battery power has always been one of the most annoying things about mobile devices – they have a habit of doing so at the most inconvenient times.
Thankfully, wireless charging products are just around the corner. Apple's already patented a device that looks as though it will add this functionality to the iPod, and numerous start-ups companies are offering similar products (see http://tinyurl.com/2c4tle to find out more).
Hopefully there'll soon be some consistency among charging devices, because the last thing people want is one for each of their other mobile gadgets. Once this happens we should expect to see charging pads all places.
Within a few years, I predict a flat battery will be a thing of the past and your mobile phone to become the gadget of choice – encompassing every function you could ever need.
As soon as the resolution on my smartphone camera hits the five-megapixel mark I’ll ditch my camera, and this will be the only gadget I will ever carry. I'll just have to find something else to fill my pockets!