This is definitely not the appropriate set of new features that we need at the Bottom of the Pyramid in emerging Asia and elsewhere. Voice commands, greater convenience in reading/viewing, more location-sensitivity, etc. would be among mine. Of course we could also consider what the surveys say about flashlights and radios. But the most important thing is the discussion. And that can start with this list put up by the New York Times’ lead blogger on tech stuff. Comment on their website and paste to ours.
- Mobile Video Conferencing
I’m still waiting for a little camera to appear on the front of my mobile phone so I can video chat while I’m on the go. Some mobile phone companies, specifically Nokia, have tried this in the past. However, it worked on a very small scale and only allowed Nokia-specific phone chats. For this to work correctly, mobile handset makers will need to allow video chats with computer users and across mobile handsets.
- Biometric Sensors
Some of the current biometric sensors used by high-level security companies could easily fit into your mobile phone and add a needed level of security. Adding iris scanning biometrics, for example, could enable higher protection when making purchases on mobile phones and would eliminate the need for current password authentication. It would also deter theft of mobile devices.
- Common Awareness Between Devices
Why can’t my phone talk to my computer and share information, including documents I’m reading? Why can’t I start watching a baseball game on my television and then finish it on my phone while I sit on the subway? Some of these features are available with a U.S.B. cable and a lot of dragging, dropping and waiting, but so far, devices can’t talk to one another and seamlessly share content.
- Green Battery Power
We’ve come a long way from cellphone battery packs that were as large and heavy as a phone book, but why not add some green to the current batteries? Apple filed a patent two years ago for technology that would integrate a solar cell into the iPhone’s LCD display, allowing the phone to charge when sitting in direct light. This feature would be environmentally friendly, and could avoid cumbersome plugs and a constant need to recharge. (In his article, Mr. Vance noted that NTT DoCoMo showed off a solar-panel phone at the Mobile World Congress.)
- The End of Wires
Speaking of self-charging devices, as many of us spend most of our online time in the cloud, why do we still need U.S.B. cables and headphone jacks? I wish that mobile phones could simple share all of our information, including videos, music and documents, wirelessly over Wi-Fi or 3G.
- Mobile Projectors
Over the last couple of years, a few phones have entered the marketplace, specifically in China, that include a pico projector. The technology is still in an early stage, but these projectors are extremely small and enable projection of movies, photos and presentations directly from a mobile phone.