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What needs haven't been met by mobile technology? Answered

What needs haven't been met by mobile technology?

This is the fifth of five questions from the FM:Tech Battle Royale moderated by Ask a Ninja. Help me answer. Disclosure: The FM site is sponsored by Toshiba who is also an advertiser on Instructables.

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I want a phone that can GET TAXIS TO HURRY UP!!! IM IN THE RAIN HERE! DONT YOU THINK I MIGHT BE GETTING JUST A LITTLE BIT WET, IT IS POURING DOWN AND I DONT NEED TO BE COLD, WET AND WAIT AN HOUR FOR YOUR CREEKY, OLD, CHEAPO, SECOND HAND CAR ON TOP WHEN IT SHOULD HAVE BEEN A 10 MINUTE JOURNEY TO GET HERE!!! DO I?

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rabb72994
rabb72994

Reply 9 years ago

Now I get the screen name.

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ewilhelm
ewilhelm

13 years ago

This question is now live. Here's my answer: Large-scale distributed sensors – particularly for things like weather and traffic. Nearly everyone carries a phone that if it isn’t already GPS-enabled, can approximate its location via tower communication. Why can’t I opt to have data automatically collected by my phone used anonymously to give better weather forecasts or traffic conditions? Beyond the practical, economically useful, and potentially lifesaving benefits of this type of data, it would really help me to know when there’s enough wind at the beach to go kitesurfing and not much traffic in the way.

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VIRON
VIRON

13 years ago

I see the cell phone as infra-inferior to the following "paradigm":

-A wifi-enabled PDA running skype or another VOIP client...
-Being able to choose between regular phone numbers and
internet addresses such as VIRON.ISP.MOBI or @VIRON(avatar).
-Using IRC as free sms or texting...
-Using Automatic morse code as long distance emergency texting
-A mini script shell for adding unique personal features
(oops I forgot my alarm clock...
IF time=0800 THEN PLAY my_favorite_loud_song)
-NO TRICKY BILLING PLANS,
except if you want to buy music files or watch pay-per-view video.
(in which case there'd be a DVI jack so you get what you pay for!)
-Make your own ringtones with "Audacity" or "sound recorder".
-My favorite... if it has a broadcast tuner, then it has a REAL CB too.
and may optionally add webcam video to the free CB.
(using Baird, QAM, IBOC, NBTV, MP4 or whatever is convenient.)
See my SOS comment. The CB is simple analog in case of net failure.

Beam me up, Scotty!
Public domain equivalent rights reserved. (Let's all Make this!)

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gyromild
gyromild

13 years ago

I want P2P phone call capabilities..If the phone that I'm calling is close enough, my mobile switch to direct phone-to-phone connection bypassing my service provider. Makes short distance phone calls (within the same building, same street, same neighborhood,etc) much more practical. I know we have the technology for that.. Is it just the greed of the mobile industry, or there are other issues that I'm not aware of that make such idea inapplicable..?

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gyromild
gyromild

Reply 13 years ago

I'm thinking of something along the line of seamless hybrid of cellphone + walkie-talkie. Dial another phone as usual and have direct UHF/VHF full duplex communication with it (if its within the radius). Utilize the GSM network only if I'm calling a number beyond the reach of my UHF/VHF signal. Basically, I dont want to pay a single penny if the cell I'm calling is 1-3km from where I am. Of course this just a half-baked idea, as there are lots of red-tape involve here..

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VIRON
VIRON

Reply 13 years ago

You could use red tape to stick a cheap CB to your cell phone. :) BUT ... in some places it's illegal to telephone while driving but CB is Ok.

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gyromild
gyromild

Reply 13 years ago

Hmm..wonder if Nokia, Motorola etc thought of similar approach when they're designing the cameraphone. Just duct tape em.. :)

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VIRON
VIRON

Reply 13 years ago

Well, he could also design a new case and put the radio AND the phone in it. The radio is independent of the phone. The camera is "integrated", which means it requires the other electronics in the phone. Wait! It would also work if you attached a small digital camera to the back of a phone. And then you couldn't get billed for taking pictures with it.

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CameronSS
CameronSS

Reply 13 years ago

That would also be useful in a place like the Great Plains (western Kansas/eastern Colorado) where you might have two-hour blocks between service. For example, if you had two vehicles going to the same destination, you could contact one another without cell service.

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Ora
Ora

Reply 13 years ago

I know this is not the same thing, but I read somewhere(I think in Popsci) that there is a new phone that switches over to using a wifi hotspot when in range, and using it like a VoiP phone.

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LasVegas
LasVegas

Reply 13 years ago

I have a friend that has a phone that works this way. It uses a GPS chip and VOIP so that when he's within distance of the base station it works through his home system.

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trebuchet03
trebuchet03

13 years ago

Personally, I'm more than happy with a simple, robust design.

Things I don't want.
  • Camera
  • Video
  • IM
  • Internet Access
  • etc.

Here is a short list of things I do want
  • Phone
  • Calculator
  • Clock
  • Phone Book

I don't know if anyone shares that opinion... But if a phone company put out a very simple phone that could be used with major phone plans (other than prepaid) - I'd be all over that. Mobile phone service life is too short in my opinion....
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its a lion
its a lion

Reply 13 years ago

i agree. for the most part when you try to shove all of that stuff in you end up with alot of things that do not work well instead of a single thing that does its job perfectly. i have a camera for pictures, a computer for im and internet, and i really dont want to use a crappy phone camera for video. see concert videos on youtube for my reasoning behind no video.

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Punkguyta
Punkguyta

Reply 13 years ago

I have a old motorola that doesn't even have a calculator, yet it's actually not that old. But gets about 3-4 more bars where my v220 would get 2, maybe one? I just got a replacement for the v220 because it busted, the new one came in the mail, and the old phone, well it started working again. The new one is one of those shit motorola v360's. Don't touch it with a 10 foot pole, worse signal than any phone I've ever seen, might try putting some tinfoil around my head and that might help? So I take it owning a iphone would drive you nutty? (Screaming child) "LOOOK IT GOES ON THE NETS AND PLAYS MOVIES WIDRESCREEN AND IT MAKES CLICKY SOUNDS AND LOOKS COOL, PLEASE MOOMMMY GET ONE!!!".....sums up iphones and I don't dare want to catch someone making any iphone comment. I'm done, -Punk

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whatsisface
whatsisface

Reply 13 years ago

There was a phone released in the UK called the Vodaphone Simply. All it does it phone calls, sends/receives texts, clock, calculator and has a phone book. Didn't sell well incidentally, but i can see where you're coming from. If I want a wireless Internet browser, I'll buy a PSP (Which i do and have). If i want a camera, I'll go and buy a camera. That seems more logical.

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NachoMahma
NachoMahma

Reply 13 years ago

. I could do without the calculator. And I wear a wrist watch that keeps good time. At my age, a phone book is VERY nice - white/yellow page integration would be even nicer - but I'd be happy if they just had bigger numbers. :)

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CameronSS
CameronSS

13 years ago

Let's see, I don't own a cell phone, but if I did, here's what I would want. First, I would want to have a folding screen of some sort. Large displays are nice, but then they don't fit in a pocket. Having a small rear projector, or a flexible screen seems like a way to get a large display from a small package. Second, a better power source. Batteries are fine and dandy, but if a phone could have a flip-out thin solar array that could trickle-charge a dead phone, or have a kinetic charger like in watches, it could allow you to get enough power to make a call if you left the phone on for two days and got stuck in the middle of nowhere.

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ll.13
ll.13

Reply 13 years ago

yes, I'll second that, I don't own one, but seeing that these phone companies advertise the phones on the fact of access to e-bay and youtube... I can't help thinking how are you meant to see a youtube video on a tiny screen?

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ll.13
ll.13

Reply 13 years ago

Oh, and there's one thing that a mobile can't do: make a cup of tea. (:

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VIRON
VIRON

13 years ago

By mobile tech I assume you mean digital stuff. My answer is... "SOS". Remember an episode of Gilligan's Island where they found a transoceanic telephone cable and made a phone out of coconuts? Oops. Not relevant. But was once possible. Suppose you're stuck on a desert island (or New Orleans) and all the cell sites are out. You CAN'T spark around in the phone and hack up a spark transmitter on the distress frequency and call SOS. I recommend everyone get a CB for emergency comm backup. Bonus... Unlimited free WIRELESS minutes all the time! Easy, No frills, no bills, no fast talking fineprinted plan salesmen.

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zachninme
zachninme

13 years ago

I'd say decent internet speeds/universal WiFi. Also, mobile things, in general, are too "closed".

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LasVegas
LasVegas

13 years ago

Reasonable quality video conferencing would be nice...