1. OurJud

    OurJud Contributor Contributor

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    The future of mobile communication?

    Discussion in 'Research' started by OurJud, Oct 23, 2017.

    I'm asking this out of sheer curiosity (and because opinions may be useful given that I mostly write in the sci-fi/speculative fiction genre) but where do you think mobile communication is heading?

    Mobile/cell phones. We started out in the early 90s with bricks, which were steadily reduced in size over the next ten years until we ended up with handsets not much bigger than a matchbox. And then Smartphones arrived and the industry decided to go backwards in terms of size, and now we're back to bricks... very flat bricks, but still bricks.

    All this makes me wonder where we'll be in 30-40 years from now. There's certainly no indication phones are going to start getting smaller again, but a future society where people are still walking around the streets staring at some form of communication screen seems unlikely to me (or maybe truer to say not as exciting). But what is the alternative? The remake of Total Recall suggested phones will be implanted in the palms of our hand, but to access the visual aspects of this device requires the user to find a flat plane of glass to press their hand against (not really practical, I think you'll agree).

    I suppose, thinking logically, you could argue the device itself can't really go anywhere in terms of design and how it's used, but functionality and capabilities most certainly can.
     
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2017
  2. big soft moose

    big soft moose The Moderating Moose Staff Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

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    Neural implant so you can dial and talk with just your brain - technological telepathy ;)
     
  3. Skibbs

    Skibbs Member

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    For the record, I don't own a mobile phone. However, with the development (and, as far as I know, the continued development) last year of the so-called 'Google Glasses', which allowed the wearer to "watch" the internet, thus reducing the small amount of exercise already carried out while typing - and the introduction of "VR", I would say that our society will soon be visualising what they learn. This, quite frankly, scares me. We're already having to install traffic lights on the bottom of the road as the smartphone-zombies (no offence to them) are crossing during green lights, so what's going to happen when we're walking down the street wearing technological glasses - and having to cross the roads with these on?

    Then again, I am sometimes curious on whether the other three senses that are not used in phones will soon be introduced to them. In a few decades, will we be able to smell whatever we're watching or place our hands into our "Google Glasses" so that we can feel whatever we are watching? This is something I feel should be outlawed and banished from society - as it's not just making us stay at home (what will be the point of going to a country when you can feel it through glasses) but it's also making our already shortened language diminish even more, as slang is taking a foothold in how we speak to one another across the internet.

    Overall, I dread the future of technology, especially when it comes to language. We're reading more literature on the internet than a good, old hardback book. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that the next generation will take a disliking to technology - and we'll go back to books.

    A bit off-topic, but I prefer the first to the second one, does anyone else?
     
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  4. The Dapper Hooligan

    The Dapper Hooligan (V) ( ;,,;) (v) Contributor

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    The center of the Earth anti-gravity thing kind of annoyed me, but it was what it was.

    My own honest opinion as to mobile technology is that it will continue to get more powerful and more compact, but it's really doubtful that we'll see it as often as we do today. We've got a pretty heavy prevalence of mobile electronics because we're pretty much at peak production for a lot of things. When we start running into shortages of things like rare metals, petroleum and helium of all things, then electronics like we see today are going to be pretty much reserved for the Military and the 10 percent. Not to say the public won't have access to some sort of electronics, but it'd more likely be on the level of what you'd find in the 70's and 80's. Less flashy computers with components made of more readily available materials with some modern refinements.
     
  5. Megs33

    Megs33 Active Member

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    I've been hearing from a lot of friends (all around my age of early-30-something) who are freaked out by how easily we've fallen down the rabbit hole of technology. There are teenagers and college kids with their noses in phones everywhere we go, and more than one friend has commented that they'd almost prefer going back to a flip-phone, particularly with how stupidly expensive it is to own a new smart phone now. The financial and social costs are becoming too much.

    In my head I'm seeing a divide starting: the ones who are totally immersed in their technology and those of us who are starting to go a bit more of a minimalist route (eff this noise, let's go camping). We're all about to start raising children, which means we're going to see two very different ways of being raised. I won't be surprised at all if many of the next generation of kids are told they can't have a cell phone until high school, but many will have a phone in their hands before a sippy cup.

    Then we'll have the current batch of young'ns who are all entrenched in the new community within snapchat and twitter and instagram, and they're almost going to be apart of a completely different world from the rest of us who back away. i was listening to a friend talk about her daughters (who are amazing), and how they are all determined to keep their "streaks" going in snapchat. apparently this is a thing: your goal is to extend a snapchat streak between you and a friend for as long as possible. and then my summer camp wonders why it's so hard to get campers to put their phones down for a week.

    if we're talking 30-40 years from now... i think that the implanted phone had better be pretty damn cool and offer some serious benefits. otherwise my generation of old farts are going to get suuuuper freaked out and start reminiscing about the good old days when you could hold an iphone in your hand. i don't know if society would jump on the bandwagon that quickly. maybe we'd see the beginnings of it. maybe a dude will get an implanted phone and we'll all see it on the news and talk about how nuts it is, but i think it'll be another 40-50 years before it's something mainstream. unless they figure out how to make it as innocuous as getting a flu shot, anyways.
     
  6. OurJud

    OurJud Contributor Contributor

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    The remake of Total Recall.
    Most fans of the original would, I assume, prefer it to the remake. It's also the 'norm' to hate on remakes, but I think it's excellent. It maybe doesn't have the same charm and nostalgia attached, but the special effects in the remake (which still hold up today) make it a much more believable world.
     
  7. OurJud

    OurJud Contributor Contributor

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    If you're using the word compact loosely, to mean smaller, then I have to say it isn't. Phones are getting bigger.
     
  8. Skibbs

    Skibbs Member

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    Well, we can only hope - can't we?

    Yeah, I feel the same way to be frank. I have old-fashioned parents, and my first ever phone was a Nokia Brick. Even then, I was only bought that when I joined secondary school. To be frank, I think everyone has gone a bit overboard with phones. At the end of the day, they have one sole purpose - to phone. If it wasn't for the new pound coin (telephone booths don't accept them, so most have be decommissioned) I would happily go without a phone, which I do anyway, as the modern phones seem to fill themselves up with useless applications.

    As for social media - I still see that sort of divide. I mean, this writing forum is a form of social media, but one which is actually targeted at a polite audience, and this forum has a point: Writing. Overall, I honestly hope that there are more children being brought up to use flip-phones for their actual purpose than being brought up to use social media in such a pointless way.
     
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  9. The Dapper Hooligan

    The Dapper Hooligan (V) ( ;,,;) (v) Contributor

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    Yeah, but the technology and components inside are getting smaller. Phones now may be physically larger than they were 10 years ago, but they've also got thousands of times the memory, WiFi, Bluetooth, AMOLED screens, etc. Most phones and tablets are faster, have more memory, and more features than my desktop did 10 years ago, but now the size of a svelte brick instead of a mini fridge. So, yeah, still more compact, at least by function, anyway.
     
  10. Skibbs

    Skibbs Member

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    To be frank, I see it that the phone companies don't want to make the phones and inch by eight inches - so the elongate it so it's a sixteenth of an inch by about ten inches. Again, is the introduction of WiFi, Bluetooth and whatever an AMOLED screen (you'll have to explain that one to me, I'm afraid) is a good thing? I see it as being a distraction from day-to-day activities, as one surely must spend more time observing these things than doing worthwhile things.
     
  11. newjerseyrunner

    newjerseyrunner Contributor Contributor

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    Implants are a sci-fi trope that I absolutely hate. Nobody is going to get an implant that they have to upgrade every couple of years. What's more likely is non-invasive sensors.

    I imagine something like a baseball cap or even just special glasses that have sensitive EM sensors. It'll use neural network-based machine learning technology in order to learn to read your mind and translate it into text. You'll still likely speak when doing telephony, but text messages will likely be telepathic through such technology. I also imagine that Augmented or Virtual reality will become far far more important.

    I expect that your "Facebook page" of the future will be more like a digital avatar/house in a digital world. Ever read the story Ready Player One? Something like that.

    Why? Do you envision a different financial/political system in such short periods of time? As materials get scarce, they get expensive and the military is tax-funded. Our military is already on an unsustainable financial path, trying to horde expensive stuff would only make that worse. If the US government decides to try to enforce that, it would force all private companies that sell those things out of business because they'd be unable to compete with Chinese and Russian companies that offer the same raw materials.

    Also, why do you need any of those things? Silicon is the primary element used in computers, it's also the most abundant element in the Earth's crust.

    The future is software, not hardware. Hardware will get faster, more compact, and use less power, but ultimately, AI will be the driving force very shortly. Think about the difference in computer power and software from 1985 to now. Now try to imagine the same level of progression, but where the starting point is Siri.
     
  12. The Dapper Hooligan

    The Dapper Hooligan (V) ( ;,,;) (v) Contributor

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    Silicon is the primary element used in computers, but it's not the only one. You need rare elements to produce the actual working components of a silicon chip, you need petroleum to produce the plastics that are practically anywhere in a computer, and helium is used in a surprising amount of situations. It's an exceptional coolant for the magnets used to produce superconductors and is featured heavily in the production of led and plasma screens. When we run out of helium, we won't even be able to use MRI machines that run on our current technology. Not only that, but the world supply of hafnium, a rare element used in microprocessors, is gauged to last 10 years at todays production rate. So unless we figure out some new ways to make computers between now and then, we may be fairly screwed on that front.
     
  13. archer88i

    archer88i Banned Contributor

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    An episode of Futurama (from before the release of the iPhone) may be instructive here. In this episode (I forget which), there is a sequence lampooning the progression of phones toward smaller and smaller devices. Amy has a phone so small that it can barely be operated with human fingers. An entertaining contrast is provided by the obnoxious docking station required to charge it, amusingly labeled a "cell-mate."

    ...Phones have since gone from "tiny" to "barely fits in my pocket."

    I doubt anyone can reasonably predict what changes in technology will occasion further developments in communications gadgetry. My best guess is that "the gadget" will disappear entirely as a discrete device, instead becoming integrated into the whole that is the cybernetic human of the future. This is assuming that my other prediction (that we will soon enter a second Dark Age) does not come to pass first.
     
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  14. newjerseyrunner

    newjerseyrunner Contributor Contributor

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    Lord help the future of porn.
     
  15. OurJud

    OurJud Contributor Contributor

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    Well so far this thread has told me that everyone's view on this subject is different, and some of you have very weird and bizarre imaginations o_O
     
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  16. The Dapper Hooligan

    The Dapper Hooligan (V) ( ;,,;) (v) Contributor

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    This was already a thing back in the '60s. It was called either Smell-o-Vision, or Aromascope depending on how it worked.
     
  17. Skibbs

    Skibbs Member

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    I suppose this is due to how we've all been brought up. I've been brought up by old-fashioned parents, and as a result I flatly refuse any technology. If I was offered a choice between a spell-checking laptop that automatically saves and a typewriter - where, as I'm sure many people know, if you make a mistake you have to rewrite the whole page - I would take the typewriter.

    I suppose that many people grow up immersed in technology, but I really don't see the comparison between sitting on a phone typing all day and climbing a tree. A tree would win any day.:D
     
  18. ChickenFreak

    ChickenFreak Contributor Contributor

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    Projection. You wear a tiny, tiny device that projects a display in front of you, mostly transparent when you're on the move, and more immersive when you're not. There will be government regulations aimed at making too-distracting interfaces while in motion illegal, and people disabling the motion sensor so that they can play World of Warcraft while they jog. People jogging full-tilt into obstructions and down into holes will be a much more common Emergency Room event.

    It senses the position of your hands, so you manipulate it with gestures. If you enjoy "retro" mode, you sit down and it projects a screen in front of you and a keyboard on your desk and maybe even a little cellphone next to the keyboard. So all those people in the airplane are still typing away, but they look like they're typing on thin air.
     
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  19. OurJud

    OurJud Contributor Contributor

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    Seriously?? You'd really rather go through the torture of typing out a whole novel on a typewriter, and then have to pencil in all the edits and SPAG marks before typing out the whole thing again? May I ask, assuming you're currently writing creatively, what are you using to do so?

    Quite frankly it staggers me that novels ever got written before computers came along.

    @ChickenFreak - I really like your thinking here. Very plausible and logical in terms of progressive tech.
     
  20. archer88i

    archer88i Banned Contributor

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    You know, you do have the choice. They totally sell typewriters. Do you actually write on one? :)
     
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  21. The Dapper Hooligan

    The Dapper Hooligan (V) ( ;,,;) (v) Contributor

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    This is actually pretty great for getting first drafts done. Eventually you just get to a 'just f*** it' mentality with mistakes and typos and you stop obsessing over the little things and start working on the big things and save all the piddling little details for your second draft which is mostly you putting your typed pages onto your computer. And, yes, I know you can have a 'just f*** it' mentality on a computer, too, but it's a lot harder with backspace, copy and paste, and those stupid squiggly red lines sitting there mocking me.
     
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  22. archer88i

    archer88i Banned Contributor

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    I have found I don't have that problem when using a plain text editor instead of Word.
     
  23. The Dapper Hooligan

    The Dapper Hooligan (V) ( ;,,;) (v) Contributor

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    True, but it still doesn't have that 'tacka tacka tacka' sound that immediately inspires you to write about steely eyed detectives and long legged dames smoking exotic cigarettes, drinking room temperature scotch, and doing other nefarious deeds under the Santa Carla moonlight. The only friend they've got, a snub nosed .38 tucked into a shoulder holster under the jacket of a three-piece suit.

    Plus it works when the power is out.
     
  24. archer88i

    archer88i Banned Contributor

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    My old man had a Remington typewriter. I used to play with it when I was a kid. The last time I screwed around with it, I think I was... 15? 16? Those keys... The word brutal comes to mind. I average 100 wpm when I'm not thinking or scratching my chin so that I look like I'm thinking. I'd guess I'd be closer to 30 on that thing.
     
  25. The Dapper Hooligan

    The Dapper Hooligan (V) ( ;,,;) (v) Contributor

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    I've got an Underwood portable, and yeah, they're pretty brutal. They're not for the faint of heart or weak of finger, but when I'm drafting I'm usually the slowest part of my writing process, so the speed never really bothered me.
     

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