Saturday, February 18, 2006

The Future will be Mobile

This week I was at the 3GSM world congress in Barcelona, one among more than 50,000 participants. This is to say that it was, by any standart, a huge event. No wire and big business.
Beside all the new 3G handsets, MP3 and TV devices, nVidia was demonstrating its GoForce 5500 processor chip adding 3D graphics, image and sound processing to mobile phones. The prototype demo was showing a 3D avatar designed in OpenGL by the Go!Figure Mobile compagny. NEC was presenting its personal robot called PaPeRo. This small robot has a built-in mobile phone. NEC is looking for new applications as part of children's groups at daycare centers and kindergartens.
When a parent calls PaPeRo, it locates the child using facial recognition and starts playing with him or her. The parent can then watch his child via the cameras in PaPeRo's eyes and the TV conferencing feature of the mobile phone. I'm not sure that this is the "killer app" for a 10,000$ robot, but who knows...
Sometimes ago, someone argued me that all these digital screens will make people alone and fixed at home. I rather think that people will continue to move, but with their screens, everywhere. Most people would rather leave home without their wallet than their own personalized mobile phone. There are roughly two billion of mobile phone users around the world. 3G is now ready and the next generation (4G) will be available near 2010. We are on the road towards the infosphere...

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