During the 1980s, Motorola introduced the world to the first cell phone available to the average Joe. Granted, it was not the most efficient device, but it was revolutionary! People back then were so impressed by this newly available technology that they didn’t mind the brick-sized devices. Today is a whole different story. We not only care but are adamant about the size, the color, the operating system, the manufacturer, and if it’s touch screen or not… how did we get here?
Initially, cell phones were only used to make calls. Their brief and main purpose in our life was to get two people communicating verbally – that’s it. Gradually, features such as voicemail and texting became standard and the evolution of dumb phones to smart phones began. Nowadays you can have a video camera, GPS, web-browser, wallet, guitar tuner, compass, voice recorder, music player, calculator, barcode scanner, email system, (and the list goes on and on) on your phone; hence the term “Mobile Device.”
Now that we have mobile devices our lives are completely different. We can do almost anything “on the go.” Jenna Wortham – an author for The New York Times – says, “Although almost 90 percent of households in the United States now have a cellphone, the growth in voice minutes used by consumers has stagnated.” This interesting statistic points to the fact that cell phones are now being used more for data than for actual phone calls, which was their existential purpose to begin with! Also, this transition is highlighted by cell phone manufacturer’s decisions to replace full body keyboards with new pop-up touch screen ones that are used only if needed.
So what can we expect from the future? As the next generations grab hold of this technology and become evermore dependent on these types of devices, we can expect to see some pretty interesting developments in the mobile device world. Futuristically, our mobile devices could be our one and only way of accessing our cars, homes, or even school. What the future holds is very exciting and at this point, somewhat unpredictable. Sure, cell phones will get slimmer, lighter, and faster but other than the aesthetic upgrades, mobile devices will do more in general. Our lives will be even more “mobile” as time goes on but we shall see what the future has in store!