A fundamental variable that has become obvious through this project is how we use not just our phones, but our desktops and laptops. With the line between the devices becoming so blurred by phones’ rapid enhancement and devices like netbooks and UMPCs, there still remains a fairly concrete factor in each device. Do you use the device to create content or only consume it? Would you write a novel with a given device, or only read one? Could you mix and produce audio tracks on the device, or only queue up your favorite playlist?
While usage behavior would likely vary wildly for each individual, there is likely a distinct line that defines what we would do with our phones. What then, are the variables that make this distinction? How big the qwerty keys are? Size of the screen? CPU power? Is this usage barrier even superable with today’s technology? To partly answer, let’s look at where the barrier is already crumbling.
In the beginning, camera phones accomplished little more than data capture; at best they showed that some person was somewhere at some time. Creating genuinely valuable content was just not possible with only 1.3 megapixels. Fast forward and we get the Sony Ericsson Idou, its 12.1 megapixel camera might not suffice for the presidential portrait, but it’s good enough for an upside-down friend, a keg and three ‘supportive’ frat brothers. Throw in very basic image adjustments like PhotoGene and you have everything a non-professional photographer would ever need out of a camera.
What other fields are ripe for the picking? How can our phones adapt and grow from mere consumption to actual creation? What tools that we now use for data capture (notepads, voice recording, etc) could be evolved into true data creation? Remember, think in physical terms and sound off below.