This year’s CES 2017 has been all about the Connected Future of Technology which left me kind of perplexed about mysterious ways of tech community relentless in pursuit of connected kettles and toasters yet totally oblivious to the elephant in the room. This elephant is smartphone as a replacement of laptops and desktops.
Smartphones are around for some time, about 8 years, long enough to shape a generation that perceives it as a major personal computing device. Yet, surprisingly some things do not change, despite all advancements in cloud, wireless, IoT. Today’s smartphone is a sufficiently powerful computing device that can replace desktop/laptop practically in all workplace tasks. Yet it lacks connectivity with all peripherals that make this replacement possible:
- external hard drives with wifi/Bluetooth are still rare/clunky/expensive;
- no efficient connectivity solutions for external screen/TV streaming;
- no connectivity solutions for keyboard/mouse, still necessary for most office tasks;
- cloud storage still can’t be used as a local hard drive in SOHO applications because standard ISP packages are asymmetric (slow on upstream side, 5℅-15% of download rate).
What is the most surprising that these issues are basic, essential, omnipresent concerns of the huge market, technologies are already there – yet no Steve Jobs with us to complete seamless integration.
This contradiction annoys me on a personal level. Computing power of my smartphone is sufficient for all my computing tasks, mostly comprising Excel spreadsheets, Powerpoint presentations, Word reports and photo management. Still I need bulky desktop and laptop as interfaces between hard drive and cloud, large screen, mouse and keyboard to work efficiently on multiple documents. So far the only solution I have found is some Andromium project on Kickstarter. And even this, still unrealized, Andromium solution chases the wired past in the wireless age.