Big Phone, Shoe Phone, Smartphone, New Phone

Mobile phones have certainly come a long way. Remember the halcyon days of the 1980s, when you could feel like Michael Douglas in Wall Street, provided you had the upper body strength to lift the thing to your ear? Or how about back in ’65 when Don Adams introduced the world to the first combination footwear and “Smart” phone? (sorry, terrible pun).

Gordon Gekko and Maxwell Smart could certainly both take care of business (in their own inimitable ways). Today, though, you can take care of a lot more business on mobile devices that fit in the palm of your hand. For business, the focus today is cloud computing, mobile IT and social networking. Today’s smartphones enable all of that. So it’s a good idea for corporate IT to keep an eye on the latest and greatest mobile devices coming our way. Ginny Mies at CIO.com recently took a look at the possible future smartphones. It is definitely worth a read.

Developers, as Mies dutifully points out, are working all the time on the Next Big Thing in mobile computing. The next iPhone or Droid is being sketched out on a napkin somewhere. “Smartphones have gone from portable messaging and email devices to streaming-video machines that surf the Web at blazing speed and have cameras that rival point-and-shoots (and they also happen to make calls),” Mies writes.

Some of the highlights:

  • The Nokia Morph, a concept device that showcases the collaboration between the Nokia Research Center and the Cambridge Nanoscience Centre. The Morph uses nanotechnology to create a flexible, malleable electronic device. The Morph is constructed from fibril proteins that are woven into three-dimensional mesh, allowing the whole phone — screen included — to move and bend.
  • Google’s Ice Cream Sandwich update could be a game-changer. The company has big plans to make near field communication ( NFC) even more useful in its next major Android update. One of Google’s goals with the update is to enable so-called “0-click interaction.” Imagine setting up peer-to-peer connections via NFC simply by putting two phones back to back.
  • Qualcomm’s 2.5GHz quad-core smartphone processors could ship to manufacturers as early as next year. According to Qualcomm, these quad-core systems on a chip will feature Wi-Fi, GPS, Bluetooth, and FM radio; support NFC and stereoscopic 3D video/photo (capture and playback); and support LTE networks. If we’ll be seeing the first devices with these chipsets in just a year, how powerful will such phones be in five years?

And this is to say nothing about the move to augmented reality via mobile devices. Very cool, indeed (and potentially a bit scary at the same time).

Of course, the underlying issue remains how you make today’s (and tomorrow’s) cutting-edge mobile capabilities work for business. Appian is blazing the trail in mobile BPM, with native apps on all popular mobile device platforms. We’re always on the lookout to integrate the latest mobile capabilities, so you can make enterprise mobility work for your organization.

-Ben Farrell, Director, Corporate Communications