Friday, January 18, 2008
The first feature that was widely integrated with digital mobile phones was a simple address book that could be used to keep track of contact information. Naturally it didn't take long to figure out ways to download contact information from a computer to a phone, and once computers and mobile phones started talking to each other the field was wide open for other digital gadgets to be integrated with phones.
One of the first gadgets to be slapped onto a mobile phone was a digital camera. Early versions of mobile phones with built in digital cameras were only capable of taking fairly low resolution picture, but they were enough for snapshots. These pictures could be displayed on the phone's LCD screen (which they had had for years at that point), and uploaded to a computer.
About the same time manufacturers were putting digital cameras in mobile phones, they were also starting to give mobile phones access to the Internet. The web browsers that were built into these phones were obviously very rudimentary, but they were able to supply some information to their users and also allow their users to access email. Of course, it also didn't take much for these gadgets to be able to upload their digital photos to the Internet either! Plus, mobile phones added text messaging.
Now any normal mobile phone is capable of performing all of the functions mentioned above, but many manufacturers felt that they could do even better than that. That's how the smart phone was born. Smart phones are gadgets that are somewhere between a normal digital mobile phone and a palm top computer. The Blackberry was one of the first popular smart phones and still has a loyal following. The Blackberry is capable of taking pictures, texting, typing emails, viewing and even some editing of office documents, and even taking and placing phone calls. The Blackberry even comes with a dumbed down Windows operating system.
The current crop of smart phone type gadgets also includes the Ocean, the Treo, and of course the revered iPhone from Apple. At some point these ingenious gadgets promise to make stand alone gadgets like palm top computers, digital cameras, and normal mobile phones extinct. Until then, we can expect even more interesting developments from the quickly advancing field of technology.