Friday, February 03, 2006

Ubiquitous Computing Grudge Match - Round 1 - Ubergadget vs Kinderlappy

Imagine, as in the "old days" of the Internet when the "Grudge Match" (which my brother put in a fair share of very witty contributions - but they didn't make the book) was like Strongbad of last year - Doh! It seems that the email for this week has this very fight as well!. Ok, back to what I was yacking about. Technology Review has a little writeup that compares what the feasibility of the two technologies could be. In a nutshell, they compare the ubiquity of the cell phone (especially with MS wanting to put ports of keyboards and displays on) to the flexibility of a laptop as an individual device. This is contrasted with the support there is for the cell phone infrastructure and the culture that surrounds a cell even in developing countries. But all that support is all for not if the phone doesn't have a network. That is where a non connected lappy is a far better tool, and once connected, it allows for much more than retrieval and superficial management of material that the majority of cell phones are capable of. Though I am currently enamoured with my new toy, I know that if I had to tap out this blog posting, I'd want to cut my thumb off by the end, and if not my thumb, my wrist would certainly be begging for a break. For me, simple ergonomics is one reason a laptop is better than a cell for ubiquitous computing projects. PDAs are a good compromise, as are phones with the fold/flip/slide out keyboards, but these are still small, and without a network are limited to BT/IR communication with other phones - until wifi in a phone is popular, but I don't see that any time soon as VOIP would almost certainly cut into the service provider's bottom line. So what is the outcome of this first round? After all the jawing that has been going on in the past year, this first round is a draw I'd say - with both fighters just testing each other out. Technorati Tags: , , , ,