GLOCCOVNAA is an abbreviation for 'Great Life of Conflict, Climax or Virtually Nothing At All'. That was the long and ridiculous name I came out for my blog when I was 18 years old. Do click on the colourful icons on the right to check out different types of posts in this blog.

12 August, 2014

How smart are Smartphones? #2

If you have not read #1, click on this picture.
Let me sidetrack a little, I remember I was given my first cell phone when I was 15. It was a Sony Ericsson J300. I remember it had an awkward looking handle, huge speakers and came bundled together with a King Kong movie merchandise, a phone strap in the same box.
Back then everyone in school had a phone and I begged my parents for months to buy one for me too. Those who had Nokia phones bragged about their high score in Snake and other "cooler" kids had the Motorola RAZR V3, some say is the first phone capable of taking selfies. Those were the days when phones were simpler. I remember being entertained by just a simple composer app on my J300, that may seem primitive now, that had the ability to mix and match simple rhythms to form personal ringtones. Times were simpler then.

Alright, back to the list:

7. Palm Pilot PDA
This probably has the closest resemblance to current smartphones. It has a touch screen, a home button, a stylus, on/off button and even a charging dock. Back in the late 1990s and early 2000s, this was one the hottest IT gadget in the market. My dad bought a Palm IIIc then and I would always use it to play simple arcade games like Asteroid on it. For those who are not familiar, Personal Digital Assistant (PDA) were little palmtop devices that could run simple apps such as alarms, calendar, games and could assess the internet to read and reply e-mails. They even revolutionized the use of stylus on touchscreens and handwriting recognition. Later versions of Palm, namely the Palm Treo had colour and even incorporated a VGA camera behind, Bluetooth and WiFi, USB connectivity and also had phone components, sound familiar? Yup! it slowly evolved into what we now consider a smartphone.

8. 3.5-inch Floppy Disk
I cannot remember how many of these floppy disks I have ripped apart to see what the components were. I was in primary school and a new gimmick was implemented to the curriculum, they call it the Computer Class... Computers.... Technology... Wow! Guess what, they made us play Mario Teaches Typing for a few months before we were allowed to do anything else. Then after building enough finger muscles, teachers sold us a floppy disk each, followed by classes teaching us simple functions of Microsoft Word and Excel. Sadly as a kid, I was more interested in breaking things than learning, so that explains why I did not complete many of my assignments, my disket was in pieces.
Back then what we called as a disket typically has 1.44MB of storage, which may sound like nothing now, but it could hold dozens of document and MIDI files. But I guess nowadays everybody think of disk space in Gigabytes even on little microSD cards that mere 1.44MB is just an artifact from the 1980s and 1990s. Who knows whether in a few years time people would be looking back at 128GB microSD the way we see 3.5-inch floppy disks?

9. Nintendo Gameboy
To bring the arcade to the living room, they invented game console systems.
To bring the game console systems everywhere, they invented the Gameboy.
To play games and make calls on the same device, they made the Nokia N-Gage.
To play games, make calls and connect with the world, they invented the smartphone.
Don't get me wrong, I know smartphones are not made to replace portable gaming systems, but the sales of these systems are definitely affected by the current popularity of smartphones. The question for consumers is very simple, would you buy a portable game console or a smartphone that can play similar games for similar price? Third party software developers that were the driving force of major video game companies are now developing games for smartphones and it is my personal opinion that if this trend proceeds, portable game consoles will be obsolete in the near future.

10. Street Map
There is no doubt that street maps are a thing of the past. Until the 90s, many motorists and tourists still keep street maps in their car to be used in case they get lost. Then there was a rise of the GPS navigation device, Garmin, Navman and TomTom were among the few large companies that produced highly accurate "maps" that could identify the user's location and direct users to their destinations. Nowadays most smartphones are fitted certain apps that exercise the navigation function in the form of A-GPS, satellite GPS or even hybrid positioning system. So why carry thick street maps in the glove compartment when you can bring a talking navigator anywhere you go?

11. Point & Shoot Film Camera
35mm Film? Rewind? Disposable Cameras? Thick photo albums? These are some of the things I have not used or done for more than 10 years. I have used one of those disposable cameras once, it was on my last day of primary school. I was 12 years old then and I wanted to take pictures of my classmates for the last time before we were going our separate ways. It had 27 shots in total, a partially working flash (max 5 shots), fixed focus and that's it. Those were the days when we didn't know how the picture will turn out unless we develop those the film. So every shot was precious and handing the camera to other people to take your photo might be disastrous if they are horrible at framing a shot or are prone to camera shake. Still complaining that your smartphone's camera is subpar?

That's all that I can think of at the moment. Who knows what other functions could be included into a smartphone? The possibilities are limitless as far as I can see.


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