22 Oct 2007

The Killer App for Iphone

During a discussion about the possibilities of the Iphone this weekend I came up with the ultimate killer application.

The problem is, it already exists. The good thing about this is that it will not take long to develop.

It's not a software application but a hardware addition for the Iphone. And why is it important for e-learning? Because it would make the ubiquitous computer a reality. Ubiquitous computing already exists since quite some time. But to make it the most used tool around, it lacks something. It lacks vision.

You can take that quite literally. The tiny computers of today are exactly that, tiny. Screens between 3 and 5 inch, making it difficult to read on them for any longer period of time. I'm not talking about space technology like projection into glasses or goggles or something as 70's as that. I'm talking the perfect hardware tool to go with your Iphone. It's so cool everybody will want it and of course, will want the phone as well. You can take online courses anywhere, read and write blogs and all this with a device that fits in the palm of your hand.

Suppose you could put your Iphone into a small cradle on your desk, in your car, in the subway. Suppose this cradle contains a high definition beamer which works up to 6 feet or 2 metres with power cord and cooling, or 1 foot / 30 cm without. Bingo. You've got your new desktop computer. Of course, the cradle would have to be almost as small as the Iphone itself. Otherwise it would just sit on your desk. But for some people, this would do. A cradle at work, one at home, all with the same, OSX powered computer. You could produce them with a folding keyboard or with that old MIT invention, the handheld keyboard.

Now wouldn't that be the killer app? One Iphone for all your computer needs. I can envision shopping malls with cradles for friends enjoying their favorite you-tube clips, or computer learning centres without computers.

White spaces on walls would be used intensely for projection. People would share their experiences much more than they do now. We can discuss what's on the wall and feel good about meeting others we can discuss things with.

So, who'll build this wonderful device? I'll be the first to buy one.

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