Not long ago, one carried any combination of these devices as one commuted or travelled: personal digital assistant, calculator, pager, cell phone, wristwatch, glucometer, stopwatch, alarm clock, radio/CD player/Walkman/MP3 player, laptop, camera, handycam — and of course credit cards and a wallet.
However, it became too cumbersome to carry so many different gadgets/devices (not to mention the risk of misplacing or losing these).
So R&D teams worked to merge these devices — pager functions were included in mobile phones (SMS), for instance.
You won’t carry credit cards or cash in future — your phone with Near Field Communication (NFC) and m-Commerce technologies will do the job.
Today, we carry a few devices that blend well into our personal effects — a wristwatch, smart phone, and perhaps a tablet.
All the gadgets/devices that I mentioned earlier are still there — in these three devices. But they are virtualized and available in the form of apps.
The next devices in your personal effects to undergo a transformation are the wristwatch and glasses. Sony has already launched a Bluetooth enabled smart-wrist watch. I am guessing that Apple will have theirs out this year (See: Why Apple’s iWatch will change the world!). And Google’s Glass (the future of eyewear) is now undergoing trials.
If you watched any of the Star Trek TV episodes (especially those from the 60s) you’ll see the widespread use of multifunction devices like Tricorders.
I think the next big apps for personal devices are personal healthcare monitoring systems — embedded right into your phone, watch or whatever else you are comfortable carrying around with you. These will of course communicate with servers in hospitals and clinics, to send back data about the status of your vital organs.
So don’t be surprised if your doctor calls you one fine day and tells you to go slow on that cheeseburger.
“Your LDL cholesterol levels are alarmingly high, Pete. You need to come over immediately!)