Mobile computing

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'In mobile computing, people are typically thinking about how great an ultra-portable product is' as Alex Gruzen (Senior Vice President of Dell's Product Group) said, if we see things from the start of mobile computing we can clearly see that he is right. In my article you can realise that the technology is updated every day. Pursuing this further, in this article you will find that I stated the major facts of the advances in personal computer having an impact in mobile computing.

First of all, when we use the term mobile computing, is a broad meaning of what it is. Basically it describes the gift (as in my opinion is) to use technology everywhere you want, in a transportable way. This area is kind of new in the business since it started in the 1990s. It includes gears such as smartphones, carputers, ultra-mobile pc, personal digital assistants and Wearable computers.

So getting into details, smartphone is a mobile phone with advanced aptitudes, frequently with PC-like purpose. It might contain complete operating system software providing a consistent interface and platform for application developers, or it might have applications like e-book forms, e-mail, internet, a VGA connector, calendar, calculator, notepad, world clock, or even a custom made keyboard. Basically it's a mini personal computer that has phone features. In history the first smartphone was introduced by IBM back in 1993 and was called Simon, and could actually work as a pager, a fax machine, mobile phone and PDA. Back in those days was $899 dollars but in now days you can get a smart phone at a more logical price. It had an exclusive on-screen keyboard.

In 1996, Nokia 9000 was the first Nokia smartphone. Nokia 9000 was a well-combined of Hewlett Packard which they made the best PDA that time and Nokia made the best phones. Which that brings as to June 2001 when Nokia 9210 was introduced with an operating system on it and also a color screen communicator model. The model ran on Symbian Operating System version 6. Half a million Symbian phones were sold in 2001, and the following year rise to 2.1 million. In my opinion, the best part of a smart phone is that it can run on an operating system. If no operating systems existed there would be no smart phones.

Furthermore, Nokia's 9500 came into the market and was the Nokia's first WI -Fi. The latest model E90 communicator includes GPS. The Nokia's line of communicators was the most expensive smart phone in the market since their beginning.

Then the first 'BlackBerry' came, in 2002 and was the first smartphone which used wireless email and has reached 8 million users by June 2007. In 2002, Microsoft introduced Microsoft CE Pocked Pc OS now referred to it as Windows Mobile. And this brings as to 2005 which Nokia created N-series. A series of smartphones with 3G or 3rd generation, a tiny name offering so many things. 3G has many applications, often as: Video conferencing, Mobile TV, Location based Services, Video on demand as Steinbock D. (2005, pp.120-124)stated .All these applications are very useful since with video conferencing you can see a friend, or a person you would like to see without being there, you can get information about your health from a doctor. You can see the weather news, or even if there is traffic. In nowadays 4G or 4thgeneration is used which is even faster, as clearly these all stated from PC Today (2009) viewed 2 December, (http://www.pctoday.com/Editorial/article.asp?article=articles/2006/t0402/12t02/12t02.asp&guid)

Moreover, Android was introduced in 2008 which is an open source used by HTC's model named Dream. HTC Dream has touch screen (The term usually refers to touch or contact to the display of the device by a finger or hand, also a light pen), track ball for navigating web pages and QWERTY keyboard (a keyboard also used in personal computers). Along with so many other companies such as HTC, Motorola, ARM, Intel and so on formed the 'Open Handset Alliance'. The most known smart phone these days is the iPhone made by Apple.

In addition to mobile computing, carputer is present. Not for long but appeared in the marked in 2000 in homemade structure. Basically, a carputer is a digital computer made to fit in physically and logically to an automobile. There are many systems that presented in the market. You can even build your own carputer. I won't insist on putting a laptop because it cannot offer as much as a carputer. The great achievement of a carputer is the use of mini motherboards. Most carputers use TFT LCD screens and because by the years are getting cheaper you can find one at a low price. In modern age touch screens are used, up-to-date hardware that would not interact with the mind of the driver. In a combination with good software you can get thrilled. These software also known as front ends like: nGhost, Centrafuse, StreetDeck. These all introduced in 2006, 2007 and 2008 and contain USB , Trip computer, Card reader , Bluetooth , Artificial Passenger and so many other. They all have a Voice Recognition, Text-To-Speech, Web Browsers, and Audio Devices, Bluetooth Hands free and GPS Navigation which is the most common and one of the top software in a carputer used. With a GPS Navigation you can have maps, roads etc. A carputer, most of them have internet connectivity, you can rip CD's to MP3 and store them on the hard drive instead of changing CD's on a CD player. However, it takes longer to operate it, takes more current than a car stereo, they are expensive and might distract the driver.

Furthermore, let's discuss about Ultra-Mobile PC, for shortcut UMPC. They are small tablet PCs which at first they had the codename Project Origami (back in 2006). The first UMPC launched into the market in August 2006, and the company called TabletKiosk introduced eo i7210 and i7209. In September 2006 Raon Digital launched the UMPC called Vega with 256 of RAM, 30GB hard drive, 500MHz processor and a 4.3 inches screen. But it was expensive, around 700 to 750 dollars. The most great thing which an UMPC has it's an alternative method of text input method called DialKeys, basically are two virtual semi-circle keys in the corners left and right and is used by your thumbs. A UMPC might contain TV tuners, memory card readers, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, Ethernet, fingerprint readers, GPS, webcams and so many other gears. There are many accessories which can you buy for UMPC. The initial battery life of a UMPC was 2 and a half hours and now is 8 hours. UMPC.COM (2009) viewed 2 December, (http://umpc.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=section&id=4&Itemid=29)

Personal Digital Assistant (PDA), known as a palmtop computer which is a mobile device. At modern ages PDA's can be used as smart phones. The first mobile phone which held functions of a PDA was the 9000 Communicator of Nokia in 1996. A typical PDA might have features like a memory card slot, Bluetooth and/or WiFi, connect with a USB, and touch screen and further. Most PDA's synchronize with a PC and might be used in a car as Global Positioning System (GPS). It can be used to find a medical condition of a patient. Lately the development of Sensor Web (is a method explaining sensor data with three-dimensional) technology has directed to chat of using wearable physical sensors to monitor ongoing circumstances related to diabetes and epilepsy and notifying medical staff or the patient themselves to the treatment necessary via communication between the web and PDAs. In some schools the Mlearning (learning from far away) was presented. Another measurable thing is the use of e-Books. E-Books are digital books so you don't have to carry any books, instead you can have it in your pocket and see them everywhere.

Last but not least, wearable computers. Wearable computers are computers worn all over you on your body. They are very beneficial for applications that require computational support while the operator's eyes, voice, hands, arms or concentration are actively involved with the physical environment .An advantage is multi-tasking and its consistency because there is no need to stop what you are doing, you can do it with the help of wearable computer. Back in the 80's Steve Mann made a backpack-mounted computer to control cameras. In 1986 Steve Roberts a dreamer made his dream come true and built a recumbent bicycle with on-board computer and keyboard. A most common wearable computer is Private Eye, a head-mounted display founded in 1989 by Reflection Technology. In nowadays most of the wearable computers, might be used as watches, belts or even sunglasses. A magnificent part of wearable computers is augmented reality. An almost actual world environment combined with virtual computer as Ilyas and Mahboug (2005, pp.3-23) stated.

If we look back, right from the start of mobile computing we can see a big progress in a short period of time. On the other hand there are many problems which consist of,like their battery life. Most of mobile computers are relied on a battery power which is often expensive, you might lose your signal and they say that signals may cause health problems. But this is just the beginning of mobile computing.Right?

References

  1. Arnold David O., 1991, Computers and Society: Impact!. USA: McGraw-Hill Inc
  2. Dertouzos Michael L., Moses J., 1979, the Computer Age: A twenty-year view. England, London: The Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  3. Ilyas M, Mahgoub I, 2005, Mobile Computing Handbook. USA, Florida: CRC Press
  4. Steinbock D., 2005, The Mobile Revolution: The making of mobile services worldwide. Great Britain: Thanet Press Ltd, Margate
  5. UMPC.COM, 2009, UMPC History & Definitions [Internet]. Available from: http://umpc.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=section&id=4&Itemid=29 [Accessed 2 December 2009, 3:09 pm].
  6. PC Today, 2009, Smartphone 101: A Look At The Past, Present & Future [Internet]. Available from: http://www.pctoday.com/Editorial/article.asp?article=articles/2006/t0402/12t02/12t02.asp&guid= [Accessed 2 December 2009, 3:23 pm]

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