November 05, 2003
Hawkins Interview: The Next Big Thing in Mobile Computing
Here's an intriguing interview with Jeff Hawkins, from the Investor's Business Daily. Hawkins founded Palm Inc., then Handspring, and is now palmOne's chief technology officer. In the interview, he comments on his future role with palmOne, the significance of the Treo 600 and teases us about the "unbelievable next big thing in mind" that will require the combined resources of Palm and Handspring to pull it off.
Some of the better passages:
"Hawkins: Many years ago - 17 years ago or something like that - I got the bug in my head that the future of personal computing was going to be mobile devices, mobile computing. I looked at the world of PCs and said, "This ain't gonna work for a world of 6 billion people." Well, back then it was 5 billion. These products (PCs) are too complex and they're too hard to use and too expensive, and computing ought to be for everybody."
A $99 smartphone would be irresistible at that price, as long as it was usable by the masses. Given Hawkins fascination with brain research and the intuitiveness of the Palm OS, I'm looking forward to his next brainchild. Too bad they take over a year to build -- but in the meantime the Treo 600 sounds like the cure for the "dumb little thing" that can only make phone calls.
Hmm... "brain research", "personal computing", and "mobile" -- I used to kid a busy fellow technology consultant that he needed a cell phone brain implant. Change it to a smartphone implant or brain interface of some kind, and I think we've got something. One thing's for certain: It's going to need a darn good spam filter -- we've got enough mental clutter already.
[Update 11/6/03: Yet another sci-fi device is becoming science fact, as The Boston Globe reports on a company seeking approval to test a new brain implant which could enable paralyzed people to control computers directly with their brains or possibly help them move their limbs. It features a jack for the hard-wired connection.
If you've ever watched Andromeda on television, then you may have seen Harper jack into the ship's computer in a very similar fashion. Naturally, with my focus on mobile technology, I'm scratching my head here. Why haven't they included a wireless transmitter that could jack in and sit behind the ear or fit in a shirt pocket to make it easier to change or recharge the batteries? Hard wiring just seems so "90's" to me. If one truly wants to empower these folks, cut them loose.]
Topic(s): Mobile Tech & Gadgets
Posted by Jeff Beard