It’s not time to make a change, just relax… unless you have a telephone

Telephones are the appendix of electronic gizmos.

Why do we continue to invest time, money, and resources into this cul-de-sac of technology?  It makes no sense.  It’s almost as if nobody has looked at a telephone and asked themselves: ‘What is this?  Why do I continue to mangle otherwise useful technology into conforming with past designs?  Why would I want to push this computer up against my face?’

For the past few weeks, I’ve been trying unsuccessfully to work out what modifications would need to be done to a touch screen telephone in order to turn it into a touch screen watch capable of communicating with other people’s telephones.  In time, other people would realise the folly of telephones and convert to touch screen watches.

It’s damn hard.  The puzzling part is the position of the camera lens.  Most ‘smart phones’ have a camera which is on the ‘back’ of the phone.  When strapped to a wrist, the camera can take nothing but pictures of the wrist.

And that’s lame.

The other part is to allow airflow beneath the device.  Smart phones produce a surprising amount of heat.

But while fiddling around with all of this (to no great output), it’s becoming more shocking that we care at all about telephone signals.  Three years ago, I bought a phone thinking that I would use it most for making calls and sending text messages.  Now, I spend most of my time on my phone accessing the internet.  From my rather non-representative sample of friends, it seems the same thing is happening with them as well.  Hell, I even use Facesbook to find out where somebody is before messaging them (yay for compulsive updaters).

So why do we put increasing effort into using radio signals for telephony when we could be diverting those resources into improving data services?

Also — and this is a really, really petty gripe — but why can’t my glorious touch screen watch communicate with other ‘smart’ devices in the area without bouncing off a relay tower first?  Device-to-device communication is the other thing we should improve.

Author: Mark Fletcher

Mark Fletcher is a Canberra-based PhD student, writer, and policy wonk who writes about law, conservatism, atheism, and popular culture. Read his blog at OnlyTheSangfroid. He tweets at @ClothedVillainy

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