Nokia, MIT envision emergency response in 2011

By Brian Dolan
08:27 am

Two years from now mobile devices may look a lot like the touchscreen smartphones of today, according to a report in The New York Times, however, they will be as powerful as today's PC (personal computer) -- only much more personal. The Times interviewed esearchers from Nokia, MIT and Siri to get a sketch of what mobile devices will be capable of two years from now: Super sensors, tactile touch screens, and increased short range connectivity to other devices topped the predictions.

"Henry Tirri, the Nokia senior vice president in charge of the company’s global research centers, said cellphones of the not-so-distant future would contain supersensors, like higher-quality camera lenses that will see faraway detail much more clearly than the naked eye. (This is different from the multitude of external sensors, like heart-rate monitors, thermostat readers and others that now — or will quite soon — connect to your smartphone)," the Times wrote.

While sensors and advanced camera lenses look to be technologically possible and will likely reach the market in two years, another prediction seems to be a bit more far-fetched:

"Dr. [Andrew] Lippman, of MIT, and Dr. [Norman] Winarsky, of SRI, said they could envision a not-so-distant generation of smartphones communicating more intensively with others nearby via Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. Smartphone apps could, for instance, recognize when a doctor is in the building, and alert him if another person nearby had dialed 911. Or, your phone might capture images from a video camera around the corner from a subway station," the Times wrote.

Bluetooth, WiFi and other short-range wireless technologies will surely advance at an impressive rate these next two years, but the social changes required for that vision to come to pass almost certainly will take longer. While I'm sure a good number of doctors freely rush to the aid of those in need of medical care in public areas, do they really want a device to alert them? Do they want other people's devices recognizing them as doctors? What if they choose not to act?

For more, read the entire NYTimes article here


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