Future Devices

Always-On Network has comments made by SRI CEO Curt Carlson:

At SRI, we look for what we call “colliding exponentials,” where, for example, computing runs into communications and creates the Internet. So we focus on the real important problems that result when that type of intersection happens, because usually, when it does happen, it changes the ecosystem. It breaks things apart and creates lots of new opportunities, both for technology and also for licensing and venture deals and basic research.

So in the IT space, one thing that we’re excited about is what’s happening in portable devices. We now have memory, storage, communications, and bandwidth; and we have wireless intersecting with that. We have the possibility of the devices being ad hoc; there can be a node on the network that makes that happen. The battery technologies are also being revolutionized, so you can think about a whole new generation of products in that space.

Underneath that there are two enabling technologies that after 20 years of research are finally coming home. One is speech recognition and the other is natural language. You can now begin to imagine a fully connected, always-on device that will do away with the keyboard (because obviously that’s not a friendly way to interact with a device) and would be so valuable and so functional that it would be like your watcha device that you would never leave home without. If you walked out the door and you realized you didn’t have thisI call it “Radar O’Reilly meets Dick Tracy” watchyou would go back and get it, because it would be your continuous connection to your friends, your work, your database services. Everything would be connected.

This device would give the ability to form ad hoc groups, and it would be the form factor that people want to use. Not only are there lots of commercial applications for this, but we also see it migrating into the home, because a lot of folks don’t want to use a keyboard, they just want to talk. So we see this as a transformative moment where this becomes the platform of choice for everybody in the market. It will be much, much bigger than PCs.

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Rajesh Jain

An Entrepreneur based in Mumbai, India.