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The PC is Dead

Wed Feb 14, 2001 - 10:28 AM EST - By Alan Graham

The Man With Two Brains

Think of this scenario. You are in your home, you slide in one Visor module and instantly you have access to a server in the basement which handles video-on-demand, Internet access, audio, cam control, lighting, climate control, and telephony. From your Visor you can view who is at the front door, play music in any room, turn the downstairs lights off, adjust the temperature, check your e-mail, answer the telephone, or pipe video to a TV in the bathroom (you laugh now, but they mocked Galileo too). The idea I am presenting is that it is a mistake to view the handheld as a glorified address book or wireless e-mail checker. Handspring is the first company who seems to understand that. The Visor currently gives us a working peek into our future, which is the convergence and simplicity of connectivity. However, the handheld of the future isn't a stepped up remote on steroids, but a doorway to your world.

Smaller isn't better, smarter is.

Currently there are companies developing technology for handheld video streaming and the like. Many of these companies see the handheld, not the PC, as the heart of your digital world. This is a myopic view. Personally, I don't want to watch movies or video on my handheld. Why is it that we are always looking to see how much we can pack into the smallest space? I blame the Guiness Book of World Records for this. If we can liberate ourselves from this concept we may also liberate the technology. I am not interested in how many handhelds I can fit on the head of a pin. What I want out of a handheld is the ability to direct my world, not contain it within a 3" x 5" device. Do you really want to watch The Matrix on a Visor or would you rather tell your Visor to send The Matrix to the nearest 32" video screen? Real progress is the ability to direct and control information, not just squint at it.



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