Last week (Feb. 15) at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Google CEO Eric Schmidt predicted mobile phones will one day monitor our health, alert us of nearby sales and “do things that we haven’t even begun to think of,” wrote Charles Arthur of The Guardian.
Looking ahead to a world in which over two billion people would be connected by mobile phone, Schmidt said that with phone and tablet technology, “you will never forget anything. Starting soon, it will be possible to remember the hotels you went to, the pictures you took, the friends you met, because computer memories last forever.”
He confessed disappointment that Nokia had chosen Microsoft as its software platform instead of Google’s Android OS (see this week's Article 4), Arthur wrote. “We would like them to adopt Android in the future,” Schmidt said. “We’re sorry that they made a different choice. We certainly tried (to persuade them).”
The Google chief executive also predicted that rapid improvement in mobile phone technology will make today’s most advanced devices accessible and affordable to millions more people, in just a few years’ time. “In the next decade, because I’m a computer scientist, I believe very strongly in the optimistic view of what we can do with computers and science. If you look at problems like global warming, terrorism and (the need for) financial transparency, they can all be helped by computing power. Those are fundamentally information problems, and that’s what computer science is all about.”
Jenna Wortham of the New York Times described (Feb. 15) how Schmidt brought a Google engineer onstage to demonstrate a movie-editing application for Android tablets. “The application, called Movie Studio, allows people to quickly cut a video together and add special effects and music,” she writes. “It was developed in-house and is designed for Honeycomb, the version of Android created specifically for tablet computers.”
But perhaps the most poignant statement in his keynote address was Schmidt’s noting that smartphones have become the new PCs. “By the way, PCs are not catching up. Smartphones are the future of games, productivity, apps, everything we think about… You have the phone, the new PC, if you will,” he said, as quoted by Sharon Pian Chan of the Seattle Times (Feb. 15).
Android is seeing 300,000 activations a day and more than 100 phone and tablet models now available run Android OS, Schmidt added.