iPhone – our Electronic Swiss Army knife


Thanks to Steve Jobs with his iPhone, not only he revolutionized the smartphone industry, but also revolutionized our daily life with the apps comes with his phone.  iPhones along with other smartphones have certainly  evolved to allow us to take everyday tools and gadgets and incorporate them into a little device in our pockets. In my opinion, here is the list of things  to be replaced by  iPhone and other smartphones:

1.  Wallet

Smartphones have the capacity to take mobile payments and banking apps are already available for devices such as the Apple iPhone. Being able to access, authorize and make payments using your smartphone is a very real possibility.

Smartphone screens are beginning to harness AMOLED technology, delivering clearer and significantly brighter images. This could open the possibility to simply wave your smartphone in front of a reader to access travel routes and identify yourself in sensitive areas.

Soon you could leave the house with your phone and your keys, leaving your wallet at home.

2. Satellite Navigation Systems

Literally, every smartphone these days have a Global Positioning Satellite (GPS) chip built into it. Most smartphones have also incorporated maps into their software. With the new free Skobber GPS app that also does turn-by-turn direction, I can see how the traditional $150 GPS systems will fade away if not in a few month, in less than a year.  The newer Android and Nokia powered handsets feature satellite navigation, aswell as the Apple iPhone via third party apps.

Satellite Navigation manufacturers have downplayed the effect of mobile phones on the satellite navigation market, highlighting the development of integrated solutions in vehicles that deliver more advanced features to it’s users. Whilst navigation features on a mobile phone are limited to the size and processing power of the handset, the sheer existence of GPS equipped mobile devices can only drive competition and feature development, benefiting the consumer.

3. Remote Controls

Mobile handsets have featured infra-red ports for a number of years now but have been gradually phased out in favour of WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity.

As television sets and associated hardware evolve to incorporate IP functionality and wireless technologies, we can expect a number of apps being made available to mimic devices such as the Logitech Harmony. I recently covered a whole bunch of them last week.

4. The Alarm Clock

I am so surprised to see there are still ton of people out there using the traditional alarm clock. For many, a mobile phone serves as a completely viable and useful alternative to an alarm clock.

Alarm clock applications are on the Apple App Store offering more functionality than the inbuilt clock application on the device, some bringing you a more soothing way to start your day.

Whilst older generations will stick to the methods they know and love, the sheer number and diversity of alarm applications available to smartphone owners could ensure the use of the alarm clocks are drastically reduced, if not revised to offer similar functionality at a reasonable price.

5. Video Conferencing and Video Projectors

Given the first Samsung 3D enabled high definition televisions are being rolled out, without the need for glasses, you can’t help but imagine being able to view a 3D presentation projected from the screen of your smartphone.

Mobile operators around the world are beginning to mobilize their 4G networks, offering super-fast connections to connected devices. If smartphones could pack in the technology, 4G networks would be able to provide significant bandwidth to allow businesses to connect with their staff and clients by way of a mobile 3D tele-conference.

Consumers would see the benefits, connecting to friends and family by way of a 3D video chat.

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6. Portable USB Storage

Smartphones are beginning to offer large amounts of storage by incorporating both integrated storage and the ability to add extra space by way of an external SD card. External memory cards are consistently lowering in price, making it a very cheap alternative to a physical USB key.

Mobile operating systems are beginning to be deployed with file managers, allowing you to effectively deal with different types of files you have on your device. They help facilitate the transferring of files between storage card and the integrated disk, much like a PC.

Smartphones communicate with The Cloud to serve your email and social networking information, a method that services such as Dropbox employ for the backing up and serving of photos, files and music.

You wouldn’t need a USB key if your smartphone could automatically pull all of your files from The Cloud.

Let us know if I am missing one.

Unfortunately, my iPhone cannot replace the dishwasher, the vacuum cleaner, and the washing machine and clothes dryer, all of which require frequent feedings around our house. The most it can do for me as far as domestic chores are concerned is provide a bit of auditory entertainment while I fold the laundry or get rid of dustballs.

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About Elias Shams
I have been a serial entrepreneur in telecom and social media space for past 12 years or so. I hold a M.S. degree in Telecommunication Engineering from the George Washington University and a B.S. degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Maryland. I’ve lived and worked in many countries and cities including London England, Tehran Iran, Bonn Germany, Paris France, Alicante Spain, Delhi India, and my favorite of all Washington, DC of great US of A. Two of the greatest Washington, DC based companies I worked for and very proud of are Yurie Systems which was sold to Lucent in 1998 for $1.23 B and telezoo.com that I founded in 1999. I am currently the founder and awesomizer @ awesomize.me

4 Responses to iPhone – our Electronic Swiss Army knife

  1. Carl Whalley says:

    Make sure you hold that knife correctly though.

  2. David Oliver says:

    I’d like to point out one important difference with iPhone vs mobile phones of the past. Apple developed a new application paradigm where applications are simple and focused and “just do what the user expects”. This is in sharp contrast to the past where we always heard “demand” (fictitious, I assert) for kitchen-sink type apps on the device – reading MS Word files, editing Excel spreadsheets, etc. The iPhone might be a “Swiss Army Knife”, but it does so by being an “aggregation point” far an array of simple applications – not by supporting a few bulky ones. This approach has changed the industry.

  3. Murty Akundi says:

    With all these great features, It allows you to make phone calls also 🙂

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