The best technology is invisible

Does the name Dr. Martin Cooper rings a bell to anyone? I think I can safely assume that most people will say…. well, no.

Martin Cooper

Martin Cooper

Interestingly enough, Dr. Martin Cooper, Executive Chairman and Founder of ArrayComm, is considered the inventor of the mobile device. What’s even more interesting, is his recent keynote address at the Embedded Systems Conference in Boston, where he presented his view about the current wireless industry, and its’ main apparent failures.  I would like to focus on 2 of them.

First, mobile phones are still used 70% of the time today to talk and listen. Then for text messages (SMS) and way behind reside the e-mail and other applications which serve relatively tiny world segments. Still, we – as consumers – are constantly surrounded with marketing promotions urging us to purchase expensive high speed data services, which most of us hardly use.

Second, Cooper claims that convergence simply doesn’t make sense. Several highly-optimized devices, focused on specific functions / needs, are far better than cramming all of them into one single do-it-all device.  He himself, by the way, uses a Jitterbug phone – one of the simplest mobile phones today, which is targeted for seniors, offerings big keys, no menus and only incoming & outgoing calls.

Sounds familiar?… J

It seems that the concept of “divide and conquer”, or in other words – identifying different users’ needs, goals and contexts of use, and tailoring the optimal solution & experience to fit them, is starting to sink in.

Nokia N79

Nokia N79

In fact, even Nokia, the undisputed ‘all-in-one’ industry leader, seems to start feeling the wind of change.  Their new N79 (AKA- clever chameleon) offers a nice visual feature – Changing the battery cover, automatically changes the display theme accordingly, to match the overall look & feel.  

This chameleon feature is still very far from modu’s vision (as also indicated in the article itself), but it does show first signs of challenging current perceptions.

And just to summarize, I would like to cite Dr. Cooper’s final comment at the conference: “the best technology is invisible”. I couldn’t agree more. Especially when it comes hand-in-hand with putting the spotlight on the users. us.

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3 Responses

  1. Great first post – keep them coming!

  2. Along those lines, Michal Gartenberg onced commented that modu fits perfectly in the invisible space, where users carry objects on them without necessarily thinking about it, such as a watch or a wallet, of course that also means that the end user needs to have access to the services and function he requires at the right time.

    On a side note, in case people don’t know what a Jitterbug phone is, it’s one of these funny looking mobile phones by samsung. http://www.jitterbug.com/

    The grandaddy of mobile phones, plugging Samsung. How cool is that ? 🙂

  3. I was curious about the Modu phone but when I went to your website I was disappointed. The site is extremely slow loading and renders with tiny font that I can’t read on my 23 inch LCD. It is apparently a Flash site, so the menus are difficult to navigate and the text cannot be expanded. In addition, the content does not appear on search engines so the site was very hard to find. I hope you fix it so I can learn more about the phone.

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