Total Consolitation

The phone can be everything.

It can be your desktop:  Video out, keyboard, mouse.  Ideally, the device would give you a different interface when used with a display, one that is more like a conventional desktop and is better suited for use with a keyboard and mouse (as opposed to thumbs).  You can store your work in the cloud with some online service like Dropbox or Google Drive, or you could keep it on the phone itself.  Local storage might be better for larger files that would take a lot of bandwidth to move back and forth between the cloud and the handset.

It can be your home theater computer (HTPC):  There are already plenty of services that can stream content to mobile devices.  Additionally, MHL can work with TV remotes through the television.  Imagine: you connect your phone to your giant television, and you use your remote to interact with it.  This allows you to navigate Hulu, Netflix, or whatever app from the comfort of your chair; you don’t have to change the channel.  It feels just as natural as it did before: living room, big comfy chair, giant television, feet propped up on the coffee table.  The only difference is that entertainment is in a package you carry with you wherever you go; your content stays with you.

It can be your game console:  Gaming on cell phones is massive.  I don’t know what the exact percentage is, but i’m sure game purchases (and in game microtransactions for that matter) account for a sizable portion of all the purchases in the Google Play Store and Apple’s App Store.  Previously we talked about pairing a keyboard and a mouse with a cell phone.  Why not a game controller?  The PS3 uses Bluetooth to communicate between controller and console, and many phones (most) have Bluetooth already.  Additionally, the video horsepower of phones is continuing to advance.  Most cell phones/tablets are already capable of running games with sophisticated 3D graphics.. No, its not a 360 in your pocket right now, but there’s no reason why it can’t be.  The other day I saw a YouTube video of a Dreamcast emulator running on a Samsung Galaxy S2, and that’s a two year old phone.  Point is, technology will continue to march on, and the processing power of today’s cutting edge game consoles will ultimately be in a package we can fit in our pocket.  Even with today’s technology, gaming on those handheld devices are huge.  The difference would be to see these games on a 60″ television instead of a 4″ touch screen.  Maybe it looks great on a tiny screen in the palm of your hand, but not so great in your home theater.  Many touch screens are 1920×1080 anyway, so they wouldn’t even have to do any scaling.  If the gameplay is there, though, the graphics fade away.  The point is, the graphics capabilities of modern cell phones are more than sufficient to deliver stimulating and engrossing gaming experiences, and they already are..  I’m just proposing a change of venue and more tactile controls.

The problem:  You still have to plug the thing in.

To make this a super convenient reality, a wireless video standard needs widespread adoption.  With wireless video you can sit on your couch with your phone charging next to you, while it streams video (and audio) content across the room to your television.  Make it as transparent as WiFi.  When you come home, you might need to turn on WiFi, but you probably don’t need to tell it to join your home network: it just does it automatically.  Let’s apply that to televisions and monitors.  You come home, your televisions and displays are on sleep, waiting for a video source to come on the network.  Perhaps you have a default screen that you use, so when you come in range, it connects automatically, and you don’t have to do anything.  In other words, when the handset is in range, the TV wakes up and is ready to go.  Most people have multiple TV’s and displays in their home, so maybe the device would have a default display, but it would also prompt you to connect to one of the other screens on the network.  Here’s an idea: Multiple screens.  A desktop interface streamed to a desktop display, and a home theater interface streamed to a TV in the living room, both served up simultaneously from one handset.  The bandwidth requirements of such a setup would be immense, but not impossible.


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