Five mobile technologies we can live without

Five mobile technologies we can live withoutTechnology is an ever-advancing beast, though not always for the better. A paper-thin smartphone, for example, is something we’re simply not interested in, while manufacturers are seemingly obsessed with shaving off every last tenth of a millimetre.

With that notion in mind, I scoured my brain for five further technologies that we’re really not bothered about; five things our mobile phones are quite happy without.

As per tradition, this Mobo-countdown is presented to you in no particular order, other than what order they done came out of my brain.

All aboard? Let's dance.

Five mobile technologies we can live without3D

I’ve written extensively about 3D over the years, including To 3D, or not to 3D?, I still hate 3D, and – most recently – Coming round to 3D a little.

Yeah, I don’t hate 3D quite as much as I used to, thanks in part to the Nintendo 3DS and removal of the 3D surcharge at my local cinema (as a Premium cardholder type guy).

But really, does 3D have a place on smartphones? Given the fact that LG and HTC were the only big names to dabble in 3D phone action (heck, even Samsung wasn’t interested), and considering the 3D phone pipeline is completely dry, we’re clearly not alone.

However, there's the lingering fear of a resurgence led by one of the top dogs. Can you imagine a world with a 3D iPhone? Bleurgh.

Five mobile technologies we can live without4G LTE

We’re not opposed to 4G LTE mobile as such, more so the notion of it being a must-have technology, and one that justifies the currently-outrageous pricing structures being touted by EE, Vodafone and O2.

Around 700,000 people have signed up to EE 4G, but I’d like to know how many of them fully understood what they were signing up for, and how many were duped by upgrades slash sales teams.

I vaguely recall someone being told that they had to upgrade to 4G with their next contract, though I’m not sure if that was on here or in real life. In any case, I guess that’s nothing new – talking sh*t to make a sale.

And hey, the other night I downloaded Shazam (17.5MB) over 3G on my iPhone in a matter of seconds. Why would I want 4G exactly?

Five mobile technologies we can live withoutNFC (Near Field Communication)

It’s interesting that NFC is all the rage in South Korea, for example, while the UK appears to have emphatically rejected it. We don’t like change here.

One of the primary functions of NFC is in “contactless payments”, but UK consumers remain reluctant, largely on account of security concerns. One particular survey suggested a paltry 17% were ready to replace their wallet with their phone.

Not to mention the fact that actually getting your wallet out and using cash or plastic is this much hassle: none.

Back in 2011, Vodafone’s Guy Laurence promised: “Currently people take their mobile, wallet and keys when they leave home. In the near future, people will now start leaving their wallet at home, and in the mid term their keys may also be integrated into their mobile.”

Clearly that hasn’t happened, and quite frankly we’re ok with that.

Five mobile technologies we can live withoutFlexibility

This is another one we’re not entirely opposed to, it just depends how exactly it’s implemented.

A flexible display could be deployed to add more durability, for example, or maybe we’re talking about a display that’s naturally curved (like a smartwatch). That’s fine by us.

What we’re not hugely excited about is the persistent tradeshow promise (or perhaps that should be threat) of having phones that actually bend. Why? Just… why?

Five mobile technologies we can live withoutWireless charging

Ah, this is quite possibly the laziest and most pointless of all technologies on our list: wireless charging.

Instead of plugging a micro-USB cable into your phone, you sit the phone on an expensive wireless charging pad. Seriously? Am I missing something here? Maybe you’d like me to lift you out of bed and put your clothes on for you, too?

Don’t get me wrong; I’m looking forward to a future where magnetic resonance charging means you never have to plug your phone in or worry about your phone being “on charge”. Or maybe solar cells will harvest the power of ambient light.

But a wireless charging pad? We’ll pass, thanks.

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6 comments

Stelph  Aug. 20, 2013 at 14:46

Slightly unfair that wireless charging and NFC are on here, ok I admit on the surface they look a bit pap but if everyone could move on from the idea of NFC being solely for cashless payments they would realise that NFC can be useful in other ways, like having a simple way of changing settings on your phone when you enter and leave buildings (i.e. enter and swipe and it turns on your wifi, infoms the phone of the wifi security key etc and vice versa when you leave), equally wireless charging will be a godsend when its ubiqutous across devices as then I only have to bring one flipping charging device and everything will charge off that one "pad"

Personally I would have also gone with the following

"The increasing size + pixel density of phone screens"
We get it, youre amazing because youve fit a 1080p screen into a mobile phone, completely ignoring the fact that it destroys the battery life and that even 42" screens dont always need 1080p in order to look good "sigh"

"smart watches that are essentially small phones on your wrist"
Looking at you imwatch and what rumouirs ive heard of the samsung watch. I have no idea what apple are planning but please all of you, dont just make it a small touchscreen device that syncs to your phone and reminds you when your phone beeps and thats it becuase.......thats rubbish. If my phone beeps, ill take it out of my pocket which takes no time at all, if im going to get a smartwatch i want it to be indipendent (tho perhaps take an interest in what my phones up to) and be able to monitor other things like heart rate (for sports), location with points of interest etc, all with a battery that lasts ages in something that doesnt look like I have a massive brick on my arm. IMO the motoactv got the closest so far, if theyd stuck an apple sticker on it then it would now be being hailed as the best thing since sliced bread

JanSt / MOD  Aug. 20, 2013 at 14:57

Stelph,
Agree with regards to HD screens.
Wireless charging to me is a joke. I had a wireless charger for the Palm/HP Pre. I see no advantage. Zero. It's more expensive than a standard charger; it has to be plugged in - with, um, a wire. It has to be in a good place. You can't just conveniently put it in your coat pocket...

NFC? Obviously it has some nifty applications. Contactless payment? I'm against banks. Against credit cards. Need I spell out what I think about contactless payment?

As to the other applications of NFC - I do not care much. In the last 10 years I used Bluetooth about 5 times. Which is 5 times more than I have used NFC. People are obviously divided. Many folks like the file exchange via NFC. That's fine. I don't know anyone I'd wanna rub phones with :p
NFC is a bit like QR codes - big in some places! I can live without promo material collected while scanning sh*t in the supermarket. :p

3D is a no-brainer: I hate it. In all forms. Some people like it. I don't care. :p

satchef1  Aug. 20, 2013 at 20:04

Only one that really belongs on this list is 3D TBH. The rest is more a matter of implementation; 4G, NFC, flexible displays and wireless charging all have bright futures - the current implementation is just somewhat lacking.

JanSt / MOD  Aug. 20, 2013 at 20:16

Only one that really belongs on this list is 3D TBH. The rest is more a matter of implementation; 4G, NFC, flexible displays and wireless charging all have bright futures - the current implementation is just somewhat lacking.

I guess I agree... Kind of.

Stelph  Aug. 21, 2013 at 10:14

Only one that really belongs on this list is 3D TBH. The rest is more a matter of implementation; 4G, NFC, flexible displays and wireless charging all have bright futures - the current implementation is just somewhat lacking.

Exactly, round my flat ive got several electronic devices, id love to be able to just chuck them all onto a single pad to charge rather than faff with cables. Equally when I go round to stay at the familys house id love to be able to just swipe NFC and straight away connect to their network.

Its not the technologys fault its the implementation, look at the history of tablet PC's for a good example of situations where the technology is there but they just kept getting the implementation wrong till the iPad

satchef1  Aug. 21, 2013 at 11:41

Having Wireless Charging built in to a bedside table would be a pretty neat case of where the technology could go. Instead of having a small phone-sized pad to place your mobile on to, you could place it (and all of your other gadgets - tablet, ebook reader, hands free kit, smartwatch etc.) anywhere on the table when you go to bed and wake up to find everything charged. Bring NFC in to that example, and all of your gadgets could also be put on silent the moment you place them down as well, ensuring your sleep goes uninterrupted.

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