I was thinking about a talk on mobile I’m going to be giving, and realized that mobile is really about personal processing. Many of the things you can do at your desktop you can do with your mobile, even a wearable: answering calls, responding to texts. Ok, so responding to email, looking up information, and more might require the phone for a keyboard (I confess to not being a big Siri user, mea culpa), but it’s still where/when/ever.
So the question then became “what doesn’t make sense on a mobile”. And my thought was that industrial strength processing doesn’t make sense on a mobile. Processor intensive work: video editing, 3D rendering, things that require either big screens or lots of CPU. So, for instance, while word processing isn’t really CPU intensive, for some reason mobile word processors don’t seamlessly integrate outlining. Yet I require outlining for big scale writing, book chapters or whole books. I don’t do 3D or video processing, but that would count too.
One of the major appeals of mobile is having versatile digital capabilities, the rote/complex complement to our pattern-matching brains, (I really wanted to call my mobile book ‘augmenting learning’) with us at all times. It makes us more effective. And for many things – all those things we do with mobile such as looking up info, navigating, remembering things, snapping pictures, calculating tips – that’s plenty of screen and processing grunt. It’s for personal use.
Sure, we’ll get more powerful capabilities (they’re touting multitasking on tablets now), and the boundaries will blur, but I still think there’ll be the things we do when we’re on the go, and the things we’ll stop and be reflective about. We’ll continue to explore, but I think the things we do on the wrist or in the hand will naturally be different than those we do seated. Our brains work in active and reflective modes, and our cognitive augment will similarly complement those needs. We’ll have personal processing, and then we’ll have powerful processing. And that’s a good thing, I think. What think you?