Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Device Convergence

My daughter is spending the summer in Japan and needed a platform that includes:

* A comprehensive English/Japanese dictionary with support for hiragana, katakana, and kanji

* Support for flashcards, tutorials, and other types of interactive educational multimedia

* 3G Wireless with an option for WiFi (WiFi is not widely available in Japan because Wide Area Wireless is so good)

* Browser support including Facebook, which her class is using as a kind of groupware

* Music support

* Camera/video support

* Compact size with reasonable battery life

As the home CIO, I have access to many platforms - Windows, Linux and MacOS laptops, subnotes, netbooks etc. She tried many devices.

In the end, she chose an iPhone 3GS, retiring her existing cell phone, iPod, netbook and camera.

My wife is also studying Japanese and wanted to run the same applications (Japanese Flip, Kanji LS Touch, My Japanese Coach, Human Japanese) so she retired her cell phone and iPod.

Because we all have great local 3G coverage on my Blackberry and their iPhones, we retired our Femtocell which we were using to boost 2G coverage for their cell phones.

Thus, we've replaced 7 devices (2 ipods, 2 cell phones, 1 netbook, 1 camera, and 1 Femtocell) with 2 iPhones. The 3 megapixel camera and video capability provides good enough photo support for most "recreational" applications.

I'm all for parsimony - owning as few devices as possible. Although the input capabilities of the iPhone 3GS are better than previous iPhones and now supports cut and paste, it is still challenging to use an iPhone to respond to 1000 emails a day, so I'll continue to use my Blackberry.

My wife and my daughter have converged their lives to a single mobile device for all computing support while they travel. Their learning curves were short and today they are more active in the digital world than ever before. From our first few weeks as iPhone 3GS users, it's clear that less is more!


Unknown said...

Wow, teach that thing Ikebana and you'll have Kurt Vonnegut's Mandarax in the silicon.

Reader Regular said...

Dear John,
First, this email is not directly related to your post.

Second, Can you write a post about the opportunities available in the Healthcare IT space for MBA students.

I have 7 years background in IT, most of it in clinical trial data management space, and I was considering an MBA with a focus on healthcare.
Though I am interested to move to a business development role in healthcare IT industry, I want to understand the other areas where people of my expertise could be useful.

Lastly, thanks for the frequent blogging on HITSP and other topics, I enjoy reading your posts and sharing it with my colleagues.

Rennasauce said...

I continue to be concerned about iPhone security - does the 3GS provide better protection?

Kim-Son said...

I think the iPhone handle a massive email load pretty well. If you're concerned about text input on the touchscreen keyboard, you should (a) give it a second chance and trust the amazingly smart correction mechanism or (b) try ShapeWriter. I've recently switched to ShapeWriter to compose long messages and I foresee it as the input method for all future touch screen devices.