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Ten Things Mobile Phones Will Make Obsolete

timothy posted more than 4 years ago | from the try-finding-a-payphone-now dept.

Cellphones 778

An anonymous reader writes "recombu.com has an article examining ten things mobile phones will make obsolete, including phone booths, wristwatches and handheld games consoles. It's interesting to see how many devices have been absorbed into mobile phone technology, and it raises the question: are we better off having everything in one device? The author poignantly concludes that while it's great to have so much power at our fingertips, it does mean that some of us will rely on mobile phones for even basic mental tasks, which is great until the battery runs out." See also Isaac Asimov's The Feeling of Power.

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yep... (5, Insightful)

gandhi_2 (1108023) | more than 4 years ago | (#30189298)

...why have a watch on your wrist when you can fish it out of your pocket.

At least pocket watches kept the time even if you were out of cell service.

Re:yep... (5, Informative)

HeavyD14 (898751) | more than 4 years ago | (#30189348)

My phone keeps the time just fine when out of reception. Likely better than an old pocket watch. What kind of brick-phone do you have?

Re:yep... (5, Interesting)

HBoar (1642149) | more than 4 years ago | (#30189768)

Some modern phones still do not keep the time when out of service. A friend of mine has a cheap Samsung phone which is an example of this. It has always baffled me that a phone with a camera, games and a whole lot of other unnecessary rubbish can't even tell you the time when you go behind a mountain....

Re:yep... (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30189440)

It's pretty obtuse to think that wristwatches are going to become obsolete. Hate to break it to you, but no. Wristwatches are far more than just a device to tell time. They're a symbol of status and of self-expression. Don't think so? Wristwatch builders keep pushing the envelope of what is possible with micro-mechanics, and that is what makes them attractive, and special to collectors.

You think your iPhone is going to get you laid... or any serious street cred? It's within reach of even below-average citizens, so it doesn't get you any status points. No, there's just something about a fine Rolex or Omega Speedmaster on your wrist. A feat of mechanical engineering and precision manufacturing that NO iPhone can *EVER* replace.

Just try pawning an iPhone and see how much you get.

Wristwatches are just plain convenient (5, Funny)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 4 years ago | (#30189558)

[X] Convenient. You don't have to pull them out of your pocket or purse to see what time it is.
[X] You can get them dirt cheap (under $10) so if they break, get wet washing the dishes, fall in the toilet - no big deal. Try that with your cell phone.
[X] One for day and one for evening wear - they are a fashion accessory.
[X] If they get rained on a bit, big deal. Most are water-resistant.
[X] It's harder to steal a wristwatch than a cellphone
[X] It's harder to forget your wristwatch on the roof of your car, at home, or at the office than a cellphone
[X] I might be convinced to buy a CowboyNeal writstwatch as a joke item, but never a CowboyNeal cellphone.

Geeks should appreciate mechanical l33t (3, Interesting)

Xenious (24845) | more than 4 years ago | (#30189646)

I'd think any true geek out there would appreciate the mechanical complexity of a quality watch (read: not quartz). Granted they are more jewelry like than actual time reference objects, but when you get out of the low end you can appreciate a lot of fine horology!

Re:Geeks should appreciate mechanical l33t (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#30189874)

I don't know. Right now I'm geeking-out about all the cool things the article suggested. I never thought to use my cellphone as an alarm clock. I'll have to try that next time I'm in a hotel.

I still don't want to get rid of my landline. The other day when my DSL stopped working, the dialup was the only connection I still had to the net. Downloading the latest episode of V over 50k may not be fun (took 6 hours) but at least I got to see it. And I was still able to keep up with my email and facebook.

Re:Wristwatches are just plain convenient (5, Insightful)

joelgrimes (130046) | more than 4 years ago | (#30189658)

[X] wristwatch battery doesn't go dead every 3 days

Re:Wristwatches are just plain convenient (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Monkey (795756) | more than 4 years ago | (#30189694)

[X] wristwatch makes a better tea timer than a cell phone

Re:Wristwatches are just plain convenient (1)

Bert64 (520050) | more than 4 years ago | (#30189666)

You can get dirt cheap under $10 cellphones too...

But you are right, a wristwatch is more of a fashion accessory.

Personally i can't stand wearing a wristwatch, or any kind of jewellery, i hate having things like that clinging to my skin - it's a foreign object stuck to my skin that feels like it needs to be removed.

Re:Wristwatches are just plain convenient (4, Funny)

Brian Gordon (987471) | more than 4 years ago | (#30189754)

You mean like clothes?

Re:Wristwatches are just plain convenient (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30189772)

"Personally i can't stand wearing a wristwatch, or any kind of jewellery, i hate having things like that clinging to my skin - it's a foreign object stuck to my skin that feels like it needs to be removed."

so no clothes then..........

I thought that was illegal over there ....... at the least in public

Re:Wristwatches are just plain convenient (2, Funny)

Jurily (900488) | more than 4 years ago | (#30189752)

[X] You can get them dirt cheap (under $10) so if they break, get wet washing the dishes, fall in the toilet - no big deal. Try that with your cell phone.

My Nokia was GBP 10, and I can make phone calls with it. Try that with your wristwatch.

Re:Wristwatches are just plain convenient (3, Insightful)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#30189816)

I haven't used a watch in almost two decades. Simply put, clocks are ubiquitous. In fact there's several in front of me right now - one on the computer, one on the VCR, and one on the television. When I was a student the time was above every classroom door, and at work, it's typically on a nearby wall or on my PC or on the break room TV. There is almost no time when I am not within sight of a clock which is why the watch I bought 20 years ago still looks new.

From Asimov's story:
"Divide twenty-seven by thirteen. Take it to six places."

Five minutes later Shuman said, "Two point oh seven six nine two three."

Is it sad that I've forgotten how to do long division? Let's see:

13|27 == 2.0769
..-26
=====
100
-91
===
90
78
==
12

Okay I'm bored with that. In 8th grade we used to do pages of this stuff, and now I've practically forgotten it all. That's sad.

Re:yep... (1, Flamebait)

sayfawa (1099071) | more than 4 years ago | (#30189790)

I fully admit that watches are valuable as a status-symbol. But that's not saying much. People are stupid. They value lumps of metals and rocks, too. Shit whose only useful purpose is to make good conductors and cut stuff.

And as for "pushing the envelope of what is possible..", the scientific achievements that were required to make even the cheapest digital watch is *far* more of a testament to the ingenuity of the human race than anything that will ever be in a mechanical watch. Either my phone, or my cheap digital watch keep better time than any "fine Rolex or Omega" mechanical watch. And I have little to no respect for anyone who would respect me for having one on my wrist.

In summary, fancy watches are for stupid yahoos. [wikipedia.org]

Re:yep... (1)

ducomputergeek (595742) | more than 4 years ago | (#30189480)

Watches are jewelry as well. The swiss figured that out a long time ago....

Re:yep... (1)

radish (98371) | more than 4 years ago | (#30189488)

Agreed, my watch broke a while ago and I decided to try living without it and just using my phone. Drove me up the wall...2 months later gave in and bought a new watch.

Re:yep... (4, Interesting)

Jarik C-Bol (894741) | more than 4 years ago | (#30189586)

i cant stand wearing watches, they make my arm feel all weird. (and they interfere with work gloves, but thats another matter) and since i don't cary my phone at work, (crushed 2 phones in my pockets in 2 months, construction industry is not a phone friendly environment) so i've actually become quite adept at telling the time via shadows, sundial style. (accurate within 10-15 minutes, which is close enough for my needs).

Re:yep... (1)

Swizec (978239) | more than 4 years ago | (#30189648)

Personally I carry both a watch and a cell phone at all times and always end up checking the phone for time instead of the watch. When I'm not on the move I usually just check the computer because it's much closer to hand than either the watch or the phone.

Re:yep... (4, Insightful)

houstonbofh (602064) | more than 4 years ago | (#30189662)

I just can't wait to take my cell phone SCUBA diving, or wake boarding, or sky diving, or...

Re:yep... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30189704)

I've sky dived with my phone. No problem there.

Re:yep... (1)

houstonbofh (602064) | more than 4 years ago | (#30189756)

I've sky dived with my phone. No problem there.

Did you check the time going down?

Re:yep... (1)

MeatBag PussRocket (1475317) | more than 4 years ago | (#30189832)

seriously? you *check the time* while skydiving? do you have some genetic adrenaline deficiency that makes jumping out of an airplane boring enough you feel like checking the time on the way down?

Re:yep... (1)

mdwh2 (535323) | more than 4 years ago | (#30189810)

Why rummage around in my pocket, when I can just glance at my wrist?

The article isn't entirely wrong - I do know some people who say they no longer bother with a watch now that they have a phone. But I think it's wrong to say it will make watches obsolete.

Rediscovering obsolescence (1)

frisket (149522) | more than 4 years ago | (#30189320)

Who was it wrote that SF short about the civilisation that suddenly thought of putting humans into their spaceships, they were so much more flexible than computers...

Re:Rediscovering obsolescence (4, Informative)

Cyberax (705495) | more than 4 years ago | (#30189374)

Asimov - "The Feeling Of Power"

Can be read here: http://downlode.org/Etext/power.html [downlode.org]

PC gaming is dead err I mean portable... (1)

JDeane (1402533) | more than 4 years ago | (#30189328)

This reminds me exactly of the stories about consoles killing off PC gaming.

I doubt cell phones will kill many of those things off.

I agree with land line phones in the home, unless some one needs to fax something but I suspect those online fax services will get more popular to pick up the slack.

The rest of the stuff would have already happened if it was going too (with the exception of gaming)

Things aren't dying off (1)

msobkow (48369) | more than 4 years ago | (#30189396)

Payphones get used by people who can't afford a cell phone. It's easy to come up with $0.50 for a call, but $30-40/month is beyond a lot of people's budgets around here. Plus there are people like me who don't want a cell phone and need to make a call from time to time.

As long as DSL is "bundled" by the phone company, land lines aren't going anywhere either. Around here (Saskatchewan), long distance "bundles" just aren't available for cell phones, so you need a land line if you make a lot of long distance calls, especially if they're overseas calls. A couple of cell providers have "free" long distance, but charge you for air time instead (often more expensive than the per-minute long distance charges.)

The only thing I see cell phones managing to eliminate are the hand-held gaming units, but even that will only happen if they start getting some real games on cell phones. All I ever seem to see on them are "retro" arcade games and adventure games.

Re:Things aren't dying off (1)

Brian Gordon (987471) | more than 4 years ago | (#30189764)

I don't think there even is such a thing as long-distance over cell phones. Maybe if you're calling Africa or something, but anything within the continental US is just your regular minutes..

Re:PC gaming is dead err I mean portable... (1)

peragrin (659227) | more than 4 years ago | (#30189526)

for part of my company we scan and email documents for sending. The fax is there, but over 3/4 of the fax numbers for the company actually convert the document to PDF's and then hit the mail server. which sends them out to every one who might need a copy.

another 10-15 years and those that can't do it digitally will finally retire. between email, an easy to use scanner, and decent file management I only save a handful of hard copies. Of course I have to trust that my IT dept does decent backups of the network drives.

Re:PC gaming is dead err I mean portable... (1)

RyuuzakiTetsuya (195424) | more than 4 years ago | (#30189538)

When was the last time you used a phone booth or a pay phone?

Last time for me was when I LOST MY CEL PHONE.

More seriously though, I really don't think portable gaming is going away because of cell phones. Diminished, sure, that market segment that Nintendo caught with the DS that really likes casual games and sudoku might go away, but there's no way in hell I'm playing metroid on a cel phone.

Re:PC gaming is dead err I mean portable... (1)

Tellarin (444097) | more than 4 years ago | (#30189740)

I also think that TFA is exaggerated and that most devices will still exist.

But, specifically about pay phones, many poorer countries have stands where you can rent a cell phone to make a call and then pay for the minute. So the phone booth will just change its form.

And regarding games, in my opinion people will not play on their phones. But their DSs and PSPs will make phone calls. With bluetooth headsets, VOIP, and everything becoming a IP network, it's already here.

Watches (1)

Nerdfest (867930) | more than 4 years ago | (#30189338)

Wristwatches seem to be making a comeback in a big way. Watch any TV show and keep an eye out for flashy watches. As a bit of a collector, I'm kind of annoyed that they seem to becoming trendy. On the bright side, the selection of cool watches is definitely improving.

Re:Watches (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30189358)

I'd have to disagree, almost no one I know wears a watch daily.

Re:Watches (1)

longhairedgnome (610579) | more than 4 years ago | (#30189530)

Yeah the GP is a total lameo. Go ahead buddy, go ahead and tell everyone that you liked watches before they became popular.

Re:Watches (1)

houstonbofh (602064) | more than 4 years ago | (#30189682)

And everyone I know wears a watch daily. I guess we must know different people.

Re:Watches (1)

Xaositecte (897197) | more than 4 years ago | (#30189520)

I've got an expensive one I wear for Dates and formal occasions.

It doesn't fit into my normal outfits as far as "trendy" is concerned though.

Re:Watches (1)

filesiteguy (695431) | more than 4 years ago | (#30189534)

I have a co-worker who always asks me why I wear a (analog) watch. I respond that I can tell the time in a matter of seconds vs. looking for my blackbery and that my bb is often charging, while my watch just keeps on ticking.

Even my two boys (9 and 7 years old) wear watches.

Watches (2, Interesting)

swb (14022) | more than 4 years ago | (#30189776)

Either you get the watch, or you don't. I learned to tell time in the second grade and George actually gave me his watch because he didn't know how to tell time and I did (mom and dad made me give it back).

Had a digital watch as soon as they got cheap in the 70s (those of you born in the mid 60s will remember that well, I'm sure), an LCD watch when those got cheap. Bought a new Timex LCD in 1986 and wore it more or less continuously until 2007 when my wife gave me a Tag Heuer self-winding chronograph.

I'll never look back. This watch is a tank, keeps good time and looks fairly smart. Plus NO batteries.

Not wristwatches (4, Insightful)

chebucto (992517) | more than 4 years ago | (#30189350)

I have a flip phone that displays the time in large, bold numbers on the outside of the phone and even syncs time automatically. But I still use my wristwatch whenver I'm wearing it, because a) I don't have to fish it out of my pocket, b) it's always right there, unlike my phone which more often than not is out of arm's reach. Not to mention the fact that a watch battery lasts years, unlike the 1 week max the phone battery lasts.

More generally, I thought the lesson the original iPod taught us was that specialized devices tend to do a much better job than multi-function devices because they allow the UI and features to be specialized for a specific task. Phone cameras, clocks, and other doo-dads are great, but work best as stand-ins for the real thing. They are what you use when you don't have anything better at hand.

No P&S camera (5, Insightful)

Gruff1002 (717818) | more than 4 years ago | (#30189354)

I have yet to see a phone that can take anywhere near as good a picture as some of the most basic point and shoot cameras.

Re:No P&S camera (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30189422)

Thats because phones while having great resolution all have rubbish lenses.
You simply cant fit a good camera lens into something 10-20mm thick.
Even those lenses are a sales gimmick.

Re:No P&S camera (0)

Brian Feldman (350) | more than 4 years ago | (#30189822)

My 20mm thick Canon Elph would disagree with you....

Re:No P&S camera (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30189826)

you've never been to Japan...

!begsthequestion (1, Informative)

Itninja (937614) | more than 4 years ago | (#30189356)

Maybe it's the Aspergers that makes me obsess about things being technically correct, but begging a question if very different from raising a question. Just saying.

Re:!begsthequestion (0, Offtopic)

syntap (242090) | more than 4 years ago | (#30189394)

That is one of my biggest peeves as well. I cringe when I read or hear it.

Re:!begsthequestion (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30189626)

This is a losing battle; get over it already.

Re:!begsthequestion (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30189654)

THANK YOU for pointing this out. People need to learn how to use this phrase properly.

Re:!begsthequestion (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30189724)

> begging a question if very different from raising a question

We all have our little pet peeves. For instance, it is clearly lunacy to talk about "meteoric rise", since meteors do not rise, they fall dammit! Or "quantum leap", which is truly an advance of microscopic proportions! Or "two times more" (= 3x) used when "two times as much" (= 2x) is meant! But gots to move with the times, buddy. Gots to move with the times.

Re:!begsthequestion (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30189770)

That's not Aspergers, that's just pedantry.

Five more things mobile p... make obs...e (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30189360)

1. Being able to hear the other person clearly.
2. Ability to have a safe drive.
3. Going ten minutes in public without hearing some inane tune over and over.
4. Ability to recognize crazy people as those talking loudly when nobody else is nearby.
5. Ability for state agents to commit crimes without bystanders having photograph evidence.

Re:Five more things mobile p... make obs...e (1)

owlnation (858981) | more than 4 years ago | (#30189628)

6. The ability to walk in a straight line.

I'm SO sick of being bumped into every minute of every day in the city center.

Re:Five more things mobile p... make obs...e (1)

Tellarin (444097) | more than 4 years ago | (#30189750)

I agree.

Why can't people just walk straight, not stop or change direction suddenly, and just plain simply look where they're going?

And I'm not even talking about those absent minded with their cell phones and the like.

One more thing (4, Funny)

reboot246 (623534) | more than 4 years ago | (#30189362)

Humans, after we all die from cell phone radiation.

I'll Keep My Wristwatch, Thanks (1)

R3d M3rcury (871886) | more than 4 years ago | (#30189368)

One advantage to my wristwatch is that it's conveniently located on my wrist, unlike a cellphone which lives in a pocket or holster.

Re:I'll Keep My Wristwatch, Thanks (3, Interesting)

Nerdfest (867930) | more than 4 years ago | (#30189378)

There are several wristwatch cellphones available now.

rambling along (1)

quercus.aeternam (1174283) | more than 4 years ago | (#30189830)

Please, call them 'communicators'. It makes me feel like I'm living in an incredibly advanced society (technologically, anyway). Which, let's face it, is the truth.

Our technological capabilities constantly change, but will we ever live up to what we can achieve? Stupid UIs and bad integration are one thing that will never disappear, but a great UI with seamless integration into life is what really matters. That's why /I/ use emacs. So powerful, it was used in the creation of the universe, or so I hear.

Long live emacs!
Long live BeOS!
Long live the Newton!
Long live ssh!

And that's why ChromeOS will be successful. I really am not very interested in it, but it is certainly following the restrictiveness of Apple, and one-upping it.

I hate restrictions, but restriction is what allows for excellence. You must make a choice, and stick with it to excel.

Unfortunately, I'm more of a generalist. Computers, music, ultimate, and cooking. My only hope for achievement is to bring insights of one field to another. How depressing!

Watches (1)

future assassin (639396) | more than 4 years ago | (#30189386)

Yup just replaced my Seiko Helmet which my cat broke the crystal on when it pushed it of my bathroom sink with a nice Bulova Marine Star. It don't make phone calls but sure wears fine.

Re:Watches (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30189604)

>>Yup just replaced my Seiko Helmet which my cat broke the crystal on when it pushed it of my bathroom sink with a nice Bulova Marine Star.

Subject, verb, object parse error.

A load of BS (4, Insightful)

thetoadwarrior (1268702) | more than 4 years ago | (#30189388)

Computers were supposed to get rid of paper and they didn't. Phones won't either.

Gaming on a phone is awful. Unless that is properly addressed, then the likes of the Nintendo DS won't have to worry and I'm sure Nintendo isn't seeing how many DS units they're selling.

If I am going to do work during my commute it will be on a laptop or netbook, not a mobile. I suspect a lot of people feel the same way.

Decent cameras will never go away because a phone will never be able to match the feature set of the camera....even compact ones, imo.

Watches will always exist, if anything, as a fashion accessory.

Re:A load of BS (5, Interesting)

Yoozer (1055188) | more than 4 years ago | (#30189436)

Computers were supposed to get rid of paper and they didn't.

That's because reading a flickering CRT with the Windows 95 Hot Dog Stand color scheme makes you want to claw your eyes out, and people don't have the sense to keep a document on disk until a final version is made. Also, in meetings, staring at a laptop is rather impolite. E-ink advances and will solve these problems; you only have to wait for the generation that is used to paper to retire.

Re:A load of BS (1)

c_sd_m (995261) | more than 4 years ago | (#30189608)

You've got a while to wait: I'm 26 and still like making notes on what I'm reading during a meeting. I also go to the physical library for paper books, wear a real watch, turn my cell phone totally off overnight, use a real alarm clock to wake up to the radio, and refuse to pay a monthly fee for my mp3 player with apps. Oh, and paper books don't break when you fall asleep reading then drop them.

Re:A load of BS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30189664)

"Decent cameras will never go away because a phone will never be able to match the feature set of the camera....even compact ones, imo."

And mainframes will never go away because personal computers will never match the processing power of a mainframe. Right.

Camera phones may never match the features of a dedicated camera, but they may easily become good enough for most people to use in most practical situations. And computers may not have rid us 100% of paper (and c'mon, was that really the prediction?), but they have certainly replaced a significant amount of paper records in many offices.

Re:A load of BS (1)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | more than 4 years ago | (#30189858)

"Decent cameras will never go away because a phone will never be able to match the feature set of the camera....even compact ones, imo." And mainframes will never go away because personal computers will never match the processing power of a mainframe. Right.

Mainframes haven't gone away. There are probably more of them today than ever.

Re:A load of BS (1)

mdwh2 (535323) | more than 4 years ago | (#30189840)

Yeah, the netbook one is a load of rubbish. Netbooks fill a nice gap between small phones and laptops. A phone is too small to do a lot of computer work comfortably, but a netbook is as small as a computer can be made, without having these problems.

Then there's the fact that phones are horribly locked down, as well as incompatible with PCs. Hopefully at some point in the future we'll be able to buy a phone that basically is a PC, running the same OS and software. But until that happens, I'm glad that netbooks are around.

TFA claims that phones will "catch up" - well phones aren't going to catch up in size, unless they turn into a netbook (in which case, it's stupid to say it's a phone, and not a netbook). And they show no signs of becoming more open, either.

Convergence. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30189400)

It really is amazing how many features they keep cramming into these tiny devices. Maybe I'm a dreamer, but I am hopeful that in the next couple of years somebody will figure out a way to make reliable phone calls with these things.

#11 --Free Thought. (4, Insightful)

Fantastic Lad (198284) | more than 4 years ago | (#30189406)

-Not that we can't benefit from free thinkers. We'll just dramatically reduce the number of them available for all the important things our race needs to accomplish. And, I suppose, zombies need free thinkers to manipulate them, (since they're not much good for anything else), so Free Thought is not entirely redundant. But among cell phone users, it's pretty much a dead issue.

Oh, and if through your muddled thinking, you believe you are taking offense to this, don't worry. That's just the ego programming kicking in. Don't worry about it. You can't do anything about it anyway, except allow it to direct all of your behavior 24/7.

It's amazingly easy to manipulate the perpetually ignorant and dazed. Good thing I'm not evil. Too bad your masters are.

-FL

Re:#11 --Free Thought. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30189700)

This is one of the greatest posts I've ever read. I'd like to nominate it for a Pulitzer.

No phone booths? (2, Funny)

mark-t (151149) | more than 4 years ago | (#30189408)

That's just dandy... where is Clark Kent supposed to change now?

Re:No phone booths? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30189580)

Toilet.

Re:No phone booths? (1)

srothroc (733160) | more than 4 years ago | (#30189656)

Well, if you saw Superman Returns, he seems to just rip off his clothes in the middle of the sidewalk. That's the modern world for you.

Not 'til I'm dead, most likely (3, Insightful)

Overzeetop (214511) | more than 4 years ago | (#30189412)

...which is probably sooner than I'd prefer, but still a couple of decades away at least.

Wristwatches - I know people who use their phone. My watch is faster, convenient for me. It's a fashion accessory for many (in addition to their fashion phones)

Bedside alarm clocks - I can see this, but until shows the time without me having to touch it (and without it lighting the whole room with the back light), wakes me up with NPR, and increased the light in my room to simulate a sunrise, I'll stick with my beside box. (Okay, two boxes...it's a SunRizr that does the lights)

MP3 players - I'm sure all the iPhone guys are saying "hell yes." I've got a WM phone, and while it does great things the iPhone can't, it sucks donkey balls as a music player. The average phone is going to have to get a lot better - and a lot bigger storage (which will happen "soon") - to take over as my portable player. I'll still keep my SwimP# for the pool though...I don't think many phones would thrive in a aquatic environment.

Landline home phones - Okay, just call me an old fart; I'll probably always have one. The uptime is much better than cell.

Compact digital cameras - they're going to have to get massively better. I'm talking several orders of magnitude. Maybe before I die. Maybe.

Netbooks - keyboards and screens that don't require massive scrolling or a magnifying glass. 'Nuff said.

Handheld games consoles - Hmmmm...not much use for one, so... *shrug*

Paper - sorry, I still print directions and confirmations. This may change. Someday. But I'm awfully attached to dead trees. Probably has to do with my note taking desires, and the aforementioned need for a magnifying glass or scrolling for all but the simplest of things on a phone.

Thinking - The 'net has already made that obsolete. Now get off my lawn...

Man, I need to get back to work.

Re:Not 'til I'm dead, most likely (4, Funny)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 4 years ago | (#30189536)

Man, I need to get back to work.

Too late. While you were writing your post, a cellphone took your job.

Re:Not 'til I'm dead, most likely (1)

Overzeetop (214511) | more than 4 years ago | (#30189548)

Man, I wish. I know you're not supposed to complain about being busy in a down economy, but damn I can't wait until my current push is over and I can get back to my life. I've been waiting for it to end for about 6 months now. I'm lucky to get 2-3 hours in before I sneak off to surf for half an hour and let my brain decompress - I used to be able to hit it hard for 4-5, take a break, and do another 4-5.

Stones and rocks (4, Funny)

El_Muerte_TDS (592157) | more than 4 years ago | (#30189420)

They also make stones obsolete. I don't long have to throw rocks at a window, I can just throw my phone.

Re:Stones and rocks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30189800)

Mick and Keith will never be obsolete. I think they're cyborgs.

10 functions in 1 (1)

yobjob (942868) | more than 4 years ago | (#30189468)

Is a brilliant idea. And then you drop it.

Will prices like $50 for 5gb and then $50 per gb p (1)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 4 years ago | (#30189470)

Will prices like $50 for 5gb and then $50 per gb phones will not take over that fast also the screen need to be a lot bigger for real gameing, some web stuff, and maps

Re:Will prices like $50 for 5gb and then $50 per g (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30189644)

what? are you drunk?

Same Old Song, A Jack of all Trades (5, Insightful)

dancingmad (128588) | more than 4 years ago | (#30189500)

You keep hearing about the things that phones are going to replace and, at least for me, it's never been true.

I like having a Nintendo DS. The iPhone has not provided a game with the depth of most AAA DS titles. It's lack of buttons is a serious problem with gaming.

The camera isn't as good as any half way decent point and shoot. I haven't gotten a chance to play with any GPS software for any smart phone, but I hear there are limitations (including the need for cell service) that stand alone GPSes don't have.

Even the music functions of an iPhone aren't as good as a regular iPod or (gasp, because I love Apple gear) a Zune.

And yeah, you can use it as a watch, but any fashionable man knows that a watch is how a guy shows off. It's the only acceptable piece of jewelry for the well dressed man.

Even today's best smart phones are just communications devices with varying degrees of success. Occasionally a smart phone is "good enough" in a pinch; photographers like to say the best camera is the one you have with you, which certainly applies to smart phones. But if I know I want to play games or take pictures, I take my DS or my camera, or whatever. Phones haven't and won't - because each thing needs its own UI and software guidelines, no device is going to be able to do it all well.

Many features that I don't even want. (5, Insightful)

NoYob (1630681) | more than 4 years ago | (#30189502)

Early camera phones where painfully bad but strong sales proved that there was a demand for them.

When I got my phone, I bought it because it was the cheapest phone that had the ability to see who's calling without having to answer. It so happens to have come with a camera which I never use because it sucks. Now, are the camera manufacturers counting my sale as someone who wanted a camera? Probably. There's a few other features built into the phone that i looked at and never used because I have no use for them.

That's the thing, there's only so many choices and it's impossible to get a phone that has a feature you want without getting a bunch of features that you don't want. And if you find one, it may not be supported by your cell carrier.

Wrist Watches are Useful (2, Funny)

Greyfox (87712) | more than 4 years ago | (#30189528)

Juggling out the cellphone just doesn't have quite the same flair as pausing and then checking your wrist watch for about 5 seconds when the interviewer tells you that 20 hours of overtime a week is "normal" for the position you're interviewing for.

Re:Wrist Watches are Useful (1)

santax (1541065) | more than 4 years ago | (#30189674)

Not only that, a wristwatch will work without an adapter to plug the damn thing in. In my opinion a decent wristwatch is the most beautiful piece of technology in existence. Even better than lasers :) I don't think those will be replaced anytime soon. At least not by people who actually depend on knowing the time.

Re:Wrist Watches are Useful (1)

sconeu (64226) | more than 4 years ago | (#30189716)

In my opinion a decent wristwatch is the most beautiful piece of technology in existence. Even better than lasers :)

Well, duh! You don't need a shark to use a wristwatch.

Re:Wrist Watches are Useful (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 4 years ago | (#30189808)

I have a Seiko kinetic titanium. Its a good looking piece of mechanical engineering, but it I want to measure time I have a $30 generic digital watch with world time, alarms, timer, etc.

I don't believe you can have both ideal function and form in the same unit. I know from experience that the digital watch is way more shock proof than me, and the Seiko is not.

Simple List (1)

bongey (974911) | more than 4 years ago | (#30189544)

Top Ten : Phone boxes Wristwatches Bedside alarm MP3 players Landline home phones Compact digital cameras Netbooks Handheld games consoles Paper Thinking- (joke)

Same tag: onesizefitsall (2, Funny)

SharpFang (651121) | more than 4 years ago | (#30189560)

same misconceptions:
I want to a PSP-sized phone to have a decent screen size, and I want to take it off my pocket to check the hour. Of course it should have a full-sized QWERTY keyboard to replace my netbook (not miniaturized like G1) so that I could exercise my writer's hobby on a train, and then they will be so cheap that if I want to give someone a note about some new recipe, I scribble it on my phone and give the phone for them to take (paper replacement).

I found an 11th thing... (4, Informative)

icebike (68054) | more than 4 years ago | (#30189574)

Another thing you can do on most modern web enabled phones is look up phrases like Begs the Question and see what a fool you are making of yourself prior to posting on slashdot.

http://begthequestion.info/ [begthequestion.info]

Brought to you by the obligatory and gratuitous grammar snarks.

no they won't (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 4 years ago | (#30189584)

Phone boxes: Dead. Abut the only use is to report the theft of a mobile phone.

Wristwatches: Well, my wrist is in a very convenient place. I can even look at it whilst holding something else. It doesn't need to be fished out of a pocket. Women have the greater problem of having to fish it out of a handbag. Hell, I can look at it whilst on the phone. A watch than can keep better time than our planet can be purchased for about the same as an iphone app.

Bedside alarm clocks: Mine has a battery life measured in years. It has a handy big button on the top to stop the alarm. Far superior than to a phone.

MP3 players: I don't know why but I like my mp3 player better than my phone for mp3 purposes. Maybe that's just me, since I can't really rationalise this one.

Landline home phones: Dead. I know very few people who still use these.

Compact digital cameras: My Canon gives better pictures than any mobile phone ever will. It's not just about lens quality or pixels. There's a matter of having a large enough CCD to collect all those photons, which means you need a longer lens. And you do need a decent quality lens. They are expensive. Adding one to a cheap mobile phone means you might as well have a camera.

Netbooks: What!? They're totally different devices. If you can have a decent sized keyboard and 10 inch screen on a device that fits into your pocket let me know.

Handheld games consoles: Games consoles are extremely demanding about user interfaces. touch screens are not good for games.

Paper: I've been essentially paperless for a decade. Mobile phones aren't going to affect this significantly.

Thinking: Tools and information aid thinking. They don't replace it.

Wristwatchs will not be made obsolete (1)

gurps_npc (621217) | more than 4 years ago | (#30189622)

They serve two purposes, not one. Frankly, telling time is the least of their purposes. As a man, a wristwatch is probably the single most expensive a wife/girlfriend or even boyfriend can buy for you. It can be large without being sententious, be jewel encrusted or plain, and can hold much more metal and gems then a ring. Also, they are more accessible. It is far easier and less obvious to check than to pull out a phone and flip it/turn it on/enter your password.

Witchcraft (2)

HomelessInLaJolla (1026842) | more than 4 years ago | (#30189670)

One thousand years ago, even one hundred years ago, the concept of communicating with people who were not within line of sight or range of hearing would be called clairvoyance, clairaudience, mental telepathy, witchcraft, astral projection, sorcery, or something similar. It would have been persecuted and shunned even to the point of executing (as painfully as possible) anyone who claimed to have such ability.

Nowadays we call it technology and we persecute and shun anyone who has no interest in it calling them antisocial, or disgruntled, or loner, or hermit, or difficult to get along with.

My how human society has changed.

GPS (1)

JaZz0r (612364) | more than 4 years ago | (#30189676)

Add GPS to that list. My Droid gives turn-by-turn directions while linked to Google Maps, meaning Garmin will no longer be receiving $80/year for map updates.

Re:GPS (1)

Overzeetop (214511) | more than 4 years ago | (#30189746)

Just don't get lost out of cell range. It's one of the few shortcomings that keeps me from an iPhone.

That said, I do use my phone as my GPS, but I have a stand-alone package which does not require an active net connection. The maps are probably 3-4 years old now, but where I need it there is no cell service (prob 10% coverage at best), and the roads change very, very infrequently.

Re:GPS (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 4 years ago | (#30189846)

Well okay but when I go sea kayaking my garmin etrex will be attached to the deck of the boat and my openmoko will be in a water proof container behind the seat.

No, it won't! (1)

Seth Kriticos (1227934) | more than 4 years ago | (#30189734)

First off: a mobile phone has quite a limited interaction possibility due to the small size and no real specialization.
Second, and most important: most people can't grasp even a small portion of what little their phone can.

Sure, some folks use it as replacement for an alarm and watch. Inbuilt camera is also cute, though not even suited for good vacation photos, much less professional ones.

Games will stay with DS and PSP, and they won't loose sleep over it. Did not even see many people using their phones for music, though that would be a possibility (thanks RIAA).

Practically the only 2 thing mobile phones changed were, that people were more often reachable via phone (which they mostly don't pick up anyway) and everyone is typing those damn SMS all the time.

Now stop dreaming, face reality. Seriously..

Re:No, it won't! (1)

dingen (958134) | more than 4 years ago | (#30189864)

When I look at myself, I must admit I stopped using a watch about 10 years ago, when I got my first cell phone. Since then, about every single phone booth has been removed in my country and currently I play more games on my iPhone than on my DS or even my Xbox.

Now I know I'm probably not very representative for the entire population, but when I look around, I do notice a lot more people without a wrist watch...

Neo-luddite (4, Insightful)

mewsenews (251487) | more than 4 years ago | (#30189742)

The author poignantly concludes that while it's great to have so much power at our fingertips it does mean that some of us will rely on mobile phones for even basic mental tasks, which is great until the battery runs out.

Poignant? People tried to say the same thing about calculators in the 50s. Tools augment human capability, they can be a crutch but we're a little far from walking in the jungle throwing spears, aren't we?

6th sense (1)

gmuslera (3436) | more than 4 years ago | (#30189780)

Portable devices are converging, and cellphones so far are the main target of that convergence. But they are evolving. Started looking just as a bit more than a (big) keypad, added display that grew over time to be all display in touchscreens, added fast cpus and plenty of memory, photo/video cameras, gps/accelerometers and other sensors, etc. In a short future could be seen more as portable internet devices than phones, and its shape and way to use could evolve even more.

How they will end if start adopting the features of i.e. SixthSense [ted.com] or other approachs to user interfaces? More than cellphones will be called Augmented Reality Devices?

Learn frickin' English (0, Offtopic)

Lulu of the Lotus-Ea (3441) | more than 4 years ago | (#30189880)

It does NOT "beg the question"! It might RAISE the question (perhaps not even that), but it certainly does not claim that the question itself is evidence for its truth.

Kids these days!

Read: http://begthequestion.info/ [begthequestion.info] (or just a frickin' dictionary).

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