Editor’s note: Think of this as a little “back to the future” experience. Faze Magazine has been around for a long time, and this piece was written back in the early 2002 for the print edition (with Shakira on the cover). So most of the features of the “super cellphones” that author Sapna predicts here came to pass (and sometimes went) a long time ago. Enjoy. 🙂
Oh, and one last note, back in 2002, “cellphones” were actually “cell phones”, but the language has evolved since then and like “web site” and “home page” they’ve all become compound words!
By Sapna Jain
Colour screens, MP3 players, Internet access, text-messaging, voice activation, games, photo caller ID, personal organizers, e-mail…you name it, cellphones seem to have it these days. We’ve come a long way from the early days of cellular communication, when cell phones could barely pick up a signal.
We have become a wireless world where cellphones have progressed from long-range walkie-talkies to complete communication systems used by young and old. Now you can find cellphones in an array of funky colours and in sizes smaller than your fake ID.
So what’s next? By the end of this year or early 2003, expect to see handsets with Java capabilities. These phones will be able to download colours, graphics, and motion, enabling us to watch streaming video, play high quality video games, and store pictures on our cell phones.
Not far off is a built-in Geographic Positioning System, which allows you to pinpoint location. For example, you could use your GPS to find the nearest all-night coffee shop relative to where you are. Also, a tracking capability (similar to ICQ) will soon be available, enabling you to know who else is on their phone at the same time as you.
However, the latest thing is often old news by the time it hits your ear. Engineers around the world are continually working to develop creative new applications for your cell phone.
As you read this, designers are working on phones that will fit into your car dashboard and automatically set preferred radio stations, adjust the temperature, position your seat, and display the best way to get you where you want to go. You should also be able to access your bank account, send and take digital photos, remotely lock and unlock the door of your home and even monitor your heart! Your stored information will hopefully be secure with fingerprint or voiceprint identification capabilities.
Of course, pre-existing technologies are continually being updated and expanded.
It is expected that by 2005 more than 50% of all calls in the world will be wireless, and by 2006 wireless phones will outnumber traditional landlines across the globe.
With more and more tech-savvy teens using cell phones, it is apparent we are an important part of the cellular picture. Mark Langton of Telus Communications says, “It is estimated that 50% of new cellphone subscribers this year will be from the youth market.”
According to a recent Bell Mobility survey, of Ontario and Quebec cell phone users between the ages of 16-24, we are heavy, but responsible, cellphone users (more often using our phones to call mom and dad, rather than to call friends). On average, we use our phones two to three hours per week and make purchasing decisions based primarily on price, functionality and reception.