M2M - The Industry
I do feel old. I don't mean that my body creaks in the morning or that I have to get up to pee 4x a night, but working in the cellular industry really makes you feel old fast.
I started out in the mid to late 90's doing pretty much what I do now, wireless data. Sure, they call it different things now, but basically we are still using cellular networks to allow devices to talk...to other devices, to applications and to people. And, it seems that we are going to be able to talk a lot faster in just a few short years.
The early rumbling is that we will start to see 5th Generation (or 5G) devices within the next decade, maybe as soon as even 2020. And, the early thoughts as to what this network may do are staggering:
• Response times of under 1 millisecond, ideal for important applications like teenagers playing video games
• Unheard of reliability (even the oft-mentioned "5 - 9s")
• Stupidly fast speeds.....even up to 10Gbps!
• 90% more power efficiency
My own wishlist
Since we are at it, maybe the designers of this new great technology can help with the following requests that I have:
Volume buzzers on Smartphones
I sat in a waiting room the other day and spent most of my time eavesdropping on a riveting conversation that a teenage girl was having about a boy named Chad. It's not that I was trying to listen, I was actually trying hard NOT to listen, but she decided to yell out every word. Besides my first thought (why can't you just text annoyingly fast like every other teenager?), I was wondering if we could use this extra power that we are saving on the new technology to deliver a mild, but increasingly painful shock to those who talk this loud? I think it is a fair trade off....
Better use of GPS geo-fencing
I have heard the one about how various technologies are being used to deter "Text and Driving", and that is great technology. How about we take some of this proximity-based solutions a bit further? The one that I suggest is that when my wife gets within 500 yards of a shopping mall, I get a text and it temporarily freezes our credit cards....Think of all the savings!
A "you can't send that" filtering mechanism
Ok, I am sure that this one already kind of exists (since there are millions of apps), but I will post it anyway. How many of us have written an email or a text that we wish we had not written? I think we need to have a way to communicate with our "future selves" about some of the things that we send.
So, when we hit send on any email that may get us in trouble, a note is sent to our "future self" to ask "Are you happy that we sent this email or text 5 years ago?" If the answer is "Heck no!", it gets blocked by a server.
Improving Powerpoint presentations for everyone
Ok, a huge pet peeve of mine is when people decide to read their slides while doing a PowerPoint presentation. I am not the smartest guy on the planet, but I did master reading a few weeks ago.....
So, what I am proposing is the ability to shoot a painful, but not lethal, laser beam out of my cell phone in the event that someone starts to read their slides. A slight, short pain for them will eliminate a very long pain for the rest of us.....sounds like a win-win!
It can also be used for:
• In-laws that talk needlessly on about boring subjects.....not limited to: Gardening, learning an old language like Latin or their wine collection.
• Door to Door salesmen.
• Anyone who insists to talk after you've warned them that you really need to use the bathroom at least once (some jurisdictions may require you to tell them twice and then wait 15 seconds).
The Bottom Line
Of course, I am joking with these crazy ideas (well partly, I do like the PowerPoint laser idea). It seems that when we get a few years away from a new network technology coming out, everyone talks about all of the things that it will do. However, we tend to forget a few things....are people actually willing to pay for these things, and do we really need to browse at 10Gbps when most of us text or Facebook the majority of the times on our smartphones? Or maybe we do....as I said, I do feel old sometimes in this industry!