Mae West asked “Is that a pistol in your pocket or are you just glad to see me?” Last night when I went out rapper sword dancing around the pubs in Bath the bulges in my pocket were due to my Casio Ex-Z1080 digital camera, Nokia N95 phone and iPod MP3 player.
It struck me that the processing power, storage capacity and functionality that these devices would have been in the realm of science fiction when I was younger (Star Trek comes to mind). I was carrying around in my pocket a iPod which has an 80 hard disk drive, a camera with a 2Gb SD card and a mobile phone with a 512 Mb micro SD card. All three devices play videos, display photos and play music, the phone and the camera are content capture devices which can be used for taking photos and recording video and sound. In addition, as Phil Wilson has described recently, the Nokia N95 phone is also has WiFi, GPS support and provides a Podcast client and can be used to watch TV and listen to the radio (if you are prepared to pay the network charges).
When, I wonder, were the processing power, storage and functionality of such devices only available on expensive, state-of-the-art desktop computers? And what will the bulges in our pockets be capable of providing in 5 years time? Any suggestions?