With all the talk of smartphones and specifications, I thought I would take a different approach to not “What” a smartphone offers but “How” we would like to use and interact with it, some would call this “The Experience”. With smartphone hardware reaching a point now where they can pretty much send a rocket to orbit, I think it’s time we reflect more on how we would like to interact with the device and how it interacts with us over the typical specifications sheet debate. So allow me to start with what would be my ultimate smartphone experience.
5:30 a.m. I wake up from the bed to the tune of my smartphone alarm clock. When I touch the screen, I am greeted by a pleasant voice “Good Morning Jamaar. Would you like me to read your schedule for the day?” “Sure” I say in response as the phone displays and speaks the events I currently have scheduled for the day based off my calendar. After this run down my phone would tell me the weather and traffic conditions and the recommended time for me to leave for work. As I run around the house preparing my lunch and get dressed for the day, I get an interruption “Sorry to interrupt you Jamaar I see that traffic patterns have changed, due to the heavy traffic I suggest you leave in 10 minutes to arrive at your destination on time.” I huff as I grab my jacket and head to the garage to get in my car.
After I place my bags in my vehicle, I tap my garage door opener to open the door. Upon backing out of my garage my phone illuminates and Bluetooth is automatically engaged, then through the speakers I hear a voice “Are you driving?” I say “Yes” as I reach the end of my driveway the phone detects my garage door open and asked “Would you like to close your garage door?” “Sure” I respond as I head down the street and the door closes automatically. Once I hit the end of my street the phone would begin playing my commute playlist. While sitting in traffic which is common in Fredericksburg, VA my phone would illuminate and over the speaker would say “I found an alternate route that might save you some time would you like directions?” “Oh Yeah!” I respond as the navigation window opens on the phone and begins providing me new directions to my destination. Along the way I receive a text message, a tone interrupts my music and a voice says “You have a text message from your wife, would you like me to read it? “Yes” I respond and the message is read to me. At the conclusion of the message i’m asked “Would like to respond? If I say yes then I would respond by voice and say “send” or if I decline the message would be stored for later. When I arrive at work my phone detects my location and sends a text message automatically to whomever I wish to know that I have arrived.
While at my desk I am reminded via notification without voice that I have a meeting in 10 minutes. My phone knows that voice interactions will not be used while I am at work. When I arrive at the meeting my phone would automatically silence itself for the scheduled meeting time and no interruptions except those I have permitted through settings can interrupt me during this period. After the meeting, I return to my desk and as I work, I receive a phone call, the ringer is low based off the ambient noise around me. If I was in a louder environment the phone would ring louder. After I take the phone call I place the phone face down on the desk and when I flip it over I am presented with the time as well as any new notifications I have received.
I walk into my home and pull my phone from my pocket my lock screen no longer requires me to put in a passcode to unlock as it syncs to my wi-fi it simply lets me swipe to unlock. While going up the stairs I ask my phone “Hey Google, what’s good on TV?” it responds “Looks like two of your favorite shows are on tonight. Dexter and Breaking Bad”. In my excitement I drop my phone on my wood floor and hear the soul crushing sound of phone on floor, as I turn the phone over I am pleasantly surprised to see that no damage has come to my device. I wipe the screen off and place the phone in my pocket vowing to never get that excited about T.V. again. After a long night of TV watching I casually look over at my phone “Alright, I'm turning in. Don’t bother me till the morning” in response my phone says “I’ll make sure of it”. Unlike most nights, I sleep peacefully knowing that I won’t be interrupted by a phone call and my alarm would automatically be set for the next day.
Everything I described in this article exists today. It’s available to us right now. The problem is that it’s not in one place, the experience is provided through a patchwork of programs developed by different people and provided through phones that cannot run the hardware or software reliably enough to make it through the day without walking around with extra batteries or a portable charger. So what do I want? Well, You can keep your Snapdragon 800’s and your 1080p displays, your Boomsounds and your 20MP cameras. I want battery life, I want my phone to last me 16 hours with 2-3 hours of GPS and Bluetooth. 6 hours of screen on time and 4-6 hours of streaming music. If I play games or stream HD video of course I would expect that to cut into the battery performance. I want a screen thats great to look at IPS or AMOLED if it needs to be 720p to get me the battery life than so be it. I want a decent camera, good enough to post pictures on G+ or Facebook, I don’t want or need you to build in a Cannon or Nikon quality camera. I want a good quality build, something that I can walk around with without a case on it, something that if I drop it I don’t have to worry about shelling out about $500 - $800 to replace. If this means making the phone heavier and thicker than do it, I like a phone with some heft to it.
So this is what I would like in a smartphone, this is my ultimate smartphone. What’s yours?
Post written by +Jamaar DeBoise for Svartling Network.
My (+Stefan Svartling) thoughts on this post:
I also believe the mobile future will be more voice command and gesture based, but for that to happen, companies like Google and Apple needs to prioritize international support, otherwise these kind of features always will be "US only", and in fact, I think it will be very hard to have these features work all over the world. It will not be possible to "translate" them to all different languages, and no it's not enough using English, it doesn't work, these features won't recognize Swedish names, names on restaurants and so on, even if I use english here in Sweden.
But i'll agree about battery life though ;)