Next Generation Mobile PhonesWhat do you expect from your mobile? What can we expand mobile phones to? What features are interesting? Here is one idea what future mobile phones could do.
Handy AvatarWhat is an Avatar? An Avatar is something you use to be virtually present at another location. The idea behind an Avatar is as follows:
- You go to a shop, perhaps a fast food boot, to get some fast food.
- 20 people queue in front of you, so you have to wait.
- With an Avatar you do not need to wait, because the Avatar waits for you.
- When it's the turn of your Avatar, the People can ask the Avatar what you want, and everything is prepared.
- When you come back you just pay, take your avatar and what you wanted with you.
Why is this good?
- It is good for the Mobile Phone Company, as the Avatar is a Mobile Phone. However to be able to speak to the Avatar, you need a secondary mobile phone, of course. So the Mobile Phone Company has another opportunity to sell you service.
- It is good for the vendor, as he can continue to stay busy, so to sell more goods. As you left your precious Avatar there, the vendor can be sure that you come back.
- It is good for you, as you can use the time better and buy something while you buy something. No need to queue, you just leave your Avatar on the desk and can go onward. The rest (the queuing, so which Avatar comes first) is handled by the Avatars.
What else can an Avatar offer?Of course you won't buy an Avatar only because it offers this strange single thing. Of course! An Avatar must be really helpful, to be utilized. So an Avatar must offer quite more.
Baby PhoneAn Avatar makes an excellent Baby Phone. You just leave Avatars everywhere where you want to be able to hear something, and leave. Later you can even switch then on remotely or reprogram them to contact you in case something is heard, like a baby. Or similar functions, like when a movement is detected etc. As it is cellphone service it works any distance. However do not fear it is cellphone. It only sends out radio waves if it needs to report something, except of this it is not even logged into the cellphone network!
Locating service if handy is switched off or out of batteryHow often do you search your handy? How often to do call yourself only to hear where the phone rings? How often did this happen but you noticed, the phone has no battery anymore? With more an more cellphones you own, this is more likely to occur. The Avatar solves this problem. The hardware which has an Avatar must have 3 Batteries:
- The normal battery, which is charged and powers the cellphone.
- A secondary battery (which is a big capacitor) which allows the Avatar to give power to the ringer such that you can locate your Handy in case it is out of Battery. As it is a capacitor, it can last forever and never needs replacement.
- A real battery (not rechargeable) which is able to power the Avatar at least for 10 years, better longer.
- The tracking, which cells the phone heard lately, with quality. Note that this information is not kept at your cellphone company, it is sent out by the Avatar, as somebody might have switched the phone card.
- A GPS lock if the Avatar is able to get one.
- The battery status such that you know when the next time a signal can come through.
- You can ring the speaker as long as there is energy. You can tell the Avatar when to ring, such that you known when to listen.
- And you can switch the Avatar into theft mode - that is, it reports it's continuous position when the cellphone is switched on.
Anti Theft SystemAs an Avatar is a thingie thought to be left alone it must be safe against theft. So the Avatar has some provisions against theft before you are looking for it or even know it got lost. If an Avatar is placed somewhere by you, it cannot be taken far away afterwards (except with your permission). Else it will automatically issue a theft note. This is done using some near-field-communication, so the Avatar usually knows it is near your other cellphone. If it is left alone it automatically switches to this other mode.
The interesting part of this is, you do not need to do anything for this to work. You just take the Avatar out of your pocket, put it on the desk and leave. No switch to operate, nothing to tell the Avatar, no complex thing. Just grab and place, done. All you need is to have the Avatar switched on.In case it thinks it is stolen, it first tries to contact you. If this is unsuccessful, it issues a silent alarm to your Avatar Provider. This service there does all Dispatching.
Note for such service to be successful there must not be monthly expenses. These expenses must be covered when the Avatar is sold. There must be a service guarantee of at least 10 years (at least as long as the battery runs in monthly mode). Note that the service must be worldwide. Any less coverage is not helpful. Any higher coverage (Moon, Mars, etc.) is highly appreciated. So Avatars are a worldwide thing, not just left to a country.If the Avatar is unsuccessful to reach the mobile network, it starts to become loud instead and cries: "I am stolen! Help! Call Police! Fire Fire!" It does so until the Battery runs out. To be successful, the Avatar hardware must be tamper proof. So if you kill the Avatar, you kill the Cellphone, too. There must not be any way to operate the cellphone without the Avatar being online. Also killing Avatars must be difficult. Running over a Cellphone with a car must not harm the Avatar, it must be a piece of really tough hardware sealed into some durable cage within the phone (it does not need to be big, though).
Is an Avatar a Mobile Phone?No, but each Mobile Phone should be an Avatar, too. For the basic Avatar function you always need a cellphone network and the Avatar is able to connect to that network. However to run an Avatar, no mobile phone card is required (if there is none, you usually cannot open a phone connection to the Avatar, so for each interesting function you need a phone card of course). Note that there must be a way for the Avatar Provider to reach the Avatar even if it has no Phone Card in it. The idea is, if an Avatar is broken or the phone card runs out of service, the Avatar Provider still is able to activate all possible function on the Avatar. Note that this service (worldwide!) then will cost money, of course! (Only the basic things like locating the Avatar, tracking in case of theft etc. must be free of charge.)
Is really world wide service needed?Depends, but I would vote for yes. If you are in a developed country, an Avatar must not cease to work just because you crossed borders or - even worse - are near borders where the cellular network of the other country is better to reach. When you call an Avatar, usual international charges (or flatrates, whatever) shall apply as usual. However the location service must be international, as else theft prevention is void. (It also must be free of charge for the same reason!)
Or do paraphrase it differently: Everywhere where Amazon Whispernet works, an Avatar should work, too. And if you think such a WW service is impossible, think again. There already is such a service. It is called GSM 112, so regardless in which area of this world you are, dial 112 and you are connected to emergency calls. Note that some horrible regimes (like Germany) require to have a working phone card inserted into the cell phone (which is horrible, because it is known that this costs life).
How does an Avatar look like?Well, basically I think an Avatar is a piece of unbreakable sealed steal-plastic with a built in battery. It has a cellphone transmitter (capable for all GSM nets used worldwide) built in. The fractal GSM antenna is carved into it's case on both sides. Besides from that it has some connectors for all those cellphone functions, like audio data etc. Ideally the GSM transcoder is part of the Avatar, such that you do not need many external components to activate the cellphone function. Note that the signalling which shows that the Avatar is in surveillance mode etc. is up to the external hardware attached which then operates the display atc. Besides of that an Avatar can look like it wants. Perhaps it is placed in a battery case which then is built into a Teddy Bear. For this it is only a bit bigger than 3 AAA batteries placed side by side and a bit thicker (size including batteries! Note that you need the batteries to keep the "Teddy" locateable each hour, else the Avatar switches to monthly mode). It shall have come internal CPU such that for example you can attach it to your car's electonics (thereby providing a car-phone-function) such that it is able to switch off the engine in case the car is stolen. It shall have an input for GPS hardware, such that it can read satellite position - however for the purpose I see a raw location based on cellular network location should be enough most time, so GPS is not really needed.
The idea of an Avatar is, that you can virtually attach to anything you want. It shall be so small and so intergrated, such that you really do not need more than the bare Avatar box to operate it. It shall function even if all external hardware is destroyed.One example use of an Avatar is Emergency Call Stations. This basically just a little box which has a crank handle which operates a manual charger, the Avatar Hardware and some headphone. All you need to operate is you just continuously turn the crank. The rest is done by the Avatar, so it automatically calls 112, authenticates it's position and you are connected to help.
I do not expect a pure Avatar costs more than $20. A small crank operated generator plus headphones plus pox painted in Red/Yellow stripes should go below 20$ as well. So having 10000 emergency call boxes in, say, Yosemite National Park should go below $50000/year (an Avatar lasts at least 10 years, see above). Deal?All we need for this is a worldwide arrangement of all cellphone companies to support Avatars.
Is there more to it?The mobile phone companies must agree to allow different Avatar Providers. And the cost for Avatar Providers to set up their service must be extremely low (such that if one Avatar Provider goes out of business, it is cheap to take over the function). Each Avatar Provider sells it's own Avatars. Such that the customer can choose which Avatar to use. For example Mobile Phone manufacturers are Avatar Providers of their phones. Nobody else can be this, because those, who provide the Hardware of an Avatar are the Avatar Provider.
Again to stress it: If there is any additional monthly fee, the complete idea of the Avatars is rendered void. So it is imperative that those, who sell the Avatar, also include lifetime basic service to this Avatar including a service guarantee!There also are some software requirements etc., which must be met such, that the service network is not overwhelmed by people looking for their Avatars. As an Avatar ID must be sent out worldwide to locate the Avatar. For example if you are a journalist and want to know where old PCs go to, glue an Avatar into such a PC and let it go. Then you can get a monthly update of where the Avatar now is. And this all is free of charge until the battery of the Avatar wears out.
I expect the Avatar to drain the internal battery of 1 year of energy when it sends out information without external power supply, so you can get 10 times reports which is 10 months location). If you want more often reports, you must attach an external battery, which then enables the Avatar to send it's position each hour (until the external battery is drained).-2011-03-24