A vision of pervasive computing

By Sean M. Dugan, InfoWorld |  Hardware

Ditzel: And it's also connected to the Internet all the time, so the type of computing will change in terms of what people need. For example, very few handheld devices today can run a full Web browser. By that I mean either Netscape or Internet Explorer, because with those two desktop browsers, in order to view all the things on the Web, you need to also run the plug-ins for the Web browser -- things that give you the streaming video, real audio, MP3. Those plug-ins are only written for the major browsers, but aren't available for mobile computing devices and their browsers.

InfoWorld: So we are losing a lot of functionality right now with these kinds of mobile devices.

Ditzel: Try and access the Web from WAP [Wireless Application Protocol], and you're not going to get streaming video. What Transmeta is interested in doing is helping to create the technology that will enable people to build handheld devices that will deliver exactly the same experience as they get off their desktop PC.

Why do you have to llearn another e-mail system? Why can't I use the one on my desktop? How come when you get e-mail on some little device and they send you a PowerPoint file, the question is whether or not you'll be able to open the file. The answer has to be, "Yes." And that's what we're really trying to do, to take low power silicon technology and marry that with compatibility across all the PC applications, operating systems, and software.

InfoWorld: Will there be any device of choice? Or will we see a whole slew of devices, and we'll each carry a couple? Or will different people have different kinds of favorite devices?

Ditzel: I think it's going to change with time. I think in the short term, you're going to see a wide variety of different devices. People are rushing to service the demand that's out there. But these will be in a variety of highly specialized devices. I think over time, what people are going to want is to carry fewer and fewer of them. In the longer term, three to four years from now, I think my own vision is one where you really only need to carry one kind of device. Imagine something a little larger than a Palm Pilot, but that has a screen on it that's higher resolution than screens today -- sufficient to read a full screen like you would a desktop monitor. You could read e-mail or watch video -- and the device that allows the user to do all that will become the device of choice. It will be your cell phone, but it will also be your e-mail, your pager, and your PIM [personal information manager].

InfoWorld: All of your communication needs met by one device?

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