August 27, 2002
1:44 PM   Subscribe

Interesting article about ways in which telecom companies can take what they have and make it more profitable as opposed to pie in the sky broadband/lifestyle schemes. Some cool ideas.
posted by zeoslap (7 comments total)
I've always wished for just those sorts of things... especially the 411 service being able to "beam" you the number that you're calling.

Best service to-date (for me, at least) is the restaurant reservation service I got with my Sprint PCS account.

Imagine if you could "phone" into a sporting event or concert? Phone call cum pay-per-view... or if universities offered live feeds to courses for either distance learning or auditing students.

How about all the things you can do with a phone in Europe and Japan (of course, that may just be urban myth), like paying bills or paying for things at vending machines?

There's a lot out there... would be fun.
posted by silusGROK at 2:25 PM on August 27, 2002

Yeah the beam the number into the phone is a great idea, as would dialing into a concert actually. I wonder if they currently have enough bandwidth to be able to do internet style radio, could be an alternative to the XM satellite stuff.
posted by zeoslap at 2:32 PM on August 27, 2002

This article has some wonderful ideas. In the spirit of invention, I thought I'd share a few more.

I want a device that:
is a digital phone with voice mail with voice dial
is a radio phone (like Nextel users get)
is a digital camera with at least 1.5 megapixels
is a robust PDA (calendar, to do list, contact list, etc., synchronizing with my computer)
has a decent calculator
has a voice recorder
has an mp3 player
allows me to read and write email, connecting to my regular POP3/SMTP account.
has a rechargable battery that lasts at least two days under normal use

In addition, it should not break when I drop it from three feet onto the ground.

All of these technologies are available now in separate devices. Combine them into a single tool and I will pay you a lot of money for your genius.

On preview, I'm going to embrace Vis10n's ideas/reminders and further request the following:
restaraunt reservation service
radio-like news service
what the hell, an AM/FM radio tuner
infared payment at vending machines, and hey, how about toll booths?
the transcript service that the article mentions is very cool
that's all I can think of off the top of my head.

Get all this in under a pound and you can rule the world.
posted by Jonasio at 2:43 PM on August 27, 2002

a pound? What is this, 1990?
posted by zpousman at 4:47 PM on August 27, 2002

Restaurant reservations hmmm... can't you do that with a phone right now :) There was also 1-800-Opentable (not sure if it's still running) that allowed you to make a reservation at any of their restaurants
posted by zeoslap at 6:02 PM on August 27, 2002

You're right, zpousman. I meant to say half a pound.

But I didn't mean to derail this thread, really. A lot of the features I was daydreaming about could logically be built into a handset, but I think zeoslap was trying to bring our attention to services that don't require handset features.

A number of the features we want can be handled through the network. Phone, voice mail, radiophone, voice recording, radio streaming, email, reservations, transcripts, information services, news services, internet connectivity, even credit payments (if vending machines were wired) could all be handled through the network instead of needing handset features.
posted by Jonasio at 7:26 AM on August 28, 2002

Something has always bothered me about the neo-maxi-zum-dweeby Convergent Handheld: it's a single point of failure. I don't like carrying around separate PDA, phone, laptop, but I *do* like the security that replication of data provides.

I guess the service I'd like to see best is a trusted, distributed repository of all my phone numbers, appointments, etc. so that any nearby piece of equipment could be used.

Keep commoditizing the hardware, please.
posted by bingo_the_clowno at 12:58 PM on August 28, 2002

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