Magazine article The Futurist

Wireless Devices Rival Sci-Fi

Magazine article The Futurist

Wireless Devices Rival Sci-Fi

Article excerpt

A number of devices once seen only in science-fiction movies are now appearing in the real world; many more are on the way, says technology-watcher Ron Schneiderman in his new book, A Manager's Guide to Wireless Telecommunications.

Wristwatch communicators are already sold in the United States and Japan. One such device, created by AT&T Bell Laboratories, features a speaker that pops out and pivots to fit in the palm of the hand; the user can have a private conversation by cupping his hand to his ear and speaking into the microphone at his wrist. When the call is completed, the speaker snaps back into place.

Mobile phones will do more and more work as the trend toward portable, multifunctional devices continues. "In the not-too-distant future, mobile phones will unlock and start cars, open front doors, or start dinner as you near your house in the evening," Schneiderman says. One company already offers cellular phones with wireless Internet access.

The Japanese company Kyocera Corporation sells an adapter that turns its mobile phone into a videophone that can send and receive images via television transmission. …

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