How times change.... Even the most basic cell phones of 2007 pack more computing and navigational power than was used on early NASA space missions!
And as you would expect, business people have become emotionally attached to their personal cell phones and wireless technological devices. So much so that there are now specialists treating addictions to advanced wireless devices such as the Blackberry and other e-mail capable "smart" phones. Studies have shown that addictions to cell phones and wireless Blackberry e-mail are as powerful as heroin addiction!
We have tracked down some of the latest cell phones and features that eventually you may not be able to live without. If you suffer from cell phone or PDA addictions, this list may make it that much harder to kick the habit.
Wi-Fi Cell Phones
If you have ever had a call "drop out" for a brief period of time, you will appreciate the introduction of the Wi-Fi cell phone. This handy device can automatically switch between conventional cellular and Wi-Fi VoIP modes - even during the course of normal conversation.
Dense urban areas that contain large buildings made of concrete and steel continue to pose problems for conventional cellular signals. These structures have a tendency to block the radio frequencies needed to maintain wireless call connection to a "repeater" - the device that picks up your signal and makes the call possible. If a phone is near the limit of a repeater's range and the user walks from the outdoors to indoors, the call can easily be dropped out of the network.
The Wi-Fi cell phone eliminates this dropout by automatically and seamlessly connecting to the closest Wi-Fi hotspot. With Wi-Fi becoming more and more popular and widespread, look for many more handsets to carry this feature in the near future.
The Breathalyzer-Enabled Cell Phone
You have been out celebrating a new promotion with colleagues and business associates. No longer do you have to wonder whether or not you have had one too many to drive home. Introducing: The Breathalyzer Cell Phone.
The breathalyzer cellular phone is a handset that is equipped with a built-in device for detecting ethyl alcohol vapor on the breath. The Korean company LG manufactures a breathalyzer cell phone (LP4100) that is already in use by thousands of Korean customers.
Many predict this feature will be integrated into more handsets from a variety of companies sooner than later. The breathalyzer wireless phone is especially handy for the college-age crowd or for the business person who is required to constantly entertain clients or prospective clients. The breathalyzer cell phone will undoubtedly save lives as its use becomes more popular.
GPS-Enabled Cell Phones
GPS (global positioning system) navigation technology has started to be offered by wireless companies to help guide users to any address they wish to find. The newly equipped GPS phones are even able to give verbal directions in response to an address that is entered into the handset.
Practical uses for this technology are vast for both business and personal use. For salespeople, or for those whose jobs require them to travel to multiple destinations in one day, the feature could become highly addictive. On a personal level, keeping track of teens is as easy as handing them a cell phone.
There is one company that offers a service that allows users to form networks so that anyone in the network can alert everyone else in that network as to their current location. Eventually, GPS will be standard for all cell phones and wireless devices.
The "Screaming" Cell Phone
The screaming cell phone is a feature that allows for the cell phone handset to emit a noise similar to a human scream in the event that the phone is lost or stolen. Once reported, a system administrator can begin to render the scream through the use of a "kill switch". Once the noise begins, the device becomes inoperable and all stored data is subsequently erased.
Although "screaming technology" does not prevent the theft itself or even the return of the handset, it does keep sensitive cell phone data out of the hands of the thief. As one would expect, it makes the perpetrator of the crime extremely conspicuous as well. This technology can be used with any portable device: cell phone, Blackberry, PDA, pager and even a notebook computer.
Want a phone that will function as both a wireless and landline device? If so, the Personal Handyphone is for you. The only drawback is that you need to live in Asia to use it.
Developed over 10 years ago in Japan, the personal Handyphone now boasts over 70 million users. The device is simple: a lightweight and portable wireless telephone that functions as a cordless phone in the home and wireless mobile phone everywhere else. It can now handle voice, fax and even video signals.
Due out in June, 2007, the Apple IPhone may change the cell phone landscape forever. Navigation is as simple as flicking your finger across the screen. Of course the phone comes with Ipod functions and internet browsing capabilities. The ease of use of this phone is vintage Apple, a company that seems to make everything incrediby easy.
Critics say the Iphone will not live up to the hype it has created over the last six months. Maybe so, but Cingular, the contracted carrier for Iphone service, has already received millions of inquiries about the new phone. If the Iphone is as popular as the Ipod, Apple will force other cell phone manufacturers to follow their lead. Be prepared to spend some money if you plan on buying one. The Iphone is slated to carry a hefty price tag ($499-599) - (but is it ever a cool phone!) The Apple Iphone may be the one phone that you simply cannot live without.