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Dream gadget Tue, Sep 19, 2006
I read a Digg post a few days ago that said something about getting your "dream gadget".  The article it linked to actually said nothing about that; it talked about buying your dream gadget by shopping online and price-matching.  But that got me thinking:  What's my dream gadget?  It didn't take long to come up with a full-featured super-gadget that can never and will never exist.  But I can dream can't I? 

[I feel like that kid from A Christmas Story.]

My dream gadget would be a mobile media and communication device.  It would consist of a phone, a computer, a camera, a digital music player, a satellite radio tuner, a GPS device, and a video game system. 

Despite my extreme dislike for the phone in general and cell phones in specific, I have to admit that it's quite convenient to be able to call a pizza place while I'm in the car and have it be ready by the time I get there.  And it's good to be able to call people when I get lost while trying to find a bowling alley in the suburbs of Paterson.  Plus, text messaging is currently my favorite means of communication.  It's so simple and to-the-point. 

Despite my extreme dislike for the current state of mobile internet usability, I can see that it's an extremely useful thing.  It's great to be able to find all kinds of information at any time of the day, wherever you are.  And aside from the mobility part, a computer is great at organizing information, such as contacts, notes, a calendar, etc.  This would require WiFi in addition to a mobile internet voice/data plan. 

Despite my extreme dislike for cell phone cameras, it just makes all the sense in the world to decrease the number of gadgets a person carries.  I used to carry a cell phone and a PDA, so when I got a Treo, I was overjoyed.  And now I carry a Treo and a camera, so it would obviously be great to combine them.  However, like I stated in my previous post, it would need to be a considerably good camera. 

I've never owned an mp3 player, but I would like portable digital music if it fit into my existing device.  My Treo can play music, but the headphone jack is in such a terrible location, it makes me wonder if the thing was designed by a blind person (not that I have anything against blind people; but I would imagine they're not the best at designing usable electronics products).

Satellite radio is something I'd like to get into eventually, but I just don't have enough courage to take the plunge.  Like I said in the past, if a device came pre-installed with a satellite radio tuner, I would probably be willing to fork over the $15/month for the service. 

GPS is another thing I'd really like to get into, but I have trouble justifying spending hundreds of dollars on another gadget.  If it came bundled in my dream gadget, I would definitely be a fan.  I keep coming across scenarios where it would be really great if I had GPS.  Like when I'm lost in the middle of the woods and I need to find the nearest crossing road.  Or when I know there's a quicker way to get to a certain destination, and an aerial view would make it completely possible.  Plus, GeoTagging is a great way to trace your steps and/or leave a breadcrumb trail.  Flickr just enabled the functionality so that it's easy to tell where photos were taken (with a high degree of precision).  It would also be cool to see a breadcrumb trail for a hiking trip or a road trip.  "Where were you on Sunday at 1:40pm?"  I was at 42.2733823022,-73.1899702181

A video game system would be the icing on the cake.  "Game cartridges" and "platforms" are stupid.  I want the universal self-contained gaming system.  I know the technology is there.  It's more about the licensing and intellectual property. 

On a final note, despite my extreme dislike for Bluetooth, I would want my device to be able to wirelessly communicate with other devices.  I think that's what Bluetooth is supposed to do, though it utterly fails.  Once they finally get all the kinks worked out, it would be nice to stream music from my gadget to a device of my choosing (home theater, car stereo, etc.).  I would want to see my digital pictures on my TV.  I would want to listen to satellite radio in my car.  I would want to sync information between my gadget and my computer. 

So in the end, all I want is a GPS-enabled computer-camera-phone music and satellite radio playing and streaming video game system.  Is that too much to ask? #technology

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