We’re currently in the midst of a rather large and rather important transformation in the computer industry – a transformation that will see the demise of the bulky, all-purpose desktop as we know it today, and the emergence of the small, specialized electronic appliance. The days of homes with one or perhaps two all-purpose desktops, stationed in ‘computer rooms’, are nearing an end. In their place we’ll begin to see small, application-specific computers scattered throughout the home – a small console for grocery shopping and recipes in the kitchen, a computer powering your stereo or entertainment center, and let’s not forget the small unit running MSN Messenger in your pocket.
The key to all of this is wireless technology. On their own, all of these small devices become much less useful. But connect them all – not only to other devices in the same house, but to the entire world via the internet – and the possibilities are intriguing. But for all that, wireless technology is still in its infancy. Though several types of wireless devices are readily available today, we’re still seeing only the tip of the iceberg in terms of what will come in the next five to ten years. These new technologies and developments will not appear overnight, but rather in a rapid evolutionary manner.
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