Keep a weather eye on laptop ads and you will quickly notice a trend: Americans require more than just computing power. Every slogan is “It’s a laptop and…” or “It’s more than just a laptop…” This is because laptops are becoming more multi-purpose. They’re also tablets, workspaces, and presentation tools.
Let’s kick ‘em up a notch.
Here are five features that could be added to make our daily lives easier and truly make our portable devices invaluable.
Image via seoworms.com
We can put a man on the moon but we can’t figure out how to hook up cable X to plug Y in order to present the quarterly sales reports. It’s 2014, why are business execs still bumbling with projectors and calling the IT department to help them get the display right?
Built in projection should go mainstream – and I’m not just talking about pressing a button similar to your webcam to project your screen onto a whiteboard. Instead of huddling around a screen to watch cat videos, it could be projected on a small screen in the air so everyone can enjoy it. Either way, there should be no need for hook-up cables in the future.
We’re already seeing laptops trend away from the bulky clamshell. This half keyboard, half screen mullet will soon be placed next to flip phones in the technology history museum.
Developers all over the world have been trying to figure out the future of computers. From a flexible screen that you can roll up and tuck into your pocket to curvy builds that erase the line between keyboard and screen, the sky is the limit for what device people will be reading this blog on in the next 10-20 years.
However, we need to crawl before we can walk. The next level that technology needs to advance to is flexible devices like convertible laptops where users can have a tablet, traditional laptop, or flipped screen depending on their moods. This is America, and we like options, so keeping our computers one-dimensional will only hold us back.
We are on the cusp of eye-movement technology. Developers have been playing with it a little, but it is by no means a regular feature. In the coming years, our eyes will do most of the work as we use them to guide the mouse across the screen and command clicks with blinks.
Not only does this benefit laptop developers, it also helps website and graphic designers. Heat maps are already used when evaluating websites to see where the eye naturally falls. All they will have to do is follow the natural data of this visual data when they build their sites.
As long as we’re going hands-free with eye-motion technology, let’s improve voice recognition software as well. Dictation should become commonplace as computers get better at listening. I’m not just talking about asking where the nearest Starbucks is or sending a text. I’m saying that long dictation – emails, blog articles, reports – will become the norm. Typing classes will also fall into the same garage-sale box as maps and fax machines when everything is done with the voice.
Developers are predicting a 50% increase in battery life by 2018, and I can’t wait. Both laptops and phones desperately need better batteries. Nothing’s worse than entering a meeting and crawling around the conference table until you find a plug for your charger.
Dying phones have become such a common problem that charging stations can be found at theme parks, stadiums, bars, and even parks. Instead of setting up places where people can get a quick hit, let’s treat the addiction in the long run by making better batteries.
Reading these features kind of makes your laptop seem a little bland, doesn’t it? After visualizing a world where clicking a mouse has been passed up for blinking, I don’t blame you. Hold strong, lovers of all things tech! We will get there soon.
Abigail Clark is an up-and-coming freelance writer. She graduated from The University of South Florida with a bachelors in marketing, minoring in journalism. When she isn’t up to her neck in coupons she is enjoying the outdoors fishing. She loves doing reviews for technology, home products and beauty products. If you would like her to do a review for you look her up on twitter @downtownabby17.