Our world today is heavily dependent on computers and other digital devices to accomplish many tasks efficiently. Gone are the days where you have to manually input information on a piece of paper and do complex calculations on your own. Now, we have software to do the most complicated tasks effectively and quickly, and the world has progressed far.
But perhaps the biggest innovation that has increased overall performance and productivity in the professional sector is the rise of portable computer devices. Starting from old Apple II computers that can be carried around and used as long as there’s a socket nearby, to early forms of laptops, no matter how bulky and large they may be.
Professionals can accomplish more tasks, increasing business productivity to heights never seen before. Full-service digital marketing companies can serve their clients well because all of their materials and tools are contained in one laptop, and can be changed and adjusted according to the client’s desire. Architects and engineers can create 3D mock-ups of the actual structure they’re building, reducing the risk of failure and speeding the design and construction process by a considerable margin.
The Future of Portable Technology
It’s not an impossibility to say that a large percentage of the population of the world carries a device that far out-powers supercomputers from decades ago. With the advent of smartphones, many tasks and activities that originally required a desktop computer or a laptop can now be done in the palm of our hands (quite literally).
Most web-based tasks can now function as well on a smartphone as much as it can on a traditional computer, and as user interface philosophy improves, so would the experience. But looking at the present situation of super-portable computers, what can we expect in the future? Here are a few ideas:
The Innovative Nintendo Switch and Its Effects
A long-time force in the world of video games, Nintendo has always been the one pushing the envelope with each release of their popular line of consoles. While traditionally, they would have a home console parallel to a handheld console, they have thrown away this in favor of a 2-in-1. The Nintendo Switch, a device that can function both as a handheld console when traveling, and as a home console when not was introduced in 2017 and remains a top contender, 4 years later.
While this idea isn’t exactly new, this level of precision and ease of use has never been done before. Companies rivaling Nintendo have taken note of this, with rumors of a Sony handheld floating about, and consistent efforts from Microsoft and Sony in improving their streaming service. Streaming video games from a computer to a handheld device is a relatively new concept, no doubt spurred by the success of the Nintendo Switch.
The Return of Ultra Mobile Portable Computers (UMPC)
Sometime in the 90s, microcomputers the size of a calculator were extremely popular. They accomplished basic tasks such as word processing, spreadsheet management and calculations, and more. While there was still a need for a desktop computer to finish many tasks, technology today now allows for more powerful processors in a handheld form factor. Products like AYA Neo, GPD’s Win 3 and Win Max, and One Gx1, released together in a span of months, have heralded the return of UMPCs.
While the purposes have shifted from office tasks to gaming, they still retain office functionality and are worthy successors to the UMPCs from the 90s. As even more powerful processors are being developed to be smaller and power-efficient with good temperature output, we can expect to see a rise in the production of better handheld devices with the capacity of a desktop computer.
Desktop Smartphones and Single Board Computers
On the end of embedded systems, both the smartphone and single-board computer (SBC) industries are seeing an increase in both popularity and power. While the prevalence of smartphones cannot be understated, major phone companies’ efforts in creating a desktop mode for their top releases signal that there is a desire to have an all-in-one device.
Samsung, Huawei, LG, and more now sell their flagship and mid-range devices with integrated desktop modes, allowing you to use your smartphone as a desktop computer when connected to a monitor. SBCs are on the same trend as well, while not as popular or widespread as smartphones, more and more people are discovering the capabilities of SBCs and are using them in a wide variety of projects, from retro handheld devices to DIY UMPCs.
As time goes by, the industry of portable computers has improved tremendously, resulting in a world where almost everyone has a pocket computer.