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Return to: 2015 Feature Stories

CLIENT: THE POWER COMPANY

May 4, 2015: EE Times

The Future of Personal Communications: A Holistic Approach to Keeping up With Consumer Demand

The leaders in the digital race will be the ones who develop a holistic approach to digital communications and truly empower, engage, and satisfy the digital consumer.

In today's digital personal communications age, the average person goes through 35GB of data each day, from storing music, photos, and movies to uploading sales presentations. Products like Apple's iPhone and Google's Android have caused mass mobile appeal, leading to a requirement for new technologies that not only allow these personal "pocket" computers to help us effectively manage our daily lives, but also to provide ample security and storage. Contrary to what legions of cloud providers state, however, the cloud is not the universal solution for digital communications storage.

Some new technologies could completely revolutionize our mobile society while feeding the consumers' appetite for quick and easy on-the-go communications, storage, and access. In order to seamlessly integrate and connect all of these mobile devices, consumers will need a universal flash drive, for example, to share files between different operating systems without connecting to a cloud-based system. With all the problems consumers have experienced with the cloud and browser-based storage, we need devices that make technology users feel more secure by not utilizing an Internet connection.


The state of the art in wearable technology circa 1922 was a radio in your hat.

The state of the art in wearable technology circa 1922 was a radio in your hat.
Mobile phones should have been our personal computers two years ago. As an industry, we need to envision the future digital landscape and come up with novel technologies that allow consumers to access what they want when they want it.

Take the Flex-Card, for example. Most consumers and corporations use USB Flash drives to hold sensitive information. The problem is we automatically attribute USB Flash drives to the need for a computer to access the files they contain. But, now -- with smartphones in our pockets -- we can use a mobile USB. Whether you're a DJ who wants to hold all of your 20,000 songs to play directly off your iPhone, a salesman who wants to back up all of your presentations, or a parent who wants to store all your kids' movies to save space on your iPad, mobile USB could make your life much simpler.
As we move toward mobile devices becoming comprehensive personal computers, it will be crucial to solve the current glitches associated with transferring data, such as contacts, from one device to the other. A year from now, all major apps will also need offline storage as a space saver on mobile devices.

On the business side of mobile communications, it will also become more and more important to have a device that can store and push out content quickly, efficiently, and securely, as companies vie for consumer attention and traction.

While the industry has been pushing to make the mobile phone a personal computer in your pocket, we are not quite there yet. From popular mobile music apps like Musixmatch, to hot, wearable electronics like the Apple Watch, the market has had a plethora of new product launches, but not enough communication technologies to make these devices work in harmony. The leaders in this digital race will be the ones who develop a holistic approach to digital communications and truly empower, engage, and satisfy the digital consumer.

Gene Aikens is founder and CEO of Franklin, TN-based The Power Company, a product design company focusing on smart electronics.

Return to: 2015 Feature Stories