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Treo: Business Remote Control

There's an excellent article at Forbes.com today that explores and discusses the many benefits that smartphones can provide businesses as they empower the mobile professional.  They report that:

"With excess computing power, built-in programmable graphics, and multiple communications options, smart cellular phones provide a convenient and capable mobile user interface for many of the growing multitude of intelligent embedded devices. A few clicks on a portable smart phone can directly connect a user to security systems, industrial controllers, access-control systems, medical devices, environmental controls, and home-automation systems, and a smart phone can even replace the array of remote controls in most living rooms. For example, a production supervisor might receive a smart-phone e-mail alert at home directly from an ailing factory-automation device. Without returning to work, he could then bring up the device's remote-control panel on his smart phone to query operating parameters, make adjustments, or activate self-test programs. He could even connect to and control other systems in the same factory using the same handheld device. With custom application software, a smart phone can also emulate the look and feel of many proprietary products and provide a user experience that mimics a built-in embedded hardware interface."

In the article I also discovered that our Treo owed a debt of gratitude to Star Trek:

"With thousands of compatible third-party applications developed for the Palm Pilot, the recently introduced Treo 650 from PalmOne combines all the features of the popular PDA plus Internet access, e-mail, and a GSM or CDMA cellular connection. Admitting a fascination with science fiction, Rob Haitani, PalmOne product architect for the Treo and the original Palm user interface says, "When we designed the first Treo smart phone, it had a form factor similar to the communicators in the original Star Trek television series. Later, a speakerphone mode allowed you to stand there and talk into it like Captain Kirk."

Highlighting some of the challenges for smartphones in general to penetrate enterprises:

"Gartner Research analyst Ben Wood states that: "Symbian will remain dominant for some time, though rival operating systems are starting to gain momentum". Although some products are available to ease the problems, each operating system requires different software-development and -maintenance tools. From the enterprise-information-technology point of view, smart phones are remote computers that require software installation, hardware maintenance, and periodic updates. To simplify the support task, many organizations restrict smart-phone users to a common carrier and often a single handset model."

Now all that palmOne needs to do is ensure that this single handset model is a Treo...

You can read the full article "Smart phones: the next embedded interface" at Forbes.com.

Treonauts love to drive the future...

Posted by Andrew on January 10, 2005 at 02:24 PM

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