For the hardware buffs out there, this morning's panel on "New Devices for Mobile Workers" at the Web 2.0 Conference was all about the tools out there to get work done while outside of the office. Laptops and PCs are far from disappearing from the work landscape, but with mobile development for iPhone we're starting to see that people like accessing work and play while away from their home base.
Battery life: The difficulty in using online office apps is that they require a constant Wi-fi connection, something that's partially being solved with Google's Gears technology. So for everything else, how can we squeeze the most out of mobile devices to keep working on online apps while away from a trusty A/C plug? Can this be accomplished on a software level? T.J. Kang, Chief Executive Officer, ThinkFree seems to think so. ThinkFree's solution is to make their software online friendly, while still letting you work and save locally.
Size: How big do devices need to be? Laptops offer portability, but smart phones and UMPCs offer a solution we can stick in our pocket or bags without requiring a trip to the chiropractor. Dennis Moore, the OQO's CEO spent the majority of the talk thumbing his shiny UMPC, and waxing poetic about dockable mini computers.
Technology: Microvision's svelte new projected displays, which are slated for 2009, could change the mobile office game. Imagine having a combination device that turns any surface into a display, with one of those neat projected keyboards too.
Platform and user interface: Every mobile device seems to have its own flavor of operating system, so which one is the best? Nokia's CTO Arthur Lin digs the Symbian OS because of its international developer base. OQO's Moore then went on to discuss the move towards browser based platforms, and emulating various operating systems without requiring software, like we've seen on the iPhone.