A mobile device (or handheld computer) is a computing device small enough to hold and operate in the hand. Typically, any handheld computer device will have an LCD or OLED flatscreen interface, providing a touchscreen interface with digital buttons and keyboard or physical buttons along with a physical keyboard. Many such devices can connect to the Internet and interconnect with other devices such as car entertainment systems or headsets via Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, cellular networks or near field communication (NFC). Integrated cameras, digital media players, the ability to place and receive telephone calls, video games, and Global Positioning System (GPS) capabilities are common. Power is typically provided by a lithium battery. Mobile devices may run mobile operating systems that allow third-party apps specialized for said capabilities to be installed and run.
An organic light-emitting diode, also known as an organic EL diode, is a light-emitting diode (LED) in which the emissive electroluminescent layer is a film of organic compound that emits light in response to an electric current. This organic layer is situated between two electrodes; typically, at least one of these electrodes is transparent. OLEDs are used to create digital displays in devices such as television screens, computer monitors, portable systems such as smartphones, handheld game consoles and PDAs. A major area of research is the development of white OLED devices for use in solid-state lighting applications.
A touchscreen, or touch screen, is a both input and output device and normally layered on the top of an electronic visual display of an information processing system. A user can give input or control the information processing system through simple or multi-touch gestures by touching the screen with a special stylus or one or more fingers. Some touchscreens use ordinary or specially coated gloves to work while others may only work using a special stylus or pen. The user can use the touchscreen to react to what is displayed and, if the software allows, to control how it is displayed; for example, zooming to increase the text size.
A headset combines a headphone with a microphone. Headsets are made with either a single-earpiece (mono) or a double-earpiece. Headsets provide the equivalent functionality of a telephone handset but with handsfree operation. They have many uses including in call centers and other telephone-intensive jobs and for anybody wishing to have both hands free during a telephone conversation.
Early smartphones were joined in the late 2000s by larger, but otherwise essentially the same, tablets. Input and output is now usually via a touch-screen interface. Phones/tablets and personal digital assistants may provide much of the functionality of a laptop/desktop computer but more conveniently, in addition to exclusive features. Enterprise digital assistants can provide additional business functionality such as integrated data capture via barcode, RFID and smart card readers. By 2010, mobile devices often contained sensors such as accelerometers, magnetometers and gyroscopes, allowing detection of orientation and motion. Mobile devices may provide biometric user authentication such as face recognition or fingerprint recognition.
Smartphones are a class of mobile phones and of multi-purpose mobile computing devices. They are distinguished from feature phones by their stronger hardware capabilities and extensive mobile operating systems, which facilitate wider software, internet, and multimedia functionality, alongside core phone functions such as voice calls and text messaging. Smartphones typically include various sensors that can be leveraged by their software, such as a magnetometer, proximity sensors, barometer, gyroscope and accelerometer, and support wireless communications protocols such as Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and satellite navigation.
A tablet computer, commonly shortened to tablet, is a mobile device, typically with a mobile operating system and touchscreen display processing circuitry, and a rechargeable battery in a single, thin and flat package. Tablets, being computers, do what other personal computers do, but lack some input/output (I/O) abilities that others have. Modern tablets largely resemble modern smartphones, the only differences being that tablets are relatively larger than smartphones, with screens 7 inches (18 cm) or larger, measured diagonally, and may not support access to a cellular network.
A touch user interface (TUI) is a computer-pointing technology based upon the sense of touch (haptics). Whereas a graphical user interface (GUI) relies upon the sense of sight, a TUI enables not only the sense of touch to innervate and activate computer-based functions, it also allows the user, particularly those with visual impairments, an added level of interaction based upon tactile or Braille input.
Major global manufacturers of mobile devices are Apple, Samsung, Sony, Google, HTC, LG, Motorola Mobility and Nokia.
Apple Inc. is an American multinational technology company headquartered in Cupertino, California, that designs, develops, and sells consumer electronics, computer software, and online services. It is considered one of the Big Four tech companies along with Amazon, Google, and Facebook.
Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. is a South Korean multinational electronics company headquartered in Suwon, South Korea. Due to some circular ownership, it is the flagship company of the Samsung chaebol, accounting for 70% of the group's revenue in 2012. Samsung Electronics has assembly plants and sales networks in 80 countries and employs around 308,745 people. It is the world's largest manufacturer of consumer electronics and semiconductors by revenue. As of June 2018, Samsung Electronics' market cap stood at US$325.9 billion.
Sony Corporation is a Japanese multinational conglomerate corporation headquartered in Kōnan, Minato, Tokyo. Its diversified business includes consumer and professional electronics, gaming, entertainment and financial services. The company owns the largest music entertainment business in the world, the largest video game console business and one of the largest video game publishing businesses, and is one of the leading manufacturers of electronic products for the consumer and professional markets, and a leading player in the film and television entertainment industry. Sony was ranked 97th on the 2018 Fortune Global 500 list.
Device mobility can be viewed in the context of several dimensions:
Strictly speaking, many so-called mobile devices are not mobile. It is the host that is mobile, i.e., a mobile human host carries a non-mobile smartphone device. An example of a true mobile computing device, where the device itself is mobile, is a robot. Another example is an autonomous vehicle. There are three basic ways mobile devices can be physically bound to mobile hosts: accompanied, surface-mounted or embedded into the fabric of a host, e.g., an embedded controller embedded in a host device. Accompanied refers to an object being loosely bound and accompanying a mobile host, e.g., a smartphone can be carried in a bag or pocket but can easily be misplaced.Hence, mobile hosts with embedded devices such as an autonomous vehicle can appear larger than pocket-sized.
A robot is a machine—especially one programmable by a computer— capable of carrying out a complex series of actions automatically. Robots can be guided by an external control device or the control may be embedded within. Robots may be constructed on the lines of human form, but most robots are machines designed to perform a task with no regard to their aesthetics.
As stated earlier, the most common size of mobile computing device is pocket-sized that can be hand-held, but other sizes for mobile devices exist, too. Mark Weiser, known[ by whom? ] as the father of ubiquitous computing, computing everywhere, referred to device sizes that are tab-sized, pad and board sized, where tabs are defined as accompanied or wearable centimetre-sized devices, e.g. smartphones, and pads are defined as hand-held decimetre-sized devices, e.g., laptops. If one changes the form of the mobile devices in terms of being non-planar, one can also have skin devices and tiny dust-sized devices. Dust refers to miniaturised devices without direct HCI interfaces, e.g., micro electro-mechanical systems (MEMS), ranging from nanometres through micrometers to millimetres. See also Smart dust. Skin: fabrics based upon light emitting and conductive polymers and organic computer devices. These can be formed into more flexible non-planar display surfaces and products such as clothes and curtains, see OLED display. Also see smart device.
Mark D. Weiser was a computer scientist and chief technology officer (CTO) at Xerox PARC. Weiser is widely considered to be the father of ubiquitous computing, a term he coined in 1988. Within Silicon Valley, Weiser was broadly viewed as a visionary and computer pioneer, and his ideas have influenced many of the world's leading computer scientists.
Ubiquitous computing is a concept in software engineering and computer science where computing is made to appear anytime and everywhere. In contrast to desktop computing, ubiquitous computing can occur using any device, in any location, and in any format. A user interacts with the computer, which can exist in many different forms, including laptop computers, tablets and terminals in everyday objects such as a refrigerator or a pair of glasses. The underlying technologies to support ubiquitous computing include Internet, advanced middleware, operating system, mobile code, sensors, microprocessors, new I/O and user interfaces, computer networks, mobile protocols, location and positioning, and new materials.
A laptop computer is a small, portable personal computer (PC) with a "clamshell" form factor, typically having a thin LCD or LED computer screen mounted on the inside of the upper lid of the clamshell and an alphanumeric keyboard on the inside of the lower lid. The clamshell is opened up to use the computer. Laptops are folded shut for transportation, and thus are suitable for mobile use. Its name comes from lap, as it was deemed to be placed on a person's lap when being used. Although originally there was a distinction between laptops and notebooks, as of 2014, there is often no longer any difference. Laptops are commonly used in a variety of settings, such as at work, in education, for playing games, Internet surfing, for personal multimedia, and general home computer use.
Although mobility is often regarded[ by whom? ] as synonymous with having wireless connectivity, these terms are different. Not all network access by mobile users, applications and devices need be via wireless networks and vice versa. Wireless access devices can be static and mobile users can move in between wired and wireless hotspots such as in Internet cafés. Some mobile devices can be used as mobile Internet devices to access the Internet while moving but they do not need to do this and many phone functions or applications are still operational even while disconnected to the Internet. What makes the mobile device unique compared to other technologies is the inherent flexibility in the hardware and also the software. Flexible applications include video chat, Web browsing, payment systems, NFC, audio recording etc. As mobile devices become ubiquitous there, will be a proliferation of services which include the use of the cloud.[ citation needed ] Although a common form of mobile device, a smartphone, has a display, another perhaps even more common form of smart computing device, the smart card, e.g., used as a bank card or travel card, does not have a display. This mobile device often has a CPU and memory but needs to connect, or be inserted into a reader in order to display its internal data or state.
There are many kinds of mobile devices, designed for different applications. This includes:
Handheld devices have become ruggedized for use in mobile field management. Uses include digitizing notes, sending and receiving invoices, asset management, recording signatures, managing parts, and scanning barcodes. In 2009, developments in mobile collaboration systems enabled the use of handheld devices that combine video, audio and on-screen drawing capabilities to enable multi-party conferencing in real-time, independent of location.Handheld computers are available in a variety of form factors, including smartphones on the low end, handheld PDAs, Ultra-Mobile PCs and Tablet PCs (Palm OS, WebOS). Users can watch television through Internet by IPTV on some mobile devices. Mobile television receivers have existed since the 1960s, and in the 21st century mobile phone providers began making television available on cellular phones. In the 2010s, mobile devices can sync and share many data despite the distance or specifications of said devices. In the medical field, mobile devices are quickly becoming essential tools for accessing clinical information such as drugs, treatment, even medical calculation. Due to the popularity of mobile gaming, the gambling industry started offering casino games on mobile devices, which in turn lead to inclusion of these devices in anti hazard legislature as devices that could potentially be used in illegal gambling. Other potentially illegal activities might include the use of mobile devices in distributing child pornography and the legal sex industry use of mobile apps and hardware to promote its activities, as well as the possibility of using mobile devices to perform trans-border services, which are all issues that need to be regulated. In the military, mobile devices have created new opportunities for the armed forces to deliver training and educational materials to soldiers, regardless of where they are stationed.
A personal digital assistant (PDA), also known as a handheld PC, is a variety mobile device which functions as a personal information manager. PDAs have been mostly displaced by the widespread adoption of highly capable smartphones, in particular those based on iOS and Android.
Wearable computers, also known as wearables or body-borne computers, are small computing devices that are worn under, with, or on top of clothing.
Mobile may refer to:
Mobile computing is human–computer interaction in which a computer is expected to be transported during normal usage, which allows for transmission of data, voice and video. Mobile computing involves mobile communication, mobile hardware, and mobile software. Communication issues include ad hoc networks and infrastructure networks as well as communication properties, protocols, data formats and concrete technologies. Hardware includes mobile devices or device components. Mobile software deals with the characteristics and requirements of mobile applications.
A smart device is an electronic device, generally connected to other devices or networks via different wireless protocols such as Bluetooth, Zigbee, NFC, Wi-Fi, LiFi, 3G, etc., that can operate to some extent interactively and autonomously. Several notable types of smart devices are smartphones, smart cars, smart thermostats, smart doorbells, smart locks, smart refrigerators, phablets and tablets, smartwatches, smart bands, smart key chains, smart speakers and others. The term can also refer to a device that exhibits some properties of ubiquitous computing, including—although not necessarily—artificial intelligence.
Windows Mobile is a discontinued family of mobile operating systems developed by Microsoft for smartphones and Pocket PCs.
A handheld PC, or H/PC for short, is a computer built around a form factor which is significantly smaller than any standard laptop computer. It is sometimes referred to as a palmtop computer.
The mobile web refers to browser-based World Wide Web services accessed from handheld mobile devices, such as smartphones or feature phones, through a mobile or other wireless network.
Mobility and portability of media, or as Paul Levinson calls it in his book Cellphone, “the media-in-motion business” has been a process in the works ever since the “first time someone thought to write on a tablet that could be lifted and hauled – rather than on a cave wall, a cliff face, a monument that usually was stuck in place, more or less forever”. For a time, mobile media devices such as mobile phones and PDA’s, were the primary source of portable media from which we could obtain information and communicate with one another. More recently, the smartphone has rendered the PDA obsolete. The growth of new mobile media as a true force in society was marked by smartphone sales outpacing personal computer sales in 2011.
A ruggedcomputer is a computer specifically designed to operate reliably in harsh usage environments and conditions, such as strong vibrations, extreme temperatures and wet or dusty conditions. They are designed from inception for the type of rough use typified by these conditions, not just in the external housing but in the internal components and cooling arrangements as well. In general, ruggedized and hardened computers share the same design robustness and frequently these terms are interchangeable.
Mobile interaction is the study of interaction between mobile users and computers. Mobile interaction is an aspect of human–computer interaction that emerged when computers became small enough to enable mobile usage, around the 1990s.
In computing, a stylus is a small pen-shaped instrument that is used to input commands to a computer screen, mobile device or graphics tablet. With touchscreen devices, a user places a stylus on the surface of the screen to draw or make selections by tapping the stylus on the screen. In this manner, the stylus can be used instead of a mouse or trackpad as a pointing device, a technique commonly called pen computing.
Mobile technology is the technology used for cellular communication. Mobile code-division multiple access (CDMA) technology has evolved rapidly over the past few years. Since the start of this millennium, a standard mobile device has gone from being no more than a simple two-way pager to being a mobile phone, GPS navigation device, an embedded web browser and instant messaging client, and a handheld gaming console. Many experts believe that the future of computer technology rests in mobile computing with wireless networking. Mobile computing by way of tablet computers are becoming more popular. Tablets are available on the 3G and 4G networks.
Microsoft Tablet PC is a term coined by Microsoft for tablet computers conforming to a set of specifications announced in 2001 by Microsoft, for a pen-enabled personal computer, conforming to hardware specifications devised by Microsoft and running a licensed copy of Windows XP Tablet PC Edition operating system or a derivative thereof.
The Post-PC era is a market trend observed during the late 2000s and early 2010s involving a decline in the sales of personal computers in favor of post-PC devices; which include mobile devices such as smartphones and tablet computers as well as other mobile computers such as wearable and ubiquitous ones. These devices emphasize portability and connectivity, including the use of cloud-based services, more focused "apps" to perform tasks, and the ability to synchronize information between multiple devices seamlessly.
Pocket-sized computer describes the post-programmable calculator / pre-smartphone pocket-sized portable-office hardware devices that included the earlier DOS-based palmtops and subsequent Windows-CE handhelds, as well as a few other terms, primarily covering the 1980s through 2007.