The Light Phone is an early indicator of a greater shift towards “Simply.” In this shift, however, we will not give up the feature-rich and deeply intelligent mobile devices (such as tablets and smart phones). What will happen is a smarter way to use the embedded technology within these devices, plus the power of the cloud, to create micro and macro networks of tools and services that create an increasingly personal response from technology.
Think in modules and nodes…the home becomes a node, the car becomes a node…the smartphone becomes a node. Networked to these connective points will be a new series of tools and services. The smart home, with tools such as Nest or Hue, are established indicators of the potential of node-based “Personal Networks.” We’re shifting from the Personal Computer to the Personal Network. (Thinking of this philosophically, this trend mimics the impact of Social Networking on our culture…this shift in physical technology could be a reaction to the shift in the intangible technology of Social Networks).
In the era of Personal Networks, we could be realizing one of the century old (if not older) design principles of “clean and functional” and also satisfying an initial tenet of technological advancement…Simplicity.
So what does this mean?
It means your smartphone will become a node, an anchoring point in your Personal Network. A tool, such as the Light Phone, would be a simple-function expression of one of the technologies embedded in your phone. Way back in 2013 Google and BERG were developing a tool called the Connbox, “…a prototype device that connects live chat in a more physical way.” It seems this device (and BERG) were too early. BERG closed down in 2014. (A potential pitfall of BERG was their interest in developing tools that were less about simplicity and more akin to quirkiness).
The great potential of a Simple Personal Network will be its ability to harness the power of technology without the weighty burden of complexity. It will allow the freedom to choose to utilize the deepness of cloud services if you want, while also being able to chose the opposite. To be “light,” and simply use a phone for a voice call.