The Evolution of Personal Communications Technology Through 2050

Qualcomm recently took an in-depth look back at the history of the mobile phone, which it was mostly responsible for creating. This turned out to be a personal retrospect because my family owned an electronics company in the 1960s, which was when I used my first mobile phone in my father’s Studebaker Avanti.

At the time, I thought it was the most amazing thing to be able to make a call from a car. What was funny is that phone had a dial and buttons, which mostly didn’t seem to do anything, and it worked more like a radio on a boat or plane than an actual phone. But it was cool.

As we advance 50 years to the present, our smartphones do more things than our PCs because they are more portable, more likely to be with us, and handle telephony.

Cisco last week released its desktop phone replacement, the Webex Desk Hub. While this device initially only merges your desktop phone and smartphone, it could quickly evolve to replace your PC as well.

Since we’re approaching the end of 2020, let’s speculate a bit about how the smartphone and the PC will likely evolve over the next three decades, and build up to what that means for personal communications technology in 2050.

We’ll close with my product of the week, the aforementioned Webex Desk Hub, which is arguably the most evolutionary innovation to the desk phone since its invention.

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