The Gateways to Human Knowledge

“Mobile phones are misnamed. They should be called gateways to human knowledge.”

-Ray Kurzweil

Three things that drastically changed human communication: Telephone, Mobiles and Internet. Now you carry all three in your hand, wherever you go. I decided to take a walk down the memory lane and reflected on what Ray Kurzweil had said- Are they truly the gateways to human knowledge? 

The first mobile that I ever owned was a simple feature phone from Nokia, that I had bought back in 2009. It was only equipped with a 1.3 Megapixel Camera and a Micro SD Card slot supporting a maximum of 4 GB and a minimalistic 1.3 “LCD screen. Simply no support for Whatsapp or any other applications. But, I was still able to browse internet at 2G speed and use this device as a modem with my desktop.

Sounds hard to believe in 2018. But again, at a price point of 4500/- INR in 2009, it was a steal and just because Nokia was at top of its game at that time, it was my first choice.

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With any new invention the thing to remember is that the invented product is just the beginning, not the end goal. There is no end goal, either inventions become obsolete or they are constantly upgraded, improved, modified to be more effective, to process faster, to look better, with more features. And same has happend with mobiles and my choices as a consumer. 

As we moved in to 2010, the market was flooded with Touch Screen Devices, which were not only bigger in size, but had better cameras and larger memory expansion.

In 2013, I bought my first Android Device, Samsung Galaxy Y Duos.

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This was the time when Android Phones were becoming the next big thing and Samsung played a major game by releasing this device which was priced at 9000/- INR

Now, this device changed the way I used to communicate with my friends and family. Not only I had access to high speed 3G Network, but also a whole wide range of applications for almost anything plus the Dual Sim Support. It ran on Android 2.3 and the best part
was, I could move some applications to SD card as it was expandable to 32 GB
with a Micro SD Card. But eventually, the phone ran out of space because when
you start using applications, they require to be updated and hence, need more
storage, rendering this device obsolete within an year.

Moving on to 2014, I bought my 3rd device which came from SONY-  Sony Xperia L. A classy phone to own, it was on the top of its game from Camera, to specifications and design.

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It supported a 4.7 inch HD Display with a curved back and Snapdragon S4 Plus, dual core processor. But as it was running on Android JellyBean 4.1, I wasn’t able to move apps to my SD card and the device ran out of storage rather quickly than expected.

When 2015 was about to end, a lot of companies came in cellphone market offering better specifications at a much better price. That’s when Nokia, which died out and was rebranded with Microsoft launched LUMIA 540 Dual Sim.

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This device, though was running on Windows, was a complete package. A better camera as compared to any other Android device in the same price bracket, a fully optimisable camera mode where you can change shutter speed and exposure and a Carl Zeiss Lens. This was the first device to give a fully-fledged PRO MODE in Camera. Sadly, Microsoft died a horrible death in mobile market with the rise of Chinese companies on the Global Scene and still haven’t been able to revive itself. 

I used multiple devices after LUMIA as my daily drivers. From Xiaomi’s entry level phones like Redmi Note and Redmi 4A, to rebranded Motorola’s G4 Plus. Each year, companies compete with each other and Apple and Samsung to bring out the best features in every price bracket to capture the market.

Taking this walk down the memory lane, I realised how much Human Knowledge has evolved from the earlier days of telecommunication. Today, we have phones that have as much as 8GB of RAM and octa core processors and cameras competing and complexing the DSLRs.

We can connect to a person at the other end of the world in under a minute.  We record, type, write, like, capture, remember, work, play, engage- all with our mobiles in our hands. Are they the gateways to human knowledge? You decide. 

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