Glimpses into the future of mobile devices, the internet, and more - updated 20091110
Glimpses into the future of
and more Director
A thought provoking talk on
mobile device futures.
(Originally given at Mobile
Monday Sydney, 2 Nov 2009)
Citrix technology ranges from point to
point desktop sharing like GoToMyPC
and GoToMeeting through to
sophisticated enterprise offerings that ...
... simplify the delivery of
Windows desktops and
applications, including remote
sessions from Windows Server
... and full desktop images, hosted on a
shared server and delivered over the
These technologies are complemented by ...
... application acceleration appliances,
delivering web applications for both the
dot com and the enterprise.
All of these technologies can run “virtually”
to enable the promise of cloud computing.
Indeed, the Citrix hypervisor is
at the heart of the largest (IaaS)
clouds, such as Amazon‟s EC2.
Citrix has a significant market
presence through our ongoing
Citrix Labs is charged with
maintaining the Citrix
Citrix Labs also tracks the intersection of
technology, adoption dynamics and the
Citrix business universe.
The mobile device space is of interest –
and this is one way to think about it.
The future of the Mobile
Device is as an outcome of
three major forces
Business IT lags
Particularly with mobile
Enterprise IT is used to dealing with
laptops and desktops as computing
... but these are now joined by
mobile devices with many of the
same capabilities. This has
The most obvious is that we will
see the categories merge with
the emergence of hybrid devices
like Android laptops and the
The NirvanaPhone is the notion that the laptop can be
fully replaced adding keyboard, mouse and large display
to the SmartPhone, in combination with technology like
Citrix XenDesktop or XenApp.
“Cloud computing” is another
major innovation driver. This
affects all computing end points.
It also brings new opportunities to
optimize data location for
security, communication cost,
For Citrix customers, the cloud
also brings the ability to provide
every enterprise computing
desktop or application on every
Citrix Labs recently brought the
Citrix Receiver to the iPhone and
Here‟s a closer look.
The iPhone Receiver is on the
app store and the Android
Receiver is near tech preview.
There are a range of
implications for the
mobile device. Use
case blurring from the
is the most interesting
To this end, Citrix and Open
Kernel Labs have been
exploring dual image mobile
This is directly analogous to
the Citrix XenClient providing
dual images on the laptop
We‟ve covered the consumer and
the business, let‟s take a look at
some longer term trends.
We are, in a sense, “Natural Born
Let me explain.
You may be familiar with the “Ambient
Orb”, providing „glance-able‟ status
about some web based information.
Or the Ambient Umbrella, glowing
when rain is forecast. In both cases
new information becomes something
that we „just know‟.
Similar things can be
achieved with sensory
This is a rig from the 60s enabling
blind people to form a 3d
representation of the world based on
movie camera and a pad of 30 x 30
solenoids on their back.
Currently replaced by work using
a tongue based pad to transmit
In all these cases, new information
becomes something that is
continually, unconsciously available.
Much as we carry our mobile devices,
24 by 7.
Furthermore, whereas specially made devices
need to establish a distribution channel, the app
store model removes this barrier for any software
on our mobile devices.
We are entering a new age of sensory
Marshall McLuhan said it well. We now
“Google” without a thought many times
a day. Our technologies shape us as
much as we shape them.
The philosopher Andy Clark takes it
further. He makes the claim that what
makes us human is our ability to
literally add our tools to our minds.
Hence “Natural Born Cyborgs”.
Every new technology literally creates
new brain paths, new ways for our mind
to think. The sheer continuity of
presence of our (24 by 7) mobile
devices make this ever more the case.
Not only do we build these technologies
into our minds as tools, there are good
reasons to believe we can‟t help but to
build relationships with them.
We can be tricked into caring for
And with nurture comes emotional
connection according to psychologist
Sherry Turkle of MIT.
But trickery is not necessary.
We unconsciously use rules from our person to
person interactions in our interactions with
computers! Reeves and Nass showed that this
includes ideas like team spirit, face to face
politeness, respect for specialization, and
susceptibility to flattery.
We can‟t help but to treat the computer
(in some ways) as another social actor.
I suspect that as our devices become smaller,
and less transparent, this effect becomes more
For example, many people are frustrated by
the iPhone as a phone, yet most of us
continue to forgive it? Why?
I think it‟s much like some work from the 80s on believable agents,
people are far more forgiving of errors from a speaking cartoon parrot
than of exactly the same speech engine with a human face. (That the
parrot speaks at all is impressive.)
In the same way, some devices seem to cue into subconscious cues for
nurturing, or at least reduced expectations.
Our subconscious is not good at
distinguishing between people, and not
Do you see a face in this picture?
The longer term future, and
battleground for mobile devices and
software is intimately tied with
emotional appeal rather than usability
The mobile device will be driven by
these three driving forces.
And to places we can‟t yet see
"Prediction is very difficult,
especially about the future."
• Citrix: http://citrix.com
• Mobile Monday Sydney: http://www.mobilemondaysydney.com/
• UI Exploration – Sixth Sense: http://www.pranavmistry.com/projects/sixthsense/
• NirvanaPhone: http://nirvanaphone.com
• Natural Born Cyborgs, Andy Clark: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0195177517
• Ambient Orb, Ambient Umbrella: http://www.ambientdevices.com/cat/orb/orborder.html,
• Seeing with the back: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sensory_substitution
• Brain plasticity: http://www.normandoidge.com/normandoidge/MAIN.html
• Marshall McLuhan: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marshall_McLuhan
• Andy Clark: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andy_Clark
• Reeves and Nass: http://www.amazon.com/Media-Equation-Computers-Television-Lecture/dp/1575860538