(Every week, Rocksauce Studios CEO Q Manning will answer your questions about app design, app development and the mobile industry.)
What do you think about integrating phones with game systems and televisions, particularly with technology like Microsoft’s Smart Glass?
Integration with television and apps has already started to happen. Apple has Air Play, which allows you go go right from your iPad to your Apple TV, so you can play Angry Birds on your television, which is kind of awesome. We’ve also seen some of this with Nintendo’s Wii U, where this kind of technology will be allowing you to get information about the game as you play it. In a game of Madden football, you’ll be able to see your plays on your tablet instead of the typical set-up, where you see and select your plays on the screen. As far as games being on both, it shows how mobile games are going to become more and more prevalent.
It’s really smart of Mircrosoft to not limit Smart Glass to their tablet and allow if to work with iOS, Android and all other devices. That’s what’s really interesting about this technology: it’s going to be cross-platform. Microsoft is definitely going in the right direction. When I saw this presentation and saw this technology built into the system, I realized that I’m probably going to get the next generation of Xbox (Xbox 720?). It may replace my PlayStation 3! I’m also a big Nintendo fan and love Mario and Zelda, but I wish they would look to the mobile space. I understand that they have the 3DS and have a whole platform to support, but I truly wish we could play their classic games on the iPad.
Do you see smartphones becoming all-in-one tools? TV remote, game controller, garage door opener, etc?
Within the next five or ten years, you’re going to see smartphone technology in everything! The near field communication tech that’s in many Android phones and tablets right now? Nintendo is actually working it into their Wii U controller! I don’t know if we’ll see it in the iPhone this generation, but with Tim Cook in charge of Apple, I wouldn’t doubt it. He seems far more open to embracing interesting technology and is more of a risk-taker than Steve Jobs was, which I don’t think any of us thought was going to be the case. We may very well see NFC worked into the iPhone 5! Once NFC is universal, we’re going to see the options for smartphones increase dramatically.
The one thing standing in the way is much our current technology, like a garage door openers, have to be connected to a specific network in order to work. Right now, much of that tech still works on old school radio frequency technology. I don’t see anyone putting antiquated RF technology into current phones so, the change would have to happen to everything else that is not our phone. Unfortunately, I don’t think too many people are interested in hooking up their garage door opener to their wireless router! At least not yet.
What do you wish your phone could do?
This comes back to the Smart Glass tech, actually. It bugs me when I’m using my PS3 for a game or Netflix and I have to use the game controller to type something! I wish I could use my phone to type information into the game system because I can type really fast on my iPhone. If my controllers can be connected with wireless bluetooth technology to the system, why not my phone? When that ubiquity starts to exist across all platforms, I will be a very happy man.