Applications to move beyond mobile devices: Alcatel-Lucent

TV to become application-enabled, says digital economy vice president

The possibility of purchasing services and applications through devices ranging from a mobile phone to a TV could become a reality, according to Alcatel-Lucent's digital economy vice president.

At the Korea-Australia-New Zealand (KANZ) Broadband Summit 2011 in Hobart this week, Geof Heydon told delegates that the future of application services over the next several years will move beyond mobile devices.

"The environment will move from mobile to a TV and PC environment with an open platform," he said.

"You could argue the iPhone operating system is not open, and you’d be right. But Android is.

"Applications are going to Apple TV right now and it is only a matter of time before the Android operating system becomes available on televisions."

According to Heydon, when more mobile operating systems arrive on television sets, it could have the potential to do "fabulous things."

"I would no longer need to buy a monthly internet service, but could buy one that lasts for two hours," he said.

"For example, if I wanted to watch the Formula One, when I click on that application and engage with that capability set I can now buy a service that is in high definition and with no ads because I’ve chosen that option."

He said future applications, as they sit across devices such as the TV or tablet, would be sophisticated enough to handle high definition content.

"What is the next killer application?" Heydon said.

"There probably isn’t one, but there is a killer environment where every application will have its common interest."

However, in order for applications to become more sophisticated, the rollout of the National Broadband Network (NBN) was essential.

In addition, to help actualise this concept, Heydon said that a 4G mobile antenna developed by Alcatel-Lucent subsidiary, Bell Labs, would help reduce the need for base station antennas.

"This is the size of a Rubix cube and has fibre in it," he said.

"You will no longer see electronics on mobile phone towers, but clusters of these.

"As cells get smaller you will be putting one of these on every match phase with fibre coming out of it, rather than base station antennas."

While the antenna would not be in production until the end of next year, he said the company was already in talks with customers for the implications of that.

Turning to other future devices, Heydon said holographic projection for home users would be the next evolution.

"I think we’re about five years away from that innovation," he said.

"Holographic projection will profoundly change the advantage of networks and the way we consume content."

Follow Hamish Barwick on Twitter: @HamishBarwick

Follow Computerworld Australia on Twitter: @ComputerworldAU

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