DCA Blog

Cool Computers at QuakeCom

When you’re about to settle in for four days of serious gaming, while crammed into a single room with a couple thousand of your peers, there are some unique concerns.

To stand out, you want your computer rig to look cool. And to stay connected, you want it to actually be cool.

At QuakeCon, the bring-your-own-computer gaming fest that celebrated its 18th anniversary earlier this month in Dallas, the results of those concerns were some of the coolest-looking computer setups you’re likely to see.

Nearly 10,000 people attended the event to see the latest PC games from select companies, but also to witness the spectacle of 2,800 people playing computer games against one another in the same place.

Part of the allure is competing against opponents from six different continents (Paging gamers from Antarctica!) and potentially being able to see them face-to-face instead of just talk over voice chat.

The experience is unlike playing on your Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3 in the comfort of your home. These gamers are all in one big, chilly room and connected to each other by 63,400 feet of cable.

It’s called the BYOC — bring-your-own-computer — room and is as much a showcase for players’ modding skills as it is a place to play.

Sometimes the modifications are purely aesthetic; sometimes they’re to increase the computer tower’s effectiveness and, sometimes, they address both.

 

 

Wrapping Computers Around Your Feet


For people interested in wearable computing but uninterested in funny looking glasses or hypothetical wristwatches, there will soon be a new alternative: computerized socks.

Heapsylon, a small startup based in Redmond, Wash., has developed socks it has dubbed Sensoria, after the part of the brain that coordinates the information coming in from your various sensory centers. They’re part of a growing class of devices lightweight enough to allow users to forget they’re wearing computers.

When it comes to wearable computing, socks present unique advantages. First off, you keep them in your shoes, so it doesn’t matter if they look as silly as Google Glass (GOOG). And anyone who has donned a Fuelband or Fitbit knows that the steps counted by those devices aren’t quite like the steps your body actually takes. Sure, accelerometers are fine if you need a general sense of how much you’re moving. But if you want to know exactly what’s going on with your feet, it’s probably best to wrap them in sensors.

The device’s most impressive technical achievement comes in response to its Achilles’ heel—the smell. After a year of development, Heapsylon says it has developed a wearable computer you can  throw in the washer and dryer. The company’s founders, two of whom come from Microsoft’s (MSFT) XBox Kinect department, claim that the fabric is soft and not scratchy. We can’t be sure because Heapsylon isn’t yet ready to ship prototypes to reporters on the East Coast.

The socks don’t do everything themselves. Users have to wear a Bluetooth-enabled anklet that listens to the sensors and transmits the data onto computers that actually have screens. But runners who like boring their friends and families with tales of their split times are going to love the level of minutiae that flows from the computerized fabric. Davide Vigano, one of the founders, says that he has been using a prototype of the sock to track his tendency towards over-pronation when he gets fatigued. The device also allows him to monitor his cadence as he runs and lets him track his progress as he tries to reduce his heel-striking.

Heapsylon hopes to begin selling to the general public late next year, charging $150 for the first pair of socks and the anklet, and $60 for three-packs beyond that. By that time, the company hopes to be able to offer much more data, which it will begin collecting when it sends out devices to contributors to a crowdfunding campaign it is launching on Indiegogo this week.

“If I’m 5’11”, 175 pounds [and] I have the same goals as someone else out there, wouldn’t it be nice to actually know that his stride length is three inches greater than mine,” said Vigano. “If he’s doing it, and he’s similar to me, I could probably do it, too.”

The product will initially focus on runners. But the data gathered by the socks could be useful to golfers looking for information on how they are shifting weight during their strokes; skiers who want to analyze their turns; and diabetics, whose feet often suffer from nerve damage that can lead to amputation. The fabric could also be shaped into other kinds of garments.

“We’ll go beyond socks at some point,” said Vigano. “In an ideal scenario, we want to become the GoreTex of embeddable computing.”

Are We Ready For Wearable Computers?

If there was one thing on everyone’s mind at the annual All Things D tech conference held last week, it was Google Glass … and more broadly, the future of wearable computers.
For those who don’t know, a “wearable” is exactly what it sounds like — a tiny device that you wear (say, above the nose, clipped to a shirt, or on the wrist) that does one or more functions. Nike’s much-touted Fuelband was an early example, are are some watches. But with the launch of Glass, many people are looking to Google and other leaders for next steps — and some are predicting a soon-to-be exploding market for tiny wearable devices to do everything from directing us home, to snapping pictures of friends, to identifying strangers on the street.
“I think there will be tons of companies playing in this space,” Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook said at the conference. “I see [wearables] as a very key branch of the tree.”
When pressed about Glass, he seemed lukewarm. “I think there are some positive points in the product,” he said slowly. “I think it’s probably more likely to appeal to certain vertical markets…I wear glasses because I have to. I don’t know a lot of people that wear them that don’t have to.”
He seemed tentatively excited about the wrist, though avoided saying too much about what some have already dubbed the “iWatch,” which is expected to be released later this year.
“I think the wrist is interesting,” he said. “The wrist is natural.”
Many became excited when Corning Glass, maker of the super-strong Gorilla Glass, announced they had made a “Willow Glass” that bends as easily as paper. “You can certainly make it wrap around a cylindrical object and that could be someone’s wrist,” said Corning CTO Pete Bocko. “Right now, if I tried to make something that looked like a watch, that could be done using this flexible glass.”
Sarah Rotman Epps, a Forrester analyst, says it’s only a matter of time before the race to make the computer on your body becomes just as fierce and competitive as the race to make the phone in your pocket. “Devices are diversifying and the human body is a rich canvas for the computer,” she writes. “Wearable devices … have enormous potential for uses in health and fitness, navigation, social networking, commerce, and media. Imagine video games that happen in real space. Or glasses that remind you of your colleague’s name that you really should know. Or paying for coffee at Starbucks with your watch instead of your phone,” Epps explains. “Wearables will transform our lives in numerous ways, trivial and substantial, that we are just starting to imagine.”
Not everyone is as excited, and many have already begun citing privacy concerns as a large potential drawback. Nick Bilton, writing for The New York Times, describes how unnerving it is to have a conversation with a person and their all-knowing, never-blinking Google Eye.
“I was startled by how much Glass invades people’s privacy,” Bilton writes, as if Google had become the unwelcome third-wheel, “leaving them two choices: stare at a camera that is constantly staring back at them, or leave the room.”
Hackers have already gotten past Google’s attempt to make the device transparent, with a quick patch that allows users to simply blink to take a picture (previously they had to use their voice). Many restaurant and bar owners in California have already banned the product on their premises, concerned about other patrons feeling uncomfortable. And many of us can imagine a host of places where Glass will just never fit in (airport security, government offices, restrooms, movie theaters, and strip clubs … to name a few).
Still, many are excited about a potential new frontier of computing. Jeff Jarvis, journalist and author of Public Parts, notes: “When you’re in public, you’re in public. What happens in public, is the very definition of it. I don’t want you telling me that I can’t take pictures in public without your permission.”
“There are lots of gadgets in this space right now, but there’s nothing great out there,” Cook continued, adding that the space was “ripe for exploration.”
What do you think? Would anything convince you to wear a computer on your body, interacting with it throughout the day? Would you feel comfortable talking to someone else who was wearing one? Feel free to sound off below.

 

Laser-powered computers

It’s a schoolboy’s dream: a laser-powered computer. But now thanks to the development of a novel super-stretched germanium-based semiconductor it could form the basis of future ultra-high speed optical computers.
It’s long been known that microelectronics faces seemingly impossible challenges from the immutable Laws of Physics the smaller components get. That’s led to some researchers believing that the future of computing lies in optical systems and lasers.
The problem is that traditional silicon semiconductors are not much use when it comes to the emission of laser light, says Richard Geiger, a doctoral student at the Laboratory for Micro- and Nanotechnology at the Paul Scherrer Institute, in Switzerland.
Gieger and colleagues at technology college ETH Zurich instead turned their attention to germanium components.
“Germanium is perfectly compatible with silicon and already used in the computer industry for the production of silicon chips,” said Geiger.
They were able to develop a novel manufacturing process which introduces tensile strain on germanium which its etched on to slabs of silicon. Under strain, germanium’s physical properties change, making suitable for lasing.
“With a strain of three percent, the material emits around twenty-five times more photons than in a relaxed state,” explained Martin Süess. The technique used to create this strain at the atomic level is equivalent to the comparable forces exerted on a pencil as two lorries pull on it in opposite directions, the researchers claimed.
They now believe it will be possible to build tiny lasers using this technique, paving the way for future nanocomputers. The work was published in this week’s Nature Photonics

Computers Could Run Faster With Spinning Electrons

Forget external hard drives and more RAM; if you really want to upgrade your computing rig, it’s time to get your electrons spinning in the right direction. New research in the field of “spintronics” suggests that changing the spin of the electrons in an internal processor is the best way to get your computer running quickly.
According to Nitin Samarth, a professor of physics at Pennsylvania State University, advancements in computing speeds slowed down about five years ago because of limitations in the way computer processors are made.

Today’s processors rely on the density of transistors on a computer chip. The transistors act like switches, turning “on” or “off” – corresponding to a “one” or “zero” state – to change the flow of electrons through the chip. The more tightly packed the transistors are on a chip, the faster the flow of electrons through the processor. So tightly packed transistors make computers run faster. But all those moving electrons create a lot of heat.
“The very fundamental limitation that stops computer manufacturers from making these chips faster is that the transistors are reaching the density at which the heat they generate cannot dissipate fast enough to prevent the computer from melting,” Samarth said.

Samarth and his team have been working on giving computers a new way to get their ones and zeros. Instead of having electrons flow hotly through a transistor, the scientists have designed new kinds of materials that will let individual electrons be “cool” by just spinning in one of two opposite ways.
“In one of those mysterious aspects of quantum mechanics, Nature allows the electron only to either spin up or spin down in the presence of a magnetic field,” Samarth said.
Samarth and his team of researchers have been trying to cool down the process of creating super-fast transistors, and they’re doing it one electron at a time.
“One of the interesting phenomena that people discovered in recent years is that you can change the orientation of an electron’s spin just by using a voltage,” Samarth said. “You are not back to creating heat-generating resistance inside a transistor by making the electrons flow, but rather you are just changing the orientation of their spin.”
These electron-manipulating transistors could pave the way to faster, more energy-efficient computers, according to Samarth. But first, he and his team need to build them.
“It’s a little bit like playing atomic-scale Legos,” said Samarth of the process of creating “spintronic” transistors. “Like the components in modern computer chips, the highly specialized devices that we are fabricating here, which might function as spintronics transistors, typically are smaller than 100 times the width of one strand of your hair.”

Samarth uses two ultra-high-vacuum chambers to perform a process known as molecular-beam epitaxy.
“At first we create a very high-vacuum inside these chambers, then we deposit beams of selected kinds of elements in a very controlled way in order to deposit a layer of material that is the thickness of only one atom,” Samarth said.
“Because of the ultra-high vacuum, while one atomic layer is going down, nothing else is being deposited…We then can use a variety of different elements, plus the power of thermodynamics and chemistry, to engineer the crystal we want by building it up one atomic layer at a time.”
In addition to the creation of these “spintronic” transistors, the researchers are also working on manipulating electron spin in other semiconducting devices.

NVIDIA-powered Computers Break Pi Calculation Record

Yesterday was Pi Day, and to celebrate the yearly occasion, you no doubt tried your hardest to recite Pi
to as many decimal places as you could. Of course, most of us probably couldn’t
get past the first few decimal places, but there was one person who could,
thanks to a set of computers powered by a handful of NVIDIA graphics cards.

Santa Clara University researcher Ed Karrels ended up breaking the world record for computing digits
of Pi to eight quadrillion places to the right of the decimal point. Karrels
used graphics cards to do the work rather than CPUs, and he spread the work
across three different computers: one with four NVIDIA GTX 690 cards, one with
two NVIDIA GTX 680 cards, and 24 computers at the Santa Clara University Design
Center with one NVIDIA GTX 570 card each.

The calculation took 35 days to complete, from December 19 to January 22, beating out the previous held
by a team at Yahoo, who used 1,000 CPU-only computers, which took 23 days to
compute Pi to two-quadrillion places, just a quarter of what Karrels’s setup
achieved. After the 35-day run, Karrels conducted a second run to double-check
the math, which took just 26 days using newer versions of his programming
tools.

Karrels will speak at the GPU Technology Conference in San Jose, California next Tuesday, where he’ll be
explaining the math behind the Pi calculation achievement, as well as the
programming tricks he used, as well as the logistics of conducting
supercomputing tasks on a budget.

Quantum Computer to Log Onto Quantum Internet

When it comes to data crunching, quantum computers will leave today’s fastest processors in the dust.
For starters, a quantum computer would be able to store more bits of information in its memory than there are particles in the universe. And where a conventional silicon-based computer handles one computation at a time in sequence, a quantum computer would work on millions at once.
That kind of staggering power would give a single quantum computer the ability to simulate a whole world in a holographic environment, replicate biological systems to understand diseases and find cures, solve the loads of equations necessary to create extremely accurate weather forecasting and simulate how subatomic particles interact, showing fundamentally how everything in the universe works.

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Several quantum computers linked together would make a quantum Internet so powerful that search engines would respond to queries almost like a human being, answering questions immediately and in any language.
In recent months, different groups of scientists and engineers have made important strides toward this amazing new world. They have built machines that can store quantum particles, control them, observe them and send them over fiber-optic cables.
For people in the field, it’s an exciting time. “We’re gradually removing the stumbling blocks,” said Bill Munro, a research scientist at Japanese phone giant NTT, who has done extensive research into quantum computing. “We’ve shown with the initial experiments that (quantum computing) can work.”
Some of the most recent work published in this area has come from scientists at Aalto University in Finland, who have found a way to store quantum particles, see them and change them.
Like conventional computers, quantum computers work by manipulating bits of information. In current computers and laptops, the bits are comprised of electrons, the magnetic fields of metal particles on a disk or the open and closed circuits on a microchip. They’re stored as “0s” or “1s” and long strings make the binary code that’s the essence of every program.

ANALYSIS: Magnetic Bacteria Could Build ‘Bio-Computers’
In quantum computers, the bits are actually not physical particles, but units of information called qubits that describe the state of particles, including atoms and subatomic particles, such as ions, electrons and photons. For example, a qubit might be represented by the direction in which an electron spins or the polarization of a photon of light – that is, how it’s oriented.
Qubits can be either a “0″ or a “1,” or both a “0″ and a “1″ simultaneously — a characteristic called superposition, which is what gives a quantum computer its extraordinary ability to process so much information at once. And like regular electronic bits, qubits need to be controlled and stored in order to get a desired input or output. You need some way to interface with them, just like you need a mouse or a keyboard to interface with the bits in a PC.
But there’s a major catch: qubits are easily disturbed by photons of light or heat or just about anything else in the natural environment. As soon as one tries to interact with a qubit, its value changes and it can even lose its crucial superposition characteristic.
In February, Mika Sillanpää and his colleagues at Aalto University reported that they had found a way to interact with a qubit without messing with its superposition.

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They built a tiny device that simulates the quantum state of a single atom. Sillanpää calls his device a kind of “artificial atom” (above). It consisted of a tiny piece of aluminum attached to a bit of sapphire. The scientists connected this component to a small piece of material capable of vibrating, called a resonator.
They put both components into a small cavity and cooled them to just above absolute zero. That turned the aluminium into a superconductor. Superconductors are known for conducting electricity with no resistance and can also behave as single atoms, entering a quantum state.
When the aluminium entered a quantum state, its energy made the resonator vibrate in a particular way. The vibration stored the quantum state information, or qubit. At the same time, it transferred energy into the cavity, which emitted a microwave photon that could be detected. It was the first time anyone had turned a bit of quantum information into a mechanical motion. It’s like an electron inside a conventional computer being converted into a pixel of text on a screen.
Silanpää told Discovery News that theoretically, by reversing the steps and firing a microwave photon at the component, the scientists would be able to change the quantum state of the artificial atom. A successful experiment demonstrating this — next on his list — would be similar to having a keyboard that entered new information into a computer.

ANALYSIS: Magnetic Bacteria Could Build ‘Bio-Computers’
This kind of link, or interface, between the quirky energy states of quantum particles and the macro world of tangible computers is necessary if we’re ever going to harness quantum power.
NTT scientist Bill Munro said since the device allowed for reading and writing qubits, it was a big step toward a useful computing device.
Meanwhile, at Yale, in January, a team of physicists found a way to observe qubits without ruining their superposition. Instead of interacting with the qubits directly, the team took partial measurements of the particle’s quantum state. They still disturbed the qubit, but it was in a known way, so they could correct for it.
This research goes some way to building quantum computers. But alone, these machines wouldn’t make an Internet; they need to be connected and exchange information. That’s where sending qubits over long distances comes into play.

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At the University of Innsbruck, Andreas Stute and his colleagues did this with ionized atoms. The researchers put a single calcium ion between two highly reflective mirrors. They hit the ion with a laser, which changed its quantum state, writing a single qubit of information onto it. They then hit the ion with a second laser. The ion emitted a photon, which carried the qubit they wrote down a fiber optic cable.
Last year, a similar experiment, with un-ionized atoms of rubidium, was conducted at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics in Germany. Stephan Ritter, a physicist there, led a group that transmitted the rubidium atom’s quantum state from one “node” of a network to another.
Both sets of experiments are important to building a quantum Internet, as they demonstrate that qubits can travel long distances.

ANALYSIS: Magnetic Bacteria Could Build ‘Bio-Computers’
Making a quantum computer and full-on Internet is still hard — and still some years away. But even with the challenges, it’s clear that quantum computers that outperform the familiar electronic ones are coming. It’s just a question of when.
“Many, though not all, of the fundamental questions about whether such computer are possible in principle have been answered,” Munro said. “Now we can get to real R&D.”

Miniature Medically-Savvy Computers

Scientists hope that one day in the distant future,
miniature, medically-savvy computers will roam our bodies, detecting
early-stage diseases and treating them on the spot by releasing a suitable
drug, without any outside help.

To make this vision a reality, computers must be
sufficiently small to fit into body cells. Moreover, they must be able to
“talk” to various cellular systems. These challenges can be best
addressed by creating computers based on biological molecules such as DNA or
proteins. The idea is far from outrageous; after all, biological organisms are
capable of receiving and processing information, and of responding accordingly,
in a way that resembles a computer.

Researchers at the Weizmann Institute of Science have
recently made an important step in this direction: They have succeeded in
creating a genetic device that operates independently in bacterial cells. The
device has been programmed to identify certain parameters and mount an
appropriate response.

The device searches for transcription factors – proteins
that control the expression of genes in the cell. A malfunction of these
molecules can disrupt gene expression. In cancer cells, for example, the
transcription factors regulating cell growth and division do not function
properly, leading to increased cell division and the formation of a tumor. The
device, composed of a DNA sequence inserted into a bacterium, performs a
“roll call” of transcription factors. If the results match
preprogrammed parameters, it responds by creating a protein that emits green
light – supplying a visible sign of a “positive” diagnosis. In
follow-up research, the scientists – Prof. Ehud Shapiro and Dr. Tom Ran of the
Biological Chemistry and Computer Science, and Applied Mathematics Departments
- plan to replace the light-emitting protein with one that will affect the
cell’s fate, for example, a protein that can cause the cell to commit suicide.
In this manner, the device will cause only “positively” diagnosed
cells to self-destruct.

In the present study, published in Nature’s Scientific
Reports, the researchers first created a device that functioned like what is
known in computing as a NOR logical gate: It was programmed to check for the
presence of two transcription factors and respond by emitting a green light only
if both were missing. When the scientists inserted the device into four types
of genetically engineered bacteria – those making both transcription factors,
those making none of the transcription factors, and two types making one of the
transcription factors each – only the appropriate bacteria shone green. Next,
the research team – which also included graduate students Yehonatan Douek and
Lilach Milo – created more complex genetic devices, corresponding to additional
logical gates.

Following the success of the study in bacterial cells, the
researchers are planning to test ways of recruiting such bacteria as an
efficient system to be conveniently inserted into the human body for medical
purposes (which shouldn’t be a problem; recent research reveals there are
already 10 times more bacterial cells in the human body than human cells). Yet
another research goal is to operate a similar system inside human cells, which
are much more complex than bacteria.

The Future of Computers

With much progress being made in nanotechnology, the future of computers has two directions: nanotechnology and cells. Nanotechnology is the engineering of a system at the molecular scale. These processes are either “bottom-up” or “top-down”.

“Bottom -up” is the construction at the atomic level one atom at a time while “top-down” is using precise tools to achieve nanotechnological scales. Nanocomputing will give rise to four possible types of computers: electronic nanocomputers, biochemical and chemical nanocomputers, mechanical nanocomputers, and quantum nanocomputers. Nanotechnology allows for much smaller devices to be built without wasting space because it is built one atom at a time. For instance, silicon transmitters will be based on carbon nanofibers which are faster, smaller, and consumes less energy.

Advances in nanotechnology will have a significant impact on the environment, energy, healthcare, and medicine. There may be a future involving “nanobots” which would assemble products at the atomic scale and can turn one material into another, self-replicating, and being injected into the human body to repair disease at the cellular level.

Nanotechnology is projected to be generating trillions of dollars in the near future, with many companies already reaping the benefits. A patent moratorium may soon be in place to aid growth in the field. As wonderful as this new technology is, we must remember to keep in mind the pros and cons.

The pros of nanotechnology are that it will allow humans to create anything faster, smaller, and better. It will help stop disease and aid in energy. But, the cons are that a strong set of ethical standards will be needed to govern the new technology. For example, nanorobots can fall into the wrong hands and be used against us instead of for us, which must be taken into consideration.

So, when can we expect to see these advances? Well, we don’t know. But, we are currently on our way to the last and fourth generation which takes place 2015-2020 and that is molecular nanosystems: molecular systems by design, atomic design, and emerging functions. So in the very near future we will be reaping the benefits from nanotechnology and will begin taking ethics into much more consideration as it advances. With much progress being made in nanotechnology, the future of computers has two directions: nanotechnology and cells. Nanotechnology is the engineering of a system at the molecular scale. These processes are either “bottom-up” or “top-down”.

“Bottom -up” is the construction at the atomic level one atom at a time while “top-down” is using precise tools to achieve nanotechnological scales. Nanocomputing will give rise to four possible types of computers: electronic nanocomputers, biochemical and chemical nanocomputers, mechanical nanocomputers, and quantum nanocomputers. Nanotechnology allows for much smaller devices to be built without wasting space because it is built one atom at a time. For instance, silicon transmitters will be based on carbon nanofibers which are faster, smaller, and consumes less energy.

Advances in nanotechnology will have a significant impact on the environment, energy, healthcare, and medicine. There may be a future involving “nanobots” which would assemble products at the atomic scale and can turn one material into another, self-replicating, and being injected into the human body to repair disease at the cellular level.

Nanotechnology is projected to be generating trillions of dollars in the near future, with many companies already reaping the benefits. A patent moratorium may soon be in place to aid growth in the field. As wonderful as this new technology is, we must remember to keep in mind the pros and cons.

The pros of nanotechnology are that it will allow humans to create anything faster, smaller, and better. It will help stop disease and aid in energy. But, the cons are that a strong set of ethical standards will be needed to govern the new technology. For example, nanorobots can fall into the wrong hands and be used against us instead of for us, which must be taken into consideration.

So, when can we expect to see these advances? Well, we don’t know. But, we are currently on our way to the last and fourth generation which takes place 2015-2020 and that is molecular nanosystems: molecular systems by design, atomic design, and emerging functions. So in the very near future we will be reaping the benefits from nanotechnology and will begin taking ethics into much more consideration as it advances.

 

Will Wearable Computers Some Day Replace The iPhone?

Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster notes in a research report this morning that there has been recent speculation from some tech blogs that Apple could launch a watch as a companion device to the iPhone. And he thinks that could be the start of a huge, important trend for Apple.

“While we are unsure of the ultimate launch timing (likely 2014 or later), we believe that Apple will eventually introduce some type of wearable computing product,” he writes. “As we have previously noted, we believe that wearable computers will ultimately be a major future trend. We expect Apple could profit from the trend in two ways. First, the company could create products for consumers, like the watch. Second, we believe the company could expand its MFi program that licenses hardware manufacturers the ability to make products that connect to iOS devices. While we don’t believe the watch itself is something that will excite investors, we believe the trend offers future revenue potential beyond the iPhone/iPad franchise.”

Munster actually argues that some time  over the next 10-plus years “wearable computers could eventually replace the iPhone and smartphones in general.” His view is that “technology could progress to a point where consumers have a tablet plus wearable computers, like watches or glasses, that enable simple things like voice calls, texting, quick searches, navigation, etc. through voice control.”

Longer term, he adds, “screens in glasses or projectors could replace the necessity of a screen from a smartphone or tablet. These devices are likely to be cheaper than an iPhone and could ultimately be Apple’s best answer to addressing emerging markets.”