Going Wireless - Googling for Pizza from your Phone

Posted by Mike Kai

Googling just got better for Pizza Fans

It was only a decade ago that mobile phones were a luxury item, necessary only to doctors and important corporate executives. Nowadays, mobile phones have become completely ubiquitous.

Like email, another modern staple of modern life, mobile phones have become essential for business and even everyday
interaction between family and friends. Unlike email, mobile phones have also become an important fashion accessory.

Cell phones have become much more sophisticated in the past decade. in 1994, cell phones were large and garish, today many mobile phones are designed for the style minded. It is not uncommon to see sleek pink phones, or even rhinestone-studded mobile phones. Mobile phones are also equipped with digital cameras, access to the internet, and a variety of other useful tools.

Of course, Asia, particularly Tokyo and Seoul, lead the world in both mobile technology and fashion. As an example, camera phones started appearing in Japan in 2001, while it took until 2003 for the first mass market camera phones to appear in the USA.

What's in store for next year of mobile phone technology? Japanese handset manufacturers have announced widespread plans to incorporate digital TV tuner cards into mobile phones. Japanese mobile phone users will be able to watch full-speed live television on their handsets as early as summer of 2005.

Further improvements include high resolution cameras and mini-hard drives. These hard drives, made popular by the Apple iPod, will enable users to keep an entire music or video library on their phone.

The problem with all these improvements is the fact that mobile phone batteries will have trouble providing all the juice that is needed to provide full color digital television or high quality digital audio for hours at a time. To account for this, several Japanese companies have announced that they will be replacing the batteries in consumer phones with fuel cells, which are small electrical generators. Toshiba and others have announced they will power their phones with methanol, a kind of alcohol, which will be sold in small cartridges, much like batteries are sold today.

Want to find the closest pizza parlor? Many companies, and even entire industries, are adapting to the mobile phone market. On October 7, Google announced that users can use SMS (short message service, commonly known as Text Messaging) to perform searches. Users can now send the name of a business and the zip code (i.e. Pizza 92625) to 46645 ('GOOGL' on most telephone keypads) to receive business listings with telephone numbers.

The music industry earned 10% of its world-wide sales ($3.5 billion) from the purchase of ringtones, primarily in Europe and Asia.

What's next? Look to the latest mobile technology in Tokyo or Korea. The mobile phone technologies tend to arrive there nearly 2 years ahead of the USA. You could be the first on your block to watch the football game on TV, through your cell phone!