Public thin clients

Posted on Jun 29, 2008
Another cool new idea, and this time it is seriously cool ( unlike this ), though it may not be feasible with today's technology and economics. So here it goes:

Everybody has a cellphone these days, most of them support Internet access and they are pretty powerful in terms of processing power for most of the things anyone does on the web.
But I for one hate browsing on that disgusting little screen and typing URLs on the keypad. Even the iPhone can't match the joy of being able to view the entire page at once and still read every word. Maybe these are just my aesthetic idiosyncries but I like to be pampered.

So we have a collection of TFT touchscreens ( called PDA - Public Display for All ) all around us in public. They could look just like whiteboards. All you've to do is go near one and (assuming there is no queue) hook your cellphone up to the PDA using Bluetooth or some protocol not yet invented. Which means your data is available on the move, but you still get great visualisation and interaction. Once your work is done, you just leave and the phone disconnects itself.

Suppose your friend has this really cool video that you'd like, both of you latch onto the PDAs and drag-and-drop the photo.

The PDAs have absolutely no memory or trace of 'who' connected with them, they just display output and take input and pass it on to the anonymous user.

Additional features can of course be added:
  • Restrictions on how much time one person can use it, we don't want hoggers/freeloaders.
  • Privacy features like PDAs in phone booth like structures for all your secure transaction needs.
These could be charged for, free on advertisement based models or just paid for by the government as a public service ;)

I hope anyone who implements this before I grow up or the technology isn't available yet will please thank me and give me a share of the profits.