Why the LG G5 is so revolutionary
On September 8, 2014, I wrote an editorial titled “Towards a truly revolutionary smartphone: enhanced sense functionality.” In it, I argued that truly revolutionary smartphones would have to exceed their current functionality, given that they are basically the most portable of computers. By introducing a removable bottom module, the company LG-now an important but minor player in the fieldhas done just that.
But, why exactly is this so important? There are, after all, modules that already exist for the iPhone. For example, there are credit card readers that allow a user to swipe a card on the cellphone, and be immediately paid by the customer. There are other more obvious modules, such as an enhanced microphone. If current modules exist, what is LGs difference?
The problem with many iPhone modules is simply that they are additions that loosely hang from the device, be it the headphone jack or the charger entry. They are baggage that can at any moment fall or be dislodged by the phone. The LGs design, by contrast, made the module an integral part of the phone. If you would not know otherwise, you might think that such form at face value had been the design of the phone.
The benefits of this design are many.
They allow users to basically carry powerful portable computers with drastically enhanced functionality. The LG module is truly the first PCI card bus for a portable computer. (As we all know, the computers functionality is drastically enhanced by the PCI bus, and why the very first Apple Co. computer was so revolutionary: it had a lot of buses onto which adapters could be fitted.)
If you still don't get it, consider the following.
A diabetes patient could have a module to regularly check his blood sugar levels. A chemist could be out on the field, and use his cellphone to quickly test the chemical components of a substance. An infrared camera could be attached to the LG G5, as was recently announced, and used by an electrician to test for a hot wire in an electrical system. An architect could build a digital three dimensional map of a structure. And, our small business owner could have a card swiping module in his cellphone that he could use without worrying about whether he will lose the module or notalways a part of his phone and his business.
It now depends on whether third parties begin producing modules of the phone.*
Sounds like we have a winner.