Advances in technology move at a tremendous speed, and yet where are the gadgets and tools that would make life easier.  Fully integrated into our lifestyles to help make everyday mundane tasks a thing of the past.  Only recently have companies like LG and Apple begun to create products that make things easier.  Cell phones are just one of the gadgets that are being slightly innovative in their design and functionality, yet they are still lacking in other areas.

The iPhone and Voyager are 2 examples of where technology should be headed.  Each has the ability to surf the web, a touch screen, large amounts of memory to store music, as well as decent battery life.  The Voyager by LG took touch screen cell phones one step further than the iPhone by having a flip open screen for use with text messaging, essentially one-upping Apple’s touch screen keyboard which can sometimes be hard to use.

Yet it still feels like something is missing.  With all the capabilities of each cell phone, they still rely on the internet for some services, such as faxing or email.  Why not create an all encompassing service that can send an email using the cell carrier’s own outbound email server, this way people don’t have to log into 4 different emails online just to send a letter.  And as far as music capable cell phones, why can’t I use any file for music?  Why am I limited to the size of a file for my phone to use as a ring tone.  If the phone can already play music using a media player, and it comes out of the same speakers as my ringer, then why can’t I use the same music file for both?

If the companies were truly going to innovate the cell phone, they would have it tie in to our daily lives, informing us that we are running low on milk based on information sent by an internet connected refrigerator,  or that the mail has been delivered when the postman closes an internet connected mailbox.LG Voyager Verizon Cell Phone

Now these are just some examples that would require the entire plot of land the house rested on to be connected to the internet.  Yet this isn’t a far stretch of what we can accomplish.  Technology has advanced at an exponential rate over the past few years and we’re only being limited by what we can imagine.  Innovators seem to have gone into hiding, and the best we can come up with is taking several useful features and cramming them together into one gadget.  But that gadget has no communication with any other multifunction gadget we might have in our collection.  What we need is for everything to talk to each other, like having our car remote letting us know via text message that someone is trying to break into our car, or keeping track of whats going on at the house via webcam viewed on the front screen of a cell phone.

All of these ideas aren’t just hopes and dreams, people have internet controlled security cameras surveying their house interiors yet they have to log into the server through an internet browser to view what’s going on.  Some car alarms come with a view screen that show when a door is being opened or have an alarm that will go off if the car is being stolen.

Some of the problems that exist right now are limitations on the range certain electronics can transmit signals.  Yet this canBluetooth symbol be solved by expanding technology that is already in place.  Bluetooth is a form of radio transmitter that can connect to many electronic devices.  Now radio stations use large amounts of wattage to transmit as far as they do but why can’t we shrink that down or use a frequency that will travel very far but require very little wattage.   Higher frequencies usually mean farther traveling distance, like how red light travels farther than any other light in the spectrum, and thus used for lights to warn aircraft of high rise buildings.  The reason for using red lights is because red light travels farther, and it can be seen sooner by the pilot.

So what happened to people trying to make new things, instead of just reusing everyone else’s ideas and mixing them together.  Improving on old ideas is the first step towards a much more integrated, innovative life for all of us, and very few people are doing this on a consumer level.  Only recently have we seen the fruits of engineers’ labor in the forms of electronic devices such and the LG Voyager or Apple’s iPhone.

What do you think, why have so many people stopped innovating and have now gone the way of just cramming features into thing?  What is holding everyone back from creating new gadgets that really change the way we live, and the way we think?