Monday, January 22, 2007

HP's vision for the future of devices

Philip McKinney
Vice President and CTO, Personal Systems Group
General Manager, HP Gaming Business

December 13, 2006
HP Software Universe 2006

Nicknamed "The Gadget Guy," Philip McKinney opened his presentation with a short video portraying one of the newest HP marketing campaigns, "The Computer is Personal Again." With 25 experience in the mobility and wireless industry, McKinney, who joined HP four years ago, is always focusing on overcoming tough technical barriers to creating an always-on, always-connected world.
A complex world

McKinney discussed the technology revolution over the last 30 years, from the mainframe, the PC, to the internet, to the pervasiveness of devices. "Devices have become more complex, and the number of devices will multiply at an explosive rate. Our lives are becoming more complex as well, because of the number of devices we are dealing with each day," he commented.

He added that networks are also becoming more complex, and the variety of technologies available are overwhelming — such as BlueTooth, Edge, Wi-fi — some becoming obsolete before they plateau. The complexity of experience is also skyrocketing, according to McKinney. "What used to be four television channels has become 200. Playing table games has become a multitude of electronic games. Our personal experience is changing at a rapid pace. Now we are constantly checking the weather online, checking email, text messaging friends and family.

"We are dealing with many different devices, and we are trying to streamline that into fewer and easier-to-use devices," he said, in a theme that would run throughout his presentation. "One thing we are trying to figure out is how to put more intelligence into the devices to make it easier for the customer," he explained.
Mobility is key

"From my perspective, mobility is technology," McKinney said. "As a user, you want to always be connected. You don't want the burden of figuring out how to be connected, you want it to just happen. That's one of the things HP is focused on by putting more intelligence into these devices. It's very easy to make a product complex, but it's very difficult to make a product easy," he added.

McKinney explained that computing and communications are coming together, and the connected experience is the future of personal computing and communications. "There is an evolution toward integrated seamless computing experience — always connected — whether you are at work or at home. Our challenge is to make that happen and to make that technology available," he said.

"We know how to connect everything. The focus is how to maintain that connectivity. It's really about making connections, whether it's a personal connection with friends, customers, coworkers, family, The world is now becoming flat, the work world is no longer 8 — 5, it's now 24x7," he said. "How do you have a seamless experience across your digital entertainment center, your desktop PC, your notebooks, your TVs and your mobile devices? And, a seamless connection between home, work and travel as well?"
New R&D focus

McKinney went on to tout HP's work in various R&D areas, specifically around mobility, to solve how to we make mobility always connected and insanely simple for customers and end-users. "Mobility is at the heart of HP's heritage, and will be part of our future, always connected, collaborative, ready, creative, and manageable, with the right design," he noted.

"How do we make it so that wherever you are in the world, you literally turn on the device and it gets you connected?" he posed. According to McKinney, HP's R&D is working on new and emerging battery issues, driving power densities into batteries so they last longer. New auxiliary displays, like the ones used today in cell phones, but with more instant access to critical information is another area of focus. Energy-aware displays — in which the display senses where you are looking and mutes or lowers definition in other areas — is another new concept.

Personal miniaturized projection devices, making projectors more mobile than ever, will be built into notebooks. And, three dimensional LCD technology is emerging. The issue of mobility security is something HP is working on, according to McKinney. "With so many mobile devices being lost (10,000 mobile phones and PDAs get lost per month in a large city), HP is working on biometrics such as fingerprint recognition technology to help address this issue," McKinney said.
The future of devices

How do you manage mobile devices the same way you manage your networks, systems, servers, storage, applications, PCs, and laptops? McKinney said, "We're doing a lot of work trying to make those mobile devices truly manageable. McKinney outlined a number of new products that will be released after the holidays in the HP gaming space, and offered a sneak peak at some exciting new technologies being developed over the next three to four years.

McKinney summarized HP's vision by saying, "We are dealing with the complexity of devices, the complexity of the network, and the complexity of consumer experiences. HP is focused on making enterprise and consumer products insanely simple. Not easier. Not better. But insanely simple."