Wireless Systems Design

Confronting The Year Ahead

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Congratulations! We made it through another year. Now it's time to focus on 2003. There are challenges ahead, but also the potential for a brighter future. What will lead the wireless industry into that bright future? The editors of Wireless Systems Design have a prediction. From where we sit, the answer seems clear: wireless entertainment.

This response should come as no surprise to anyone. Consumers in areas like Japan have long used their cell phones/PDAs for entertainment. Such devices allow consumers to stay up to date on the latest news, sports scores, and weather reports. They also provide access to books, games, and even the exchange of digital photos between callers. Now, this trend is gaining momentum in the United States. Here, though, the usage model for wireless devices has been based on productivity. Users who wanted to utilize such devices for entertainment constituted a small segment of the consumer population.

The times are definitely changing. We're witnessing the early convergence of the digital world and the cell phone. For consumers—especially those in the under-25 age bracket—this change translates into a demand for something more from their wireless devices.

Similar changes are happening in all areas of society. Remember when employees actually used to work 9-to-5 jobs in an office, while attired in three-piece business suits? Today, employees have much more flexible schedules and work locations, such as the home office. In many cases, wearing a suit makes a person look outdated.

That very same transition is happening in the wireless industry. Consumers don't want to lug around numerous wireless gadgets. They want as few devices as possible, and those devices must be multi-functional.

As a result, today's PDAs and cellular phones now offer an assortment of video content, wireless-entertainment software, and games. Filling this demand are any number of companies. You may think of AirGames, JAMDAT Mobile, Activision, Airborne Entertainment, or Digital Bridges. Regardless of which company it is, however, they all have the same goal: to combine technological know-how with the types of entertainment-related content that today's consumers crave. That's a good thing for all of us!

This issue of Wireless Systems Design has been specifically crafted to give you a window into the growing trend toward wireless entertainment. We think you'll find this topic both fascinating and informative. As always, if you have any comments or questions, you can reach me at [email protected].

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