What is Mobile Computing?

Mobile computing is becoming an increasingly important in daily life whether personal or business, but what is it? Furthermore why do people want it and what are its benefits? It shapes millions of lives everyday, opening the door to Communication, Information and Productivity which is no longer restricted to the home or office. In today’s society it is already a prominent factor but what does the future hold? Major businesses are gearing towards better efficiency and performance, longer power life and true-mobility. What is mobile computing? Mobile computing is an industry that touches millions of people everyday, whether its business solutions such as access to a company’s database wherever their employees are, or for personal use like browsing the internet whilst dining out. It has a wide range of applications that help people organise their lives, work whilst on the move and communicate wherever they are. Typical mobile computing devices range from Laptop computers with wireless local area networks (WLAN), mobile phones and personal digital assistants (PDA’s) which incorporate Bluetooth technology. Mobile computing is the ability to access information resources whilst away from the home or office desk.

What does mobile computing encompass? As stated previously mobile computing incorporates many devices including laptop computers, PDA’s, mobile phones and pagers. Essentially a mobile computing device is any device which is able to be transported with relative ease and uses a computer to carry out its tasks. However this is not the only thing which makes them a ‘mobile’ computing device. In order for a device to be a truly useful mobile tool it was found by Caldwell and Koch (p. 6) that they needed to be supplemented with other technology which allows them to be used in a mobile context: It became evident that high speed networks and information storage systems are important complementary technologies. In fact, it is the ability of organizations to connect portable PC’s to reliable high speed networks and access to corporate databases from remote locations that has made mobile computing the valuable tool that it is. Without these technologies supporting mobile devices, the devices themselves would be little better then their more fixed counterparts such as PC’s. In fact they would be less useful due to their lesser power capability.

Why mobile computing? The reasons for society’s desire for mobile computing are diverse. All the reasons end up boiling down to making life easier and more efficient; the main difference is what aspect of life is being made easier.