Secrets that you keep

7 03 2010

If you’re like me then you have more than one device in which you store your private details in, your contacts with their e-mails, phone numbers and addresses, and often another “sealed section”, usually controlled by a seperate program, which stores your passwords.

At first, I thought this was great, but am now beginning to see a problem.

These devices don’t talk to each other, oh they could talk to each other, they have wi-fi and bluetooth, but they don’t “talk”.

If a family was to operate in this way, we’d say it was dysfunctional.

Many of us have experienced the evening meal, in which you sit at the table with friends or family, discussing the day, and sharing ideas… and I think it’s time that our gadgets incorporate that dynamic in some way.

Here’s why it’s a problem now.

I wish to write a blog, so I go to my blog page, and it appears that I’ve been logged out and the page is asking for my password, although I usually remember passwords that I use a lot, I have forgotten this one… but I know that I’ve entered the data into one of my devices… in most cases this would be my PDA, but it could be my Macbook…. or did I happen to put it in my iPhone?

If it’s not in one, it has to be in the other, so what if I’m out somewhere and I need a phone number, and find that although I have my iPhone with me, that the number is in the PDA which I’ve left at home?, Curses!

This shouldn’t happen.

If I add a phone number to my contacts in my PDA, this information should be shared among my devices, without me having to lift a finger. afterall, these devices are “Family”, in a sense, and all families share certain (but not all) secrets between each other.

When a device, comes into range of a “family member” Known by Device name, Serial Number and Password, it will automatically send data to that device.

So, in theory, it’d work like this.

A friend tells me his new mobile number, I already have him listed on my PDA, so I open up my contacts there and add his number. I would then set this data to “share with family” and close the application and the PDA.

Later I want to get on the Macbook and do some e-mail.

I’ve forgotten all about the update to the contact list in the PDA and go about my business, but the laptop makes contact with the PDA and makes an update to it’s contacts. and later, the iphone comes in range of the laptop and gets the update from there and also shares it’s information with the PC.

Now OK, as I said earlier, not all secrets are shared with the family, which is why all information would need to be secret by default.
but should only be a simple mouseclick to share the plumbers phone number with all the other devices.

There could also be sets of electronic familys in the one house.

I live alone right now, but I could’ve been living in a home with a lot of human family members, all with their own devices.

In theory you could end up with an avalanche of details in your contacts list, people you don’t know, tradesmen you don’t need, so the information would need to be shared between your devices, and Toms (because you’re workmates), but not with Janet.

I think, with a bit of thought, a system like this could work, but would need to be easy to manage from the users perspective.

Thoughts?

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