Networking

Poll: With wireless docking, will smartphones replace many laptops?

The idea of smartphones using a protocol like Wireless USB to "dock" and act like a desktop or laptop is intriguing. Do you see it becoming a legitimate PC replacement? Take our poll.

When I wrote my article about Intel promoting Thunderbolt technology at the expense of Wireless USB, a big part of my argument was that Wireless USB could enable a universal wireless docking solution that could start a revolution in computing. The result would be that high-powered dual core smartphones could soon have the power to run a desktop OS and connect wirelessly to a desktop (keyboard, mouse, and monitor) or laptop "dock" and act like a full PC.

It was that part of my article — talking about wireless docking — that people got the most excited about. I even went on the podcast TechFan on Friday to debate the merits of the idea and talk about its real world possibilities.

We've just started seeing the possibilities of smartphones as PC replacements for light computing with the Motorola Atrix (below).

However, that still requires a physical dock and it's unlikely that all of the smartphone vendors will agree on a universal connector for docking. It's much more likely that all of them would agree to support a wireless protocol like Wireless USB that could then be used as an untethered docking solution. Yes, there would be security and wireless interference concerns, but those are not insurmountable obstacles. With smartphones going dual core and spreading to more consumers and business professionals, a wireless docking solution will likely emerge within the next two years.

Once this happens, do you see smartphones replacing some traditional laptops and desktops? For which types of users would this sense? Answer the poll below and jump into the discussion.

Take the poll

About

Jason Hiner is Global Editor in Chief of TechRepublic and Global Long Form Editor of ZDNet. He writes about how technology is changing the way we live and work in the 21st century. He's co-author of the book, Follow the Geeks.

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