Mobile computing has become a crucial technology in people’s lives. It provides people with various options of using technological devices regardless of their location. Mobile computing is the ability to utilize a computing device even when it is in mobile or even changing location. In this process, the aspect of portability is present. It has a range of devices from notebook computers to digital assistants like iPhone and blackberry to typical cell phones. This has made mobile computing become an indispensable way of life. Mobile notebooks and laptops can use only two types of wireless connection. The first one is WiFi which uses radio waves to transmit a signal from a wireless rooter to an immediate area. If not encrypted, anyone can have access on it. This connection is used for creating “hotspots” in public places. This means that one has to locate a hotspot. He or she should also stay within the range of a connection. The second alternative is to use a cellular broadband which uses modem or Air Card for internet connection. For this service, one has to remain stationery as the signal remains strong anywhere there is cellular service.
Another service linked with mobile computing is cloud computing, which is the ability to use website services from portable computers. Portable computing also grants access to a firm’s virtual private network (VPN) by tunneling through the internet. It makes life easy and also makes work to be manageable. There is an increase in productivity especially in developed countries where there is high use of technology. This clearly shows that mobile computing has so many positive effects to the lives of people. However, it also has its own limitations.
Advantages of mobile computing
1) Portability- devices used in mobile computing are portable thus making it easy to complete tasks. Portability means that they can be moved from a place to another. This means that one has the freedom to work from any place he or she wishes to be. This can be regarded as flexibility of location.
2) Increase in production- the returns are high because one has the freedom to work in a fixed place. A person is also in a position to multitask thus increasing productivity. It also, minimizes time wastage especially where one has to report to an office on a daily basis.
3) Marketing of products and services made easy- this is evident because one can market his or her products and online from anywhere as far as there is fast internet connection.
4) Communication made easy- calls making, text messages and emails can be sent or received anywhere using the mobile devices.
Disadvantages of Mobile Computing
1) Insufficient bandwidth- when using this process, internet connection is slower compared to when one uses a direct cable connection. There are cheap technologies available like EDGE (Enhanced Data Rates GSM Evolution), GPRS (General Packet Radio Services), HSDPA (High-Speed Downlink Packet Access) and HSUPA (High-Speed Uplink Packet Access)3G which are fast but can only be accessed within a certain range.
2) Power Usage- This affects this process of mobile computing because it relies on battery power when power connection or portable generator is not present. This means that one has to buy an expensive battery which can keep power for a long time thus increasing consumption.
3) Security standards- When a person is working in a mobile basis, he or she depends on public networks thus use of VPN (Virtual Private Network) is necessary. It is dangerous if the VPN is not carefully used because one can attack it through a massive figure of networks interconnected through the line.
4) Health problems- those people who have a tendency of using mobile gadgets when driving has a high risk of causing accidents due to divided attention. Mobile phones are also likely to get in the way of sensitive medical devices. There are some beliefs that mobile phones cause health hazards.
5) Transmission interferences- In most cases, there are so many interferences involved in mobile computing. These interferences include terrain, weather, range of the nearest signal point and others. They can interfere with the passage of signal. Transmission of signals in some buildings, tunnels and rural areas is often slow.
6) Human Interface with Devices- some components of the devices used is not user friendly. For example, some keyboards and screens tend to be small, and this makes it hard to use them. In addition, some techniques like handwriting and speech recognition require thorough training
Mobile computing is a very vital technology in our lives. But, before settling on it, a person should analyze its advantages and disadvantages carefully and evaluate its appropriateness in ones life.