An interesting short interview by Forbes contributor Bill Frezza yesterday.
The piece entitled “The Blackberry Q10 Delivers As Mike Lazaridis Reflects” was different because the author was actually a part of the early days of mobile computing.
Frezza describes how when he first met Lazaridis, in 1991, he was a “rogue marketing manager at Ericsson desperately searching for wireless email software to marry with the world’s first portable wireless data modem, which we were preparing to launch that next year.”
He says a $50,000 loan, “finagled” out of his boss allowed RIM to assemble the palmtop client software that was necessary to connect with a RadioMail server that led to the world’s first commercially available wireless email product.
Frezza, a BlackBerry loyalist who says he will give up the brand “when you pry it out of my cold, dead fingers”, had a video chat on his BlackBerry Q10 with Lazardis recently, where the pair reflected on BlackBerry’s rise, fall, and moderated return to form.
Lazaridis says he still sees a place for physical keyboard devices in today’s touch-screen world.
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“We obsessed for over a decade to perfect the thumb keyboard.” he says. “Touch screens offer the benefit of providing the entire screen as a selection point. The problem is that you can’t easily separate navigation from selection. With a mouse we never think about that, but the two are discrete. When you have both on top of each other it gets more complex. We are working hard to perfect this as it is the ultimate challenge of a touch screen based device.”
With the past and present covered, Frezza asked Lazaridis to describe the personal communicator of the year 2033.
“In 2033 we will be carrying around devices run by quantum processors loaded with quantum sensors. You will have so much power at your fingertips that you will be able to have comprehensive verbal conversations with your device, and it will talk back to you. And unlike current efforts, it will be good enough to fool you into thinking you are talking to a person. The sensors will be aware of you and your surroundings, monitoring your bodily conditions and the environment around you. Think of the tricorder and the medical scanners on Star Trek.”