While the world is in an ongoing buzz over the over-hyped, over-priced Apple Smart Watch, and actively comparing it to other smartwatch offerings from various manufacturers, some of us are enjoying the news around Canadian inventor Simon Tian’s concept, the Neptune Hub, expected to be available later this year. Put simply, this is the future of personal computing and communications that I look forward to… because I’ve already written about and used it myself.
Tian’s Neptune Hub is unique because it represents a different overall configuration for personal computing: The device worn around your wrist is literally the Hub of your computer and communications system, the source of your files and computing power, and you access it through its own display and through the use of peripheral extensions.
And this is no mere concept or Kickstarter: Neptune will run on an Android system, and you’ll be able to own this as soon as this year.
It makes a lot of sense to keep your personal files and applications close, and access them as you need them either directly or through devices optimized for certain tasks. In some of my own novels, I’d conceptualized the pocket- or wrist-worn device as the primary communicator and file manager, with conversations carried on through a wireless earpiece and mic, and larger screens or tabletop devices that would be utilized as needed to handle tasks and document editing that was more easily done on larger surfaces. The Neptune Hub is the embodiment of my conceptions.
In fact, I do something similar right now: My important documents are stored on my smartphone, kept with me at all times, and I can either access most of those files on the phone, or connect it to my work or personal computer when I want to manipulate some files, like Photoshop art, or extensively edit others, like long Word documents. I also keep the phone’s contents backed up, of course, in case something happens to it… but my files and docs stay with me wherever I go.
If you think about it, this system can also provide heightened security: If your docs are with you, they can’t be stolen from a laptop or desktop after you walk away from it. Biometric recognition and permissions could also be tied into it, instead of easily-divined or captured passwords, for further security. Because of its physical contact with you, it could conceivably send out a warning if it was forcibly removed—and if it monitors health data, it can send an alert if the wearer is injured, sick or incapacitated, protecting your health as well as your data.
I personally hope the Neptune system, and others like it, will become the norm for personal computing. I also happen to like the wrist-worn device, which by the way looks much snazzier than the Apple watch. It may be pricey to jump on board the minute it’s available… but keep an eye on it for the next year or so, and it may promise to be the device of tomorrow.