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Smartphones and laptops: New ways to pair them

Melanie Pinola | June 27, 2012
Each new gadget brings speculation about what older device it will replace--full-featured laptops supplant desktops, while ever-smarter phones relieve you from carrying a laptop on occasion. But don't overlook the partnerships that can result. Soon, for instance, you’ll be able to use an Ultrabook to charge your phone wirelessly, or you'll be able to transfer files by tapping your smartphone to a laptop lid.

Tap to Connect

Other technologies being built into laptops and smartphones allow the devices to share tasks without making physical contact. One expands the near-field communication short-range wireless protocol, now used mostly for mobile payments systems such as Google Wallet’s “tap-and-pay” system. MasterCard, meanwhile, is incorporating its PayPass technology into Ultrabooks so that you can wave your smartphone at your laptop to make online purchases more securely.

NFC may have other handy uses, such as enabling wireless information sharing between devices. With an NFC-enabled phone and laptop, you may be able to send a contact card, website address, videos, or other information from your phone to your PC without needing to install additional apps or wire the devices together. NFC-enabled phones could also allow you to verify your security information on websites or your laptop. In the future, NFC may support quicker Bluetooth pairing between your phone and laptop. The Hewlett-Packard Envy 14 Spectre is one of the first Ultrabooks to have built-in NFC support.

The Future Is Connected

All of our devices are becoming smarter and more connected. In the years to come, using your smartphone and laptop--as well as your TV, tablet, and other connected devices--together will be simpler. Start playing a game on your laptop, and finish it on your phone. Stream anything from your smartphone to your laptop, or vice versa. Seamlessly access all your information on any device. We’ve seen hints and examples of such capabilities already, but that’s just scratching the surface of what’s starting to be possible.


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