I am somewhat ashamed to admit that my cellphone is almost two years old - in the tech world that's almost as bad as still using smoke signals to communicate. Despite that, my cellphone (a Samsung Galaxy S4 for those keeping score) is more powerful than (and has a much higher resolution display than) most of the computing devices I've used through-out my professional career. That makes it perhaps unsurprising that Microsoft announced yesterday Continuum
- their intention to bring together the desktop and mobile 'metaphors' into a single device.
The idea is simple (and was in fact also proposed by Ubuntu as part of their 'Ubuntu Touch' solution back in 2013) - your phone becomes your only computing device. If you are sitting at a desk you connect it to a keyboard/mouse/display or perhaps a laptop-like keyboard/trackpad/display clamshell, and you get get your familiar 'desktop' metaphor, but when you disconnect and use the cellphone by itself you get the same data, files, etc - but with a UI that makes sense on a 5" screen, rather than a 20" screen.
What does this mean for enterprise visualization? Instead of providing separate environments for phones, tablets and desktop/laptops, enterprise visualization systems will be able to provide solutions that morph from a phone UI - suitable for taking a photo of a problem found while onsite for instance - to a tablet UI - suitable for reviewing a change request while on the train - to a desktop UI - suitable for doing detailed design reviews, measurements, etc.
There will be huge advantages to being able to carry your entire computing environment around in your pocket - the photo you took of a problem while onsite will be right there when you are sitting at your desk creating a detailed change request, and the notes you took during a design meeting yesterday will be right there if you want to refer to them while on the train.
Of course, you may also be able to use Microsoft's Hololens
to see a full-on 'holographic' display of the data off your cell phone while on the train - but that is starting to sound like it comes straight out of a sci-fi novel...