More devices need cellular connectivity

Evan Selleck
Contributing Editor from  Arizona
| December 7, 2012

Through 2012, we saw a lot of different noteworthy accessories make headlines. A few of them were projects trying to be "Kickstarted," while some of them were just good old-fashioned concepts. Unfortunately, when it comes to concepts, we'll probably never see them actually manufactured. (We'll see how it goes for a lot of those Kickstarter projects, too.) But that doesn't mean we still don't have plenty of great accessories to choose from right now. I just wish more of them weren't so dependent on Bluetooth.

But that's usually how these accessories work, right? After all, they are supposed to act as a secondary device to, say, our phone or tablet. A helpful hand, if you will. Just like a Bluetooth keyboard, or a Bluetooth headset. Or, as we've seen more recently, watches that connect to our devices via Bluetooth. And that's where all of these things have one huge similarity. Bluetooth.

I like Bluetooth. I use it every day to listen to music. I'm not necessarily a big fan of what it does to my battery over a long period of time, but that's just something I've had to get used to. Getting used to the loss of battery life in a day is one reason I think more accessories should have a cellular connection out of the box.

(I'm making that connection because of the battery drain that 4G LTE has on some, if not most, devices.)

I've wanted to pull the trigger on a Bluetooth-capable watch for a long time. I almost backed the Pebble Watch Kickstarter way back when that was all the rage. I haven't bought one simply because I haven't really found one that caught my eye. But, more importantly, because I don't want to run my phone's battery down just to make sure my watch is up to date with the information it is supposed to show me.

But, put a battery inside the watch that can really wow me, and a cellular connection in there, too, and you've probably got yourself a sale. (It would also have to attract my eye, mind you.) All the features of a Bluetooth-connected watch, but able to pull information down without needing to be connected to your phone.

With Apple's iMessage, Research In Motion's BlackBerry Messenger, and even Google's Google Talk, you could just get messages right on the watch thanks to linked contacts. No Bluetooth necessary. The same could be said for services like Skype and FaceTime. Just sign in right on the watch, and there you go, video calling from your watch!

If Google's Project Glass is indeed the future, I want it to be a project that focuses on putting a cellular connection in seemingly every day pairs of glasses. Not just the expensive units that Google will provide at some point in the future. I want my own glasses to be able to pull down information on the fly, without having to worry about being tethered to my phone.

A lot of accessories, like photo frames, get around this by connecting to WiFi, and that's all right or the devices that we keep at home. But for equipment that we bring with us while we go outside and explore the world, a cellular connection would be a dream come true. If handled properly.

So tell me, Dear Reader, which accessory would you like in your life if it could connect to a cellular network? Watch? Glasses? And how would it help you in your everyday routine? Let me know!