Eric Schmidt at MWC 2012 Talks Phones and Robots, Vision $70 Android and More

Google Chairman Eric Schmidt at the Mobile World Congress 2012 delivered some interesting predictions during the keynote. "While we overestimate short term change, we massively underestimate the long term technological change," Schmidt said, before embarking on series of predictions ranging from 'tiny robots' that would allow you to attend a rock concert and a business […]

Google Chairman Eric Schmidt at the Mobile World Congress 2012 delivered some interesting predictions during the keynote. "While we overestimate short term change, we massively underestimate the long term technological change," Schmidt said, before embarking on series of predictions ranging from 'tiny robots' that would allow you to attend a rock concert and a business meeting at one time to driverless cars.

For the wealthy, Schmidt said that technology will only be limited by "what we deem ethical." In other words, completely limitless.

When asked when Android would make its way to basic feature phones, he noted that Android was already going that route. Device builders were working on Android phones that would cost in the $100 to $150 range within the next year, and that it was likely they would drop down to $70.

"Why don't you get a smartphone?" he asked the original questioner.

Schmidt seemed particularly fascinated by 3D holographic displays, the technology he said would allow people to be two places at one time, to see a total eclipse on another continent, or to experience foreign revolutions.

Schmidt, when asked when Android would appear on feature, or 'dumb,' phones. "Question is, 'why don't you get a smartphone?' Moore's Law. This year's $400 phone will cost $100 next year. Companies here are working on phones that cost $100 to $150, eventually $70. When you get to that point, usage explodes. Resold phones cost $20-30, so it's very achievable."

Another person noted that there 'hadn't been much advertising' in Schmidt's hypothetical future. "I wasn't trying to do a Google advertisement," Schmidt grinned, "but since you've given me the opportunity to do so..."

The speech also contained a few minor revelations. Google Fiber would manage 300 to 350Mbps in the real world in its Kansas City rollout, but it would still be enough for streaming holographic video. Also, Google at one point had considered a virtual currency akin to Bitcoin, named Google Bucks, but had backed off over concerns it would violate US law.

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