The long awaited Intel Light Peak interface may finally be making an appearance near the end of this year and, with the iPhone 5 and iPad 2 launch predicted to take place in the coming months, it seems unlikely that Apple will be taking advantage of using the Light Peak transmission protocol for mobile device syncing. However, that doesn’t mean that the company isn’t thinking about the implementation of Light Peak in future devices. We thought it would be interesting to speculate on how the use of blisteringly fast data transmission methods will change the way we interact with our desktop computers and mobile devices.
Light Peak has been predicted by many to eventually overtake USB in popularity and it certainly has the credentials to do so with speeds over optical networks eventually expected to reach up to 100Gbps, 10x faster than current USB 3.0 speeds. While the technology for transmission speeds like these is still under development, it has recently been shown that Light Peak over copper cables can still attain 10Gbps which is still faster than USB 3.0. But how could super fast data transmission potentially affect the interaction between an iPhone and a desktop or laptop computer in the future?
So, imagine this. A next generation iPhone with a greatly increased storage capacity, perhaps in the 128GB range, could feasibly store much of the data that a user requires on a day to day basis, and more. We already see stand alone operating systems and user data on USB flash drives and this would simply be an extension of that concept, Apple-style.
Docking your iPhone with either a MacBook, or an iMac or perhaps even a dumb terminal, you will run applications and access data directly from the iPhone, interfacing with Light Peak protocols at much higher speeds than USB. When combining Light Peak with faster processors and memory in the iPhone, you could essentially see your desktop Mac compressed into your iPhone. It may happen sooner than we think. Depending on how powerful the mobile device is, the iPhone itself could either act as the processing centre, as an external but extremely fast storage device, or it could simply act as a secure tethered access point to the vast array of your data that will be stored in the cloud.
Syncing your iPhone with iTunes will be a thing of the past as all of your data will either be on the iPhone handset itself or can be accessed in real time via docking your computer with the iPhone, rather than waiting for a sync to be completed. Look for this to become a feasible concept in a year or so, and a revamped MobileMe to play a huge part in it. We are already beginning to see tentative hints of this approach in Apple’s products and rumored/upcoming technologies i.e. cloud storage, wireless syncing, the merging of iOS and OSX operating systems and Near Field Communication.
Once again, this will change everything…again.