The Next Step for Smartphones (adding high quality microphones)

Thursday, July 2, 2009 | |

I am sure you are well aware of the smart phones that are infiltrating the market as of lately. I have really high hopes for what is happening with the iPhone application store, the shear number of applications that are available is mind boggling awesome. The Android open platform looks like it will start to take off here as I have read that by the end of 2009 there is to be around 20 phones on the market, and I have always been a fan of Nokia and I currently carry a N95.

The one big thing that I think the smart phone community is missing is the possibility of pushing into the realm of high-quality audio recording. There is a pretty decent market for hand held audio recorders at most music shops you can find a selection of them and at electronic stores you can find a good selection of lower quality voice recorders.

People are using these audio recorders for situations ranging from

  • recording music practice sessions
  • concert recording
  • voice dictations
  • radio work
  • found sounds
  • podcasts ect.
To let you know, as well as the Nokia N95 phone, I have been known to carry around an Edirol R-09HR audio recorder and I really like it, and have used it extensively for a bunch of different application including all of the ones listed above.

Here in lies the problem and the solution (small tech startups read and start working), the Edirol recorder is awesome, but it's too big to carry around all of the time so I usually don't bring it out daily. I do bring my phone out every day, but the microphone is worthless for audio recording. The solution, incorporate a high quality microphone into a smart phone.

Take a look at the success of the Zoom H2 Digital Recorder, by most people standards it's a high quality microphone and retails for $200.00. Much of the cost of this recorder could be eliminated using a phone, just make sure the phone can handle audio in (pretty simple and cheap) and add a set of on board microphones and the whole system would be ready to go. An application on the phone could control everything all at no extra cost to the phone. My estimates put this upgrade at around 50 dollars. Judging from what the public wants, and is willing to pay for, this thing would sell. As an added benefit this feature could make the phone "timeless" causing it not to fade away after a year on the market because the feature set is so valuable.

This is what I would like to see in my next smart phone purchase, I'll call it the "Dream list":
  • Calling capablities
  • WiFi
  • Android OS
  • Sim card capeable
  • Expandable memory (sd cards)
  • 5 Mega Pixel camera with auto-foucus
  • High-Quality microphones on board
  • Gps,accelerometer,compass
  • Touch screen and qwerty keyboard
Taking a look at the N95 that I have:
  • Calling capablities
  • WiFi
  • Android OS
  • Sim card capeable
  • Expandable memory (sd cards)
  • 5 Mega Pixel camera with auto-foucus
  • High-Quality microphones on board
  • Gps,accelerometer
  • Touch screen and qwerty keyboard
These options are not that far away, under my estimates you can put a high-quality microphone on board the phone for about 50 dollars, touch screen for another 50, and using the android OS would cost the developers about -100 dollars. So looking at this realistically my N95 which came out sometime in 2007 could accomplish this goal for about zero dollars.

I think the public will be willing to pay for it as well lets put an exaggerated price tag of $700 on the device and then breakdown what it would cost to buy all of the components separately.

$ 200 MP3 player
$ 200 Digital Camera
$ 100 Wifi phone
$ 200 Audio Recorder

That's the $700 dollar price tag there, having all of the devices in one, that would be it, and it would be good. Walking further down the road the N95 can be purchased at just under $400 dollars add a touch screen, and mics and put Android on there and you could walk away with a phone that has a value of well over $700 dollars for just about the same price as the current $400 price.

2 comments:

benson.catherine2 said...

Paul, Check out this phone! you won't believe what it can do.
Cathy

http://www.pomegranatephone.com/

paul said...

Pomegrante Phone:

Harmonica: easy

Global Voice Translator: see google Voice and the translation capabilities)

Projector: see Pico Projectors

Shaver: see beard or see woman.

Coffee: see instant coffee

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