[Prospective] A remote control for your life
A bit update but still interesting, "A remote control for your life" by Charles Mann in Technology Review (subscription needed).
The plan will go into gear this summer, when DoCoMo introduces a new and radically more versatile type of phone. Like a regular cell phone, it will make and receive telephone calls. Like a regular i-mode device, it will let you send and receive e-mail, play online games, and access any one of the 78,000 i-mode-compatible websites around the world. And like other DoCoMo phones, it will take photographs, read bar codes, and play downloaded music over headphones or tiny but surprisingly good speakers. But it will also contain a special chip made by Sony that lets it pay for groceries, serve as personal identification, unlock doors, operate appliances, buy movie and subway tickets, and perform dozens of other tasks.