Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Whatchamacallit: finding a name for those devices in your pocket

Multipurposesmartdevice (MSD), multifuntionportabledevice (MPD), personaloperatingdevice (POD),... What is in a name you might ask, well to me the name is everything. The name conveys an idea of function, a name conjours up memories and stereotypes and once it reaches our mind it begins its journey through the process of cross referencing and cataloging until it is converted into an impression and then we draw a conclusion about the name we just heard. We then form an emotional reaction to that name based on our brains computations. So when you hear the word smartphone, what thoughts come to mind, what images pop into your head, what is the emotional reaction you feel?
As mobile tech advances, pulling us along in its wake, I have pondering the accuracy of the term smartphone as the moniker for the next generation of personaldatadevices (PDD).  To me these devices do more than just take and receive calls, they are multifunctioningintelligentdevices (MID), they are multipurposesmartdevices (MSD) and they are intelligentpersonalassistants (IPA).  My poor examples should not belittle the challenge in deciding what to call these products which have moved far beyond the realm of cellular phones and more into the world of minimobilecomputers (MMC), or pocketmobilecomputers (PMC)/mobilepocketcomputers (MPC).
The challenge with coming up with a name is that it has to not only convey funtion and purpose but it also has to sound good.  Just as the names we use today have become adjectives instead of just titles, the name of these personalcommunicationdevices (PCD),  has to sound, taste and feel true.  The final name has to invoke a simple image, cause an emotional reaction, and elicit an organic response, in order to be the one.  So... What do you suggest, by the way all the ones mentioned above have been copyrighted, jk.  Some other ideas worth mentioning are: Smart Device (SD), PocketPC is old but usable, mobileoperatingsystemdevice (MOD), minicomputingdevice (MCD), personaldatacommunicator (PDC). I'll admit that last one was trash, you can do better?, what  would you call it?

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