In this paper we reflect the opportunities that arise from using consumer devices, such as phones and mp3 players, as components for future devices. With this article also a new department on Innovations in Ubicomp Products has been started. The article “Phones and MP3 Players as the Core Component in Future Appliances”  is also available openly in at ComputingNow.
The rational is
- developing a custom embedded computer is expensive
- specific devices are not economic for small quantities
- phones are becoming cheap (in small quantities a phone may be cheaper than buying a touch screen component for an embedded device)
- development on phones has become easy and many developers are around
- IO capabilities can be added to these devices (e.g. Project HiJack)
The main question is: why not use the consumer device as a part (potentially partly hidden) as computing platforms in new devices? There are examples but also some difficulties… read the article to get a more in-depth discussion.
 Albrecht Schmidt and Dominik Bial. 2011. Phones and MP3 Players as the Core Component in Future Appliances. IEEE Pervasive Computing 10, 2 (April 2011), 8-11. DOI=10.1109/MPRV.2011.31 http://dx.doi.org/10.1109/MPRV.2011.31 (also available in ComputingNow, download PDF)