Secrets of Greatness  
The cell phones of tomorrow
Future mobile phones will entertain, amaze - and even make calls.
By Stephanie N. Mehta, Fortune senior writer

(Fortune Magazine) -- When Irwin Jacobs retired as CEO of Qualcomm (Charts), his son Paul picked up the reins. But with the company's reputation as an innovator and his father's distinction as a shrewd salesman, the younger Jacobs has some big shoes to fill.

Fortunately, one CEO duty that comes easily to him is that of visionary. He brims with ideas and seems happiest when he can pontificate on how your cell phone will become your health monitor or media gateway.

Changing faces: The touchscreen display of this concept phone of the future reconfigures itself depending on which features are in use.

Here are some features Paul Jacobs thinks you'll be seeing soon:

LIVE TELEVISION CHANNELS: Soon everyone will have access to multiple live TV broadcasts on their phones, eventually enabling communities to experience news and entertainment in what Jacobs calls "ultrareal time."

When: Next year

PERSONAL IDENTIFICATION: Sensors will read biometric data - a thumbprint, say - to grant access to files stored in networks.

When: 2 to 3 years

HEALTH AND FITNESS: Tiny sensors will be able to monitor your heart rate, which your cell can then automatically send wirelessly to your doctor or personal trainer.

When: 1 to 2 years

DIGITAL RIGHTS WALLET: If you download a song, your phone will be smart enough to know you've purchased a license for personal use, and can grant you permission to play it on your friend's stereo for a one-time listen.

When: 3 to 5 years

TAGGING: Wireless phones become the ultimate social networking tool, marrying global-positioning technology and mapping databases (like Google maps) to let you "tag" a favorite spot so that if your friends walk or drive by, their phones alert them that they're passing a cool locale.

When: 1 to 2 years

MEDIA CENTER: You'll take photos and home movies using the camera in your phone, then, using a wireless LAN like Wi-Fi, project your handiwork on the screen of your flat-panel television for all to see.

When: 3 to 5 years


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