Phone, tablet, or something in between?

On the heels of Apple’s latest product launch, it seems Apple is willing to join Samsung in testing the limits of just how large a smartphone can get.

With screen sizes increasing and consumer demand appearing to meet (or, at product launch, surpass) supply, one wonders just how big can these phones get? Beyond that, at what point do we stop calling them phones and start calling them tablets?

The easy answer to the latter could be reduced to a matter of function as opposed to size. Phones call. Tablet’s don’t. Right?

Of course not. With tablets providing the ability to use apps such as WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger to call friends on their own devices, having an actual, hard-wired phone feature in a product is more or less a moot point where it comes to separating phones from tablets.

As these lines increasingly blur, the question then becomes “at what point will we bother making a distinction at all?”

Enter the EMPATHY universe and Human/Etech’s pocketab.

Pocketab is a portmanteau of the words “pocket” and “tablet,” and, as its name might imply, it’s a pocket-sized tablet.

“Right,” one might say, “but then isn’t it a phone?”

Well, yes. It’s that, too.

The pocketab is unique to the EMPATHY universe (and always will be relative to our own) in that it defies laws pertaining to the conservation of matter. Say, for example, you remove your pocketab from your pocket, but want to share the screen with the person next to you. Rather than have them narrow their eyes at your display, with a pocketab you simply place a finger in the corner of the device and drag it outward… until the device grows to reach the desired size.

That’s right; the size of the device itself shifts to meet the user’s needs.

In the EMPATHY universe, pocketabs are ubiquitous. In fact, they’re the only mobile device that appears on page in the pre-EMPATHY era.

What does this mean for those who live in the North American Union and abroad? How do these devices sync with other products or adapt to users’ whims beyond changes in size?

You’ll have to wait until January 2019 to find out. Until then, you can stay tuned to this blog, my Twitter feed, and my newsletter for more. Thanks for visiting.

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