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Oct 13

Untethered Authors Speculate on the Next Big Thing In Portable Tech

Greetings! This is the first stop in the Untethered: A Magic iPhone Anthology Blog Tour!

What might be the future of portable technology? In honor of the book release for Untethered: A Magic iPhone Anthology, six authors speculate.

Untethered: A Magic iPhone Anthology is a fictional collection of twenty stories about the intersection of magic and tech, so these six authors have given the matter some thought. Have they given it enough? You decide.


Jonathon Burgess: Endless low-yield marketing conflicts between smartphone and tablet manufacturers as we try to get size, portability, and features perfected. A Smablet Cold War, if you will.

Manny Frishberg (writing with Edd Vick): I think the Next Big Thing will be in the area of wearable tech. There are a number of systems being designed that use body heat or movement to power electronics woven into the fabric of apparel. Some of the things being developed now include medical monitoring and embedded communication devices on one end, and fabrics that change colors or even “prints” with the turn of a dial.

Stevehen Warren: I would love to see some sort of instant translation device implemented through the phone. We live in a world where it is very easy to communicate to each other, but I would like to see the next step where humanity is no longer tethered by separate languages.

Raven Oak: I don’t know what will be the next big thing, but I know what I’d like to see! I’d love to see something like Google Glasses done well. The ability to not have to worry about carrying a gadget with me (I already wear glasses), but still having the ability to call up and view maps, texts, emails, social media, etc. within my view as I’m out and about sounds amazing.

Kris Millering: I have no idea, but I am still holding out hope for Spider Jerusalem’s awesome glasses.

Dale Cameron Lowry: I am the exact wrong person to ask this. I am such a Luddite. It took me three years after most of my friends had cell phones for me to get one. But if I could wave a wand and choose which form of portable tech becomes most widespread, it would be inexpensive, portable water purification for use in places where clean drinking water isn’t readily available. (Waterborne diseases are the leading cause of death worldwide, killing 3.4 million people a year, according to the World Health Organization.) We have decent technology now, but the issue is getting supplies manufactured and distributed, and/or making sure that people have access to the technology and know how to use it. One cheap way to kill microbes in drinking water is the SODIS method, a form of solar pasteurization that involves putting water in clear plastic bottles and exposing it to sunlight. It’s low tech, but it’s tech, and it works. I’d love it to be the next big thing worldwide.

H. M. Jones shares “I have a forty dollar pay as you go phone. Stop laughing at me. I do, however, think iPhones are cool. I just don’t trust myself with that kind of expensive tech. I’m supremely clumsy. The thing most like me about [my] story is that a cell ends up in a toilet. Because five of my cells have ended up in toilets. I let them be. They were cheap.”

Want to see what these authors did with the concept of a magic iPhone? Pick up your copy of Untethered: a Magic iPhone Anthology in ebook or trade paperback today. Find it at Amazon.com, Nook, or wherever you prefer to grab your books.

About the author

Raven Oak

Bestselling science fiction & fantasy author Raven Oak is best known for Amaskan’s Blood, Class-M Exile, and the collection Joy to the Worlds: Mysterious Speculative Fiction for the Holidays.

She spent most of her K-12 education doodling stories and 500 page monstrosities that are forever locked away in a filing cabinet. When she's not writing, she's getting her game on, enjoying cartography, or staring at the ocean.

She lives in Seattle, WA with her husband, and their three kitties who enjoy lounging across the keyboard when writing deadlines approach.

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  1. […] Raven Oak on The Next Big Thing in Tech with Jonathon Burgess, Manny Frishberg & Edd Vick, Stevehen Warren, Kriss Millering, and Dale Cameron Lowry. […]