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Coming Soon to a Tiny Screen Near You

Microvision is working on making it "a Big screen near you"

Titans in entertainment and telecom and legions of upstarts are betting billions of dollars that you will want to use your cell phone for TV, music, gaming, gambling, navigation--even Lilliputian porn. Whatever happened to good old-fashioned chitchat?

Lawrence Morrisroe, 27, is obsessed with his new toy. It has a digital camera, video playback, Bluetooth wireless capability, a memory stick and a 3-inch screen. It's how he watches his favorite TV show, The Family Guy. It tells him when the freeway is tied up on his drive to work. He uses it to take pictures in his travels to Australia and Taiwan, zapping the photos to his Weblog so his friends and family can tag along. And his versatile little toy also lets him hear how much his wife misses him--when she calls to tell him so. It's his cell phone. "I can't picture myself without it," says Morrisroe, a Yahoo manager in San Jose, Calif. "I want to be connected 24/7 so I can document my life journey."

Always on and always with you, the cell phone is the most personal and ubiquitous gadget ever devised; 1.5 billion are in use worldwide, and last year 690 million were sold, six times the number of PCs and laptops. Suddenly this high-tech talisman is morphing into something even bigger--a futuristic entertainment system and the most exciting new tech platform since the Internet. Wireless carriers send ever larger chunks of data ever faster across the airwaves. Makers pump out phones with bigger screens, 3-D graphics chips and lush digital sound and video. Newly inspired entrepreneurs and entertainment titans alike are in a mad rush to develop songs, graphics, games and videos to light up millions of teensy screens.


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