How to Go Completely Mobile

Nowadays, it's easy to leave the wires behind.
Nowadays, it's easy to leave the wires behind.
© otosipsak

­In the 21st century, mobility is practically an obsession. It began years ago with the mobile phone -- some of us can remember being surprised to see people talking on the phone while driving or shopping at the grocery store. Now, we hardly bat an eye when the person in the next bathroom stall is chatting away.

What started with the cell phone is now much more. The goal is complete mobility: never being tied to a specific location, like a home or office. That means not only mobile phones but also mobile computing, mobile Internet and mobile entertainment. It means everything you'd do at home or at work, you can do in the car, on a commuter train, in a mall, coffee shop or supermarket.

That's a tall order, but more and more people are achieving just that through the use of ever-progressing technologies. You can see the trend toward complete mobility everywhere. In the United States alone, about 220 million people have a mobile phone; that's almost three-quarters of the population [source: ACA]. Eight percent of the population has given up a landline, relying exclusively on a mobile phone for phone service [source: ACA]. In Europe, there are more cell phones than people, and 20 percent to 40 percent of homes have only cell phone service [source: USAToday].

The trend toward mobile computing is just as dramatic. In 2008, for the first time ever, people actually bought more laptops than desktops [source: Eddy].

In increasing numbers, people are ditching heavy, plugged-in devices for ones they can grab and go. In this article, we'll find out what you need to go completely mobile, and we'll look at some new technologies out there to help you charge those mobile gadgets on the go.

Let's start with the basic devices you'll need in your mobile repertoire.