Are we already here?
I sort of feel i already operate an effective communications hub and it sits in my pocket as a fairly small phone enabled PDA. It of course does many things but in terms of its use as comms hub it functions to handle all my calls from multiple lines, all my email, messaging, web site based comms etc. I can also utilise other functions such as video calling, social networking and i can do it with a variety of connections including all the variants of wireless (except UWB) tethered etc. and i am trying to give it a go as IP phone when connected by any of the above means. Of course some are better than others but it all works and device / platform evoution just increases reliability / usability with each generation although its already advanced enough for me to have selected it as my chosen hubb. Is also not expensive as it was free from a mobile operator with my contract works globally although the charges need lowering even with workarounds although its already a single billing system due to the fact that its from one mobile operater. I am sure some will consider that as it does not sit in between my broadband thats its not a true comms hub and this is a fair point from one perspective. However i think at least in my case that this is looking at it all backwards as my broadband accesses communication data normally filtered through my PDA and linked services or services not tied purely to my broadband link or home PC and my data needs for daily use dont exceed that which can be provided by wireless or even 3g (yet) so to suggest that it terms of communications my broadband is not the enabling technology just another means of accessing it.
However it was not until i started using a PDA rather than a smart phone that it truly enabled me to rely on it as comms hub replacing my laptop for virtually everything. My laptop hardly gets out of its bag these days and is basically a compact desktop. Of course for others this wouldn't be feasible as we all have different needs but the point is that it meets all my needs, centralises everything without limiting my options.
My only complaint is that it needs a OLED screen for battery life and roll out flexible OLED screen for when i need bigger screen footage buts that a device issue not a Comms hub concept issue.
However i suppose it depends on how you define a Comms hub and i imagine that this depends on the number of people who you ask as they will al have a different, perceptions and needs according to their circumstances although i imagine broad categories exist.
Regarding the platform well this again depends on need, as non commercial consumer my comms are considerably better integrated and more powerful than anything my employer provides which is a plethora of competing, conflicting and non integrated differing technologies.
I would therefore submit that for many of us, mobile based PDA comms hubs already exist and it is just our willingness to utilise them as such being a limiting factor in a lot of circumstances. There will never be one size fits all of course but for for me the convenience of capable, cheap, reliable, flexible compact PDA makes the Comms hub idea a reality for my needs at least. I anticipate as mobile broadband develops this will only increase the PDA's central role.
For me the future is ever more powerful PDA's, if i went back to smart phones & laptop i would practically have to regress to a non centralised system and abandon my "comms hub" working practice.