Posted by: rolfsky | February 25, 2008

the future of “mobile” cloudy, but strong

We still have yet to understand what having a globally-available always-connected networked communication device in our pocket means. Our lives, relationships and business models will all morph over time as we explore how being universally connected profoundly affects our humanity.

The current “mobile” experience as it is delivered has some serious flaws. Alexander van Elsas points out there are some pretty obvious problems with our cell and smart-phones:

  1. expensive data connection
  2. slow data connection
  3. data input difficult
  4. screen is too small
  5. complicated hardware
  6. mobile phone isn’t (and shouldn’t be a computer)

And while all of these things are true, for me the future is still undoubtedly mobile.

Not because what we have today is so wonderful, but because mobile is the opposite of some arbitrary decision that our computing and communication devices must be stationary.

The ability to communicate with other humans across vast distances and time is indeed a useful luxury, something which will only become more refined with time.

Barking, grunting and wailing helped our ancestors survive in this world because they were useful. Over time, this luxury of communication became further refined into vowels, consonants and stops. Eventually we developed grammar, poetry, yodeling, and opera as even more nuanced forms of communication.

So for me, the question of “mobile” is not an “if?”, or even a “when?”, but more of a “how?

This “sixth sense” of mobile, allowing us super-human abilities to communicate is certainly coming, now how do we make it cheap, fast and intuitive?

BTW:

cheap and fast will come with time as mobile providers fight over the opportunity to connect us by delivering this useful luxury, and the right user-interface and delivery will come as we begin to recognize our children intuitively understand that our mobile devices are extensions to our human desire to communicate.

Photo courtesy of Kessiye on flickr.

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