Thursday, March 27, 2008

Better Technology, More Facts, Better Politics

TUAW writes:

The iPhone transforms people like me from insufferable know-it-alls to insufferable know-it-alls with the entire Internet in our pants. (Or fashionable handbag.) (Or manziere.) (BRO!) Google and Wikipedia don't equate to wisdom and understanding, but they provide inexhaustible streams of on-the-spot factoids. End those "Who's right?" arguments fast.
Most phones today are using GPRS for data, which is painfully slow. GPRS still does miracles when you are on the go and don't have any other option, but it is not "Internet at your fingertips". Because of this, you still rarely see people, and even geeks, take out their phone to check a fact during a discussion.

All this of course will change with 3G, faster processors, and cheaper phones. We can now be confident that a few years from now we'll all have a phone in our pocket or purse that will enable us to very comfortably access the Internet.

Will this change the nature of face-to-face conversations? Will the phone succeed in becoming a tool that enhances our face-to-face experience?

5 comments:

Olivier Bruchez said...

> Will the phone succeed in becoming a tool that enhances our face-to-face experience?

I like the bit about "Who's right?" arguments, because I experience them quite often. And, of course, we almost never have an Internet connection available when it happens. So the discussion can quickly become frustrating.

I don't know if having Internet connections always available will "enhance" face-to-face conversations, but it will certainly change (again) the way we use the Web (or part of it, at least). People will get even less patient. They'll want the information even quicker.

Of course, in a few decades, we'll all have implants in our brains to directly access Internet. Then, it will make a great difference... :-)

Alessandro Vernet said...

Brain implants... sounds like Erik is talking :).

Alex

Olivier Bruchez said...

> Brain implants... sounds like Erik is talking :).

Erik, or Ray Kurzweil, to be more exact.

Alessandro Vernet said...

> Erik, or Ray Kurzweil, to be more exact.

You're right. And Erik would have said that we'll all have brain implants in "just a few years, max", right? :)

Alex

Olivier Bruchez said...

> You're right. And Erik would have said that we'll all have brain implants in "just a few years, max", right? :)

I don't have Kurzweil's timeline in mind, right now, but I think Erik and I both agree that Kurzweil tends to be a bit too much optimistic at times.

I'm ready to bet all my money that these implants we're talking about will be available in some form or another in less than 40 years, though. Seriously. And I think that's pretty conservative.