A few thoughts about mobile

I was just asked a question about how we should be thinking about “mobile”. The question came with some assertions that made me think the person was thinking about mobile mostly as a content consumption device. This was my very very very quick answer.

[I’ll need to flesh these out later to get the quotes right.]

  • Most of the world will experience the Internet through a mobile device (via H. Rheingold, Smart Mobs, in 2002!!!)
  • Moore’s law and its cousins are pushing these devices towards INSANE amounts of speed/power/low cost. (Even if you think Moore’s law is plateauing)
  • “real time cloud-based intelligence delivered to mobile applications with algorithmic intelligence” is the 21st century data challenge, Tim O'Reilly, from keynote at 2010 MySQL conference
  • Think about the mobile device not as a content consumption device but as a sensor rich platform that knows where it is, temperature, altitude, tilt/rotate/yaw, high rez picture/video. See Cory Doctrow “would you rather be the barcode or the scanner” essay from Make magazine and elsewhere
  • “The odds that an event of historical [or scientific] significance will be witnessed by an individual with a high-rez camera on internet connected mobile device have gone from zero to almost certainty…” paraphrase Clay Shirky, Cognitive Surplus (I think)
  • Brand (or Institution)-to-consumer interactions matter less than consumer-to-consumer interactions, and these kinds of interactions are becoming ubiquitously mobile.