Ok then – this is not just a continuation of my “I need an iphone” lament but here is a quick article on the BBC site talking about the growth of the smart phone market.

The striking quote is about the fact that mobile internet is poised for the kind of growth we saw for the internet as a whole in the late ’90s.  Mobile web means realtime practical applications which deliver data and service at the time and place of your choosing.  This is not just the rather rubbish read only world of WAP – it’s a potential entry point to augmented reality applications which are HUGELY interesting.  Imagine being able to get directions which are overlaid on the scene you are seeing – that’s augmented reality and it’s not a million miles away.  In my world – imagine being able to turn on a feed of local information that gives people the chance to connect to their local community.

Now – I don’t want to get all sci-fi on you but its worth looking at some of the work of William Gibson (hes the Neuromancer guy who coined the term cyberspace).  He’s been playing around with ideas around real/virtual world intersections for a while – check out Pattern Recognition for one.  Given that we now use one of his phrases as an everyday piece of language then its worth seeing what he thinks.  And if this is all a bit much then just try searching for augmented reality on the Wired website.

It’s easy to say that all this is far too much in the future and we need to concentrate of connecting more people the internet as it is and figuring out what it all means.  But we may not have the time to do this.  Mobile web has the possibility of overtaking PC/Mac web in terms of penetration into hard to reach groups (think of third world infrastructures that leapfrogged tradditional comms and moved straight to mobile) so we really need to think about democratic and social applications of these technologies now if we want to be at least on the curve.

Thats all a bit much for a Monday morning…time for a cup of tea I think……

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