Mobile Phones

Accepting Swine Flu (The Good Ol' Days?)

I remember that when I was in high school and university, people still smoked in bars. When going to a restaurant, the hostess would ask you two questions: how many people in your party, and whether you wanted to sit in the smoking or non-smoking section. When I speak to student groups these days, I tell them that when I was in university, I didn't have a mobile phone. They're shocked by this, and don't really understand how I got in touch with my friends. (And c'mon, I'm not even that old: I graduated in 2004, which was right on the cusp of when university students started using mobile phones.)

Ten years after 9/11, and the security theatre at airports is part of our culture and threat levels of various colours are part of our vocabulary.

In all three of these cases, we almost look back at the recent past and laugh about how we used to live our lives. "I can't believe people used to smoke in restaurants!", "How did I ever meet up with friends without a cellphone in university?", or "Remember when you only needed a driver's license to cross the Canada-US border?" are all pretty common comments about "the good old days".

Is our current state of pandemic panic going to persist as well? Will I be telling future generations that they used to send out memos to people reminding them to use hand sanitizer?


PS: If anyone has suggestions for a brand of swine-flu preventing face masks that look good with a suit, let me know.

The Convergence of Phones and Computers

In what I would say is a very smart and practical move, it looks like Nokia is considering entering the laptop industry. Why does this move make sense? Because as Nokia CEO Olli-Pekka Kallasuvo says "we don't have to look even for five years from now to see that what we know as a mobile phone and what we know as a PC are in many ways converging."

From that same interview with Finnish media, he adds that "hundreds of millions of people who are having their first Internet experience on the phone."

Similarly, Taiwanese manufacturer Acer, traditionally known for making computers, has unveiled its new line of mobile phones. Unsurprisingly, the phones are Wi-Fi enabled smart phones that will be running a Windows operating system.

Echoing the Nokia CEO's remarks, Acer CEO Gianfranco Lanci said that "for a large part of the world population the first opportunity to connect to the Internet will be via mobile computing, either through smartphones or netbooks."

In a few years from now, I think that you will be hard pressed to make a distinction between a personal computer and a mobile phone, as they will essentially be the same device.

A few years ago (even a year ago), people were rushing to develop websites specifically for mobile phones. These plans seem to have fallen by the wayside as now mobile phones are capable of handling rich content just as easily as computer-based web browsers.

Similarly, it should come as no surprise that mobile banking is expected to explode over the next few years. As reports, mobile phones are expected to be used for more than $860 billion worth of transactions by 2013, creating revenues of over $10 billion for banks and other service providers.  I couldn't find any information about the growth of the online banking industry over the next few years, but I imagine that it was pretty similar to what is expected for the mobile banking industry.

(thanks to Textually for pointing some of these stories out!)


Solid Snake Teams Up With Verizon

This would definitely make me sing up with Verizon Wireless if they had it in Canada. Apparently, the mobile provider is offering a version of Metal Gear Solid on their new handsets. Its been created by the same team that did the original, and has a story line that takes place between the first and second games.

I don't know if its been endorsed by Hideo Kojima (BlogCampaigning's favourite video game auteur), but it could still be pretty hot. Some of the screen shots show that it is fairly similiar to the earlier games, and that's good news for fans.

It will also certainly add value to Verizon's offerings. With the game industry soaring I'll be there are plenty of Solid Snake fans that would make the switch for something like this.