The Future is Mobile

[Post by David Rose]

In case you missed it, on October 5th, Saylor Foundation trustee Michael J. Saylor spoke at the Brookings Institution on “Riding the Mobile Wave: The Future of Mobile Computing.” Two of our illustrious number, David Rose and Charlie Adair, were in attendance. Here’s what they report…

Hello to all our faithful readers! It was great hearing Michael discuss the future of mobile technology, as illumined in his newly released book, The Mobile Wave: How Mobile Intelligence Will Change Everything. The audience tuned in to hear seemingly futuristic views of how mobile technologies like the smart phone and tablet computer (and the software that animates them) will affect the world.

He estimates that in few short years, there will be 4.5 billion people using smartphones (we just broke 6 billion cell phones), which will in turn transform many consumer products into software: cameras, video recorders, photo albums, wallets, credit cards, keys, and many, many more will fade into oblivion, finding new life on our mobile devices.

Michael Saylor envisions a world where personal information is both easier to access and more secure; a world in which we can monitor and meter our children’s spending; a world in which we can give them the keys to the car while sitting in our office on the other side of town or let a friend in the house from the other side of the world. He sees a world in which we never lose anything ever again.

Of course, it’s not merely about replacing wallets, keys, and credit cards; the reach of mobile technology is far and its effects will be nothing short of utterly transformative.

As a technologist, Michael looks toward the advancement of society, but he doesn’t shy from what can seem to be the dark underbelly of technological advancement. One side effect of revolutionary technology is a corresponding shift in industry and employment (one need only look to the development of industrialized agriculture and the attendant population shift from farms to cities and ballooning suburbs).

These changes are jarring at best and can be individually devastating. But access to inexpensive education, at every stage of life, is also rapidly expanding, with promises to ease frictional unemployment, build an agile and flexible workforce, and open doors that have been closed to many for far too long.

The coming mobile wave has the power to thrill and to awe…there are plenty of conversations to have. We here at Saylor.org certainly envision a better future where mobile technologies will bring education to every corner of the world!

But what do you think? Share your thoughts! How will mobile technologies impact the world? How will they impact you?

View more details (including audio) at Brookings.edu

One thought on “The Future is Mobile

  1. October 16, 2012

    # Reply

    I agree partially but not fully. The problem is one of scope. In the short term, yes I believe we will see our mobile device singularly take on many of those rolls but in response to continuing advancements and a more demanding consumer base I believe the device will once again fracture.
    Camera, speaker, mic, display, radio, RFID, battery will all hopefully become independent interchangeable units giving the user more choices and the ability to better integrate the units into his person.
    For instance why take out a phone to take a picture if a better camera can be embedded in your glasses frame? 1/3 to half your phone is battery already but that need never leave your pocket except to swap out for a charged one.
    That is what I see and hope for.
    -#

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