Monday, April 17, 2006

The Future is in Your Pocket

I'm guilty: I haven't given the cell phone its due, over the last few years. In general, I've believe that it was a telephone first and foremost, with the added value of being able to go anywhere (almost). I chose my personal provider, T-Mobile, because they sponsor professional cycling. I believe that innovation generally represented some kind of feature creep and was not really worth noting.

I believe that I've been really, really wrong. I've never said "mobile doesn't matter", but I don't know that I've been fully tuned into the real revolution. I recognize, mostly, that this has been a failure of imagination. That notion that a phone is just that: a phone, was horrendously limiting. The generation behind me realize that the phone is a computer, one of the features of which is the ability to talk to people.

Data I've been reading has got me thinking this way. This morning I read about Microsoft labs building an search interface where you take a picture and send it to the server. The photo is the query. This may have been my personal tipping point for mobile devices (note that I don't call them cell phones anymore).
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