Every previous conference we’ve organized has had a common theme. Not a subject we made up but something that just dominated each discussion. I remember Twitter being the unofficial mantra last year and the iPhone the year before that.
You can sense that this year will revolve around the iPad. And rightfully so. It is not just a new product from Apple but a whole new product category that will change how we use computers, websites and how we look at books, movies and content in general.
In the past when people said that the future of computing was all about ‘Mobile’ I always cringed. The term ‘Mobile’ reminds me of 1990 mobile operators and black and white Nokia handsets. Not about innovation and the future of computing. I could never envision a future where we would use ‘Mobile Phones’ instead of ‘Laptops’.
With the iPad however we do free ourselves from the places where computers used to keep us; the desktop is no longer the home of the computer.
The couch, any chair, your bed or, yes, your toilet is now the place where you interact with your computer.
There will be consequences for this shift in computer usage. In business but also in social interaction. I believe the reason that Microsoft is no longer the darling of the computing industry is because the present has caught up with their vision. Bill Gates’ vision was to have “A computer on every desktop” We reached that goal many years ago and Microsoft has been visionless ever since. Their new motto should be “A computer in every toilet in the world” if they want to stay current.
We have invited Florie Brizel to The Next Web Conference to talk about the effect of mobile phones and computing on behavior, community, culture, entertainment and economics. Florie Brizel is an author currently focused on the future of a mobile, wireless world. She’s busy writing her third book, which is about mobilology and is working to establish mobilology as a bona fide, internationally adopted field of academic study.
My 9 year old daughter recently asked me how old I was when I got my first (mobile) phone. I was the first among my friends to buy a mobile phone and have always felt like an early adopter. But when I explained to her that I was 21 at the time she was amazed. She got her first phone when she was 8 and we haven’t had a fixed line at home since she was 3.
Mobile computing is changing the world and our relationships and I’m looking forward to hearing about about the risks and opportunities this change brings from Florie Brizel.