The history of technology is one of efficiency and control. Technologies are the art and skill of making tools, techniques, systems and methods to solve a problem.
Technologies are the results of human dreaming of a better world.
Technological innovations are also a deflation game. It’s when a technology becomes cheap enough, either by means of its build or because demand makes its supply possible, that it starts its reach.
Mobile technologies are thus a natural evolution of computing power, miniaturization and falling prices.
The history of technology is also one of convenience and empowerment. Money gave us convenience: exchange goods and services without the headache of, say, comparing poultry to milk. Printing offered empowerment: the diffusion of decentralized knowledge.
Tools like the washing machine freed time for us to focus elsewhere. The VHS tape offered the same: controlling time.
Controlling our destiny.
Though it won’t wash your clothes, mobile has become your address book, your calendar, your camera, your TV, your library.
In other words, your social network, your assistant, your memories, your source of entertainment and knowledge.
The history of technology is finally one of disappearance. Disappearance of obsolete technologies, but also, disappearance of existing technologies: how often do you look at your washing machine with wonderment (besides when you have to figure out how to change the clock, that is)?
Mobile technologies will see the same fate. They will disappear in the background. They will be all around us. When you hear words like “the cloud” or “internet of things”, what you’re hearing is that disappearance.
As 5 billion smartphones will land in pockets in the next to three years. As the biggest growth will be seen in emerging countries. As more than a billion women will enter the workforce in the next 10 years, just imagine how transformative mobile technologies are.
The history of technology is one of enablement. The tipping point of truly allowing individuals all around the world to take control of their lives is coming.
There will be resistance, inertia, the age-old battle of the ancient versus the new. But I believe that an emerging generation is arriving, with emerging values enhanced by those emerging technologies. A generation that disrupts the centralized power of knowledge, reach and diffusion. New marketplaces, new consumption models, new business designs will be emerging.
Mobile is the biggest human opportunity of both convenience and empowerment. The biggest opportunity to control our own destiny.
Whilst it might simply be the result of the history of technology, it’s a dream worth witnessing.
I’ve gathered a group of fascinating individuals to share their stance on the mobile disruption: Benedict Evans, Robbie Hills and Oscar Veronese. Join us at ITU Telecom World in Bangkok.
Read the first part of this article here.