when did we all get mobile?

I’ve recently read a number of articles about the iphone, google phone and other pda’s which are apparently going to change the way that we think about out internet usage. These super fast devices are going to let us browse on the move, check email, get GPS positions and a whole host of other applications. Whilst reading the articles I thought back to my first mobile phone purchase: the size, the cost and the weight of the thing! Just when did mobile phones become so widely adopted in our society?

In 1993 I had access to a shared mobile (more of a breeze block than a mobile device) which was used mainly for incoming calls. It was pretty impractical and the thought of carrying it around let alone using it to check emails seemed a tad ridiculous. 5 years later I had my own mobile phone along with most of my friends. Along came flashing aerials, text messages, address books, using it overseas; it all became common place without anyone realising it.

When will I look back and think about how obvious it is to use my mobile phone to provide a gps of my position, which then pings me traffic news, food options, relevant shops and loads of other information via some kind of information burner. I can imagine a scenario where I am overseas trying to book some train tickets but need somehelp. My position is sent to my personal web profile, I’m then sent a series of learning packs to help me, a short podcast, time information, cultural information, perhaps a translation to show the assistant….or my profile generates a personal bar code which I pass over the ticket machine. My online ticket account is debited and the train ticket uploaded to my pda.

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when did we all get mobile?

3 Responses

  1. i often think about when i went traveling for a year shortly after leaving school 12 years ago. at the time it didn’t even cross my mind to get an email account set up. i have no doubt they existed back then but they were far from common place.

    my only contact with back home was via good old pen and paper and the odd very expensive phone call. now twelve years on and i know spend probably the majority of my working day at my desk emailing people all over the world. i often wonder how businesses functioned without email…?

    Jay K October 1, 2008 at 8:58 am #
  2. All part of what we will soon all be calling web 3.0 – the internet of things. My son has a GPS enabled mobile phone and was speculating on a system where you could get text alerts based on which phone cell you are in offering local services which then feature as pop ups on the phone maps. And there are already web applications which can track where your friends are by wireless access on their laptops and mobile phone positions.

    Tim Anderson October 3, 2008 at 1:03 pm #
  3. You might be interested in the work Carl Smith is doing at London Metropolitan – learners visit a modern day location and are sent images/texts and videos of how the exact places used to look in the past.

    Rob Alton January 13, 2009 at 4:11 pm #

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