What’s new in mobile?
Tomorrow, Monday 18 April 2011, Spits will publish an article in which I am being what the future of mobile life will be. For those who do not master the Dutch language, I’m sorry to say it is only written in Dutch and I don’t really know whether it is worthwhile translating it in a more common global language.
But then, what is hot and not in mobile life? Well, as I see it, there is nothing really new. It is a matter of evolution more than anything else. Our society has always been triggered to move on ever since people decided to come up with ‘new’ ideas. And again, what is new? In our technocratic world, we are constantly adapting to a new level of technology. So one may wonder if we are the triggers of innovation or innovation is triggering us. This is probably a philosophical paradox and answering the question will have no effect on the process of evolution (more than innovation). Evolution means that there is an ongoing change in a certain cadence, not too slow, not too fast. Innovation means that something is completely newly though up and developed for a specific reason (such as earning money or helping people solve a problem).
It has been said many times that mobile life is such an innovation; a newly made up idea turned into a real thing currently enriching our lives. This is of course not true. People have always been mobile and people have always felt the urge to be mobile. I’d like to type mobile as physically on the move. I understand that there is such a thing as a meta-physical mobility, a human concept perhaps, a philosophy, but lets boil mobile down to actually being on the move. This means that a mobile device is something one can carry around without being bothered in a sense that is obstructs you when on the move. A mobile device therefor is a small apparatus one may put in one’s trouser pocket. (Hence, this excludes larger devices such as tablets our notebooks. I would baptise that size of machine as portable.)
Again, what is mobile life? The Mobile Life Centre in Sweden, as impressive as their output is, does it like this:
We get inspired by doing studies on people’s mundane leisure and creative activities such as horseback riding, hunting, parcour, dancing or role-playing. We use those insights to spur innovative design processes, resulting in mobile applications, sensor-based applications, pervasive games, mobile mash-up services, new mobile media, technical platforms and materials to support amateurs’ creativity.
They claim to be innovative but they are not; they are evolutionary. No sweat but linguistically wrong. As far as I am concerned, there is nothing new at the time. We are truly experiencing a fin de siecle, an era adrift searching for new stabilities in human relationships, politices, economics, arts and sports. We are in a collective mode of togetherness because the world out there is big, dangerous and dark. We fear and we kill what we fear. And since there are no common foes, we start shooting around in shopping malls or somewhere else on the planet, surpress citizens to ones own benefit. (Sorry for this train of thoughts.)
New may be NFC, no innovation but a string evolution anyway. Or the fact that 3 billion Android apps were installed and 350.000 devices are activated each day. For me, that’s a revolution. And it’s only getting better.