By the end of this decade almost anyone who has a mobile phone or any other wireless hand-held device will have more computing power in their hands than was available hardly two decades ago on a high-end desktop PC.
This is without any consideration to the bandwidth backbones required to power the grids supporting wireless communication (e.g. DS3 Bandwidth and greater such as OC3 bandwidth or more … likely ethernet too).
So, this being the case, where do you see the game changing application of such enormous computing power? I am not talking about programing your DVRs or watching a rerun of a show on your hand-held …….
Mobile technology will continue to surprise (delight?) us with all its ever increasing computation, bandwidth, form-factor, input/output options, content, and applications being spawned by the 1000s every day (thanks to application stores such as the iTunes appstore).
But the question is about “disruptive” and “game changing”. The real power, the disruption, and the game-changing will emerge when the bulk of society embraces the facilities on offer. That is the bottleneck. Getting too excited about technology specs is probably naive. Back in the Apollo days we reached the moon with just half the computing power of about one Intel Intel 80386 PC. But since then growth in productivity/GDP etc. has not followed Moores law (although computer processing power has). We’ve had MMS phones for many years now, but how come SMS still rules in messaging?
The game changing devices, technologies, and applications are already here (or can be built within a few months). But does the average John Doe want to play the game?
Any discussion on Applications of the mobile devices, will always open the flood gates for discussion on the infinite number of applications that could be made. But if we are looking for what we call the killer apps that would make a big difference to our life styles, then I would bet my two cents on these over the next decade……
* Health and Science ….. real-place, real-time, meta-tagged health information will build a national database for health & disease tracking. Mobile computing power in human health sciences is essential for cutting administrative costs within the system. (Part of the Obama stimulus fund to digitize the health field will help supply health science data.)
* Social Experience / Interaction ….. Increase capacity for broadband wireless networks (4G, LTE etc.) will help to equip business & home with video telephony for virtual, life-like interaction, means less travel for employees of global companies, as well as providing new opportunities for those who are not yet global. Foreign trade will spring up in a new generation. Must bring down the in-home networking complexity and costs. Verizon’s “the Hub” is a baby step toward this.
* Mobile, global money ….. I don’t know enough about global finance systems to answer with any certainty, but I suspect mobile transactions will provide a huge and stealthy disturbance to our ways of working/buying now. Currency and exchange will change mediums from the days of cash/credit to “no contact” financial exchange.
I only state these particular examples because there is demand developing with a new generation who will come of age after a down turned economy has recovered; the technology is already present; other countries are already implementing them.
So …. it could happen. 😉