blackflame2180 (blackflame2180) wrote in strangehonor,

On the doorstep of a bold new world

A while back I did an entry on the bold new future of Larp. Basically, it focused on the use of Smart-Phones and Bluetooth in a Larp setting, to change the way mechanics were resolved.

Since then, I've done some bigger thinking on the bold new future of Smart Phone technology-- or to be more exact, mobile computing.

Carlos once described a rule he'd developed for his Gamma World game regarding Hypertech. Basically, a hypertech item was essentially a basic item, with added features, some useful, some marginally so. So a Cell phone was essentially a "Hypertech Pocketwatch." It told you the time of day, and also allowed you to call, text, surf the web, function as an alarm, sometimes play music, and had lots of less useful features like working as an address book, a limited use as a flashlight, etc.

The advent of Smart Phone technology is really just coming up on us. And there are some bold analogies between the rise of what I believe may first be called the First Information Age, and the Second. Or perhaps, a hundred years from now, this will simply look like another phase of the Information age, which will in turn seem like an expansion of the Industrial Age in a millenia, much as the early Medival period today looks to us like one big period of time covering the fall of the Roman Empire to the Rennaisance.

One of those analogies to the past: the Apple iPhone and the rise of the Macintosh computer. In this analogy, the iPod is essentially like an Apple II. When Apple rolled out the Macintosh, the home computing industry was just starting to launch, and the rise of Microsoft Windows was right around the corner. Similarly, the iPhone, but today it's Google with the Android OS right around the corner.

Think about it; Apple was all sorts of proprietary about their operating system then, and wanted control of the hardware. Then along came Microsoft, producing an OS that any manufacturer could build a machine to run. Google's Android will be a Smart Phone OS which any manufacturer can build a machine to run. Technically, any manufacturer could make a phone to run Palm OS or Windows OS, but what these both lack in critical ways is the ability to interface through the internet to external services. To run back to the Macintosh/Windows analogy, Windows had Internet Explorer, while Macintosh had Netscape, and with these you could surf the Web. Interfacing with the internet was the reason to buy a home computer, and that's why these two dominated the PC market. There were other operating systems that allowed you to do a bunch of stuff on the personal computer-- but it was those two that really allowed you to surf the net. Apple this time will be a bigger competitor, since they have the past to learn from. But Android breaks the manufacturer barrier, much like Windows did, making a stable platform for a ubiquity of software.

This will soon make them affordable to the average person, and when that's the case, then the technology will truly become ubiquitus.

So lets start with what a Smart Phone can do now:


-Make calls
-Interface with your laptop/home computer to carry a bunch of calender information
-Send/Receive e-mail
-Surf the web
-Take pictures
-Take video
-Display video
-Play music
-Send SMS messages
-Limited networking capabilities via WiFi, Bluetooth
-Buy music/video to play on the phone via the web
-GPS navigation

The Importance of the PSP and PS3

Yes, I know. More people have DS (though that's changing), and more people have an XBox, and there are more games for both of these right now.

Sony knows what they're doing, though.

A PSP is already full of nifty side options; it plays music, and video. But now it's also getting a Skype application, and there's a keyboard peripheral on it's way. You can also surf the web a bit. In short, as it stands a PSP is functionally already a Smart Phone without the Phone bit-- and if you use Skypes phone service, it you could technically count it as a Smart Phone that plays high-end mobile games. With a lower cost point, and lots of game developers developing material to it, an integrated next-gen PSP would be an ideal smart-phone. And it's clear that Sony views the PSP as their gateway to mobile computing. Adding a number pad and cellular hardware to a PSP would add maybe $25-$50 bucks to the PSP's current cost of about $180. That's cheap for a Smart Phone. Carried on a Cell provider, with some of that price spread over a two year contract? Even cheaper.

This is even more evident when you start looking at what you will soon be able to do with both a PSP and a PS3. With the next firmware update, you will be able to convert BluRay movies into a mobile format downloadable to your PSP; if both your PS3 and your PSP are connected to the internet, you'll be able to stream video from your PS3 to your PSP, and transfer content back and forth between the two. So you could say store your large MP3 library on your PS3, and then transfer songs back and forth from your PS3 to your PSP. Doesn't sound very impressive? Consider that you can do this while your PS3 is at home on your home wireless network, and you and your PSP are in the airport on say a Starbucks WiFi connection.

Also note that playing a digital movie file is cheaper and less energy intensive than say a portable DVD player or those little minidisks that you can also play on the PSP. Also note that that means you can buy a Blue Ray disc of a movie, get the superior quality of the disk, but also get a mobile version that you can play on your PSP to watch, say, on your morning bus commute.

This gets more impressive down the line.

Sony is also developing a DVR function for the PS3, which they've begun to test in European markets. Tie this in with the streaming, and this is effectively a DVR-esque "Slingbox" straight to your PSP. Meaning even if you're not home, you could say set up your PSP while working a late night at the office, and watch your favorite show while you finish off that report you're working on.

It's also forseeable that eventually the streaming will get good enough that if you have a good enough connection on both sides, you may one day be able to play your PS3 games whever you can get a solid WiFi connection. It would do all the graphics work on the PS3, and then stream in real time to your PSP monitor. That's way better than anything the DS can do, and would mean the end of disparity between mobile games and console games-- mobile platform games would just be the same damn games you play at home on your console.

So imagine all of those capabilities wrapped up into a Smart Phone. Pretty cool, huh?

The Near Future

What it will be able to do in the near future:

Pay for Stuff:

The big one here is that you will soon be able to use your Mobile Phone to pay for stuff. Both Apple and Google have applied for patents on pay-by-Mobile-Phone systems. When the technology become ubiquitous, that will mean a transition from a 'plastic economy,' (wherein many people pay by credit card/debit card for everything, instead of cash) to a digital economy, where everything is payed through digital transactions, kind of like how a lot of selling is now done via the web with places like Amazon, or with Paypal. That will mean an entire different way of doing business.


The next biggest one is advertising to mobile. I know, this one sounds somewhat farfetched-- why would you want advertisements delivered to you by phone? But imagine that this isn't intrusive. Imagine, for example, that you just got out of a movie with your friends, and you want to go somewhere to hang out. You open your phone, and click on a couple buttons, and you have an array of coupons delivered to your phone for some local dining options-- delivered via the cell phone tower your phone is connected to. That turns the advertising from something unwanted-- an unsolicited text message for example-- to something useful, something you would want to use.

Not only does it tell you about local restaurants, but it gives you a bargain at them too. It will go beyond that, though, with potential Bluetooth technology. Imagine that you go to a mall, and you have an advertising application downloaded to your phone. You turn it on, and as you walk through the mall, you receive bargain offers from the stores as you walk past them. Walk past the Gap, and you get a $5 off coupon, or walk by the food court and get a discount at the Panda Express. The advertisements are opt-in, but you get a 'speacial deal' for opting in, and the retailer gets business they might not have if not for their advertisement. Everyone profits.

Take it a step further, though. Say you go to Google and search for something-- say you search for Antiques. You're doing it through your mobile phone, however. Google takes your search, but it contextualizes it based on what cell phone tower it is being received from. It searches it's advertising database for antique shops in that area whom are advertising with Google, and it prioritizes those links over say links for Antique shops in another city, perhaps even serves them to you first. That's better service to you, money for the antique shop, and money for Google.

And it's good for the mobile networks. It would essentially turn all those cell-phone towers into billboards for local businesses-- new advertising that is locative and context specific. Companies like Verizon and Sprint can take in money by offering such advertisements on their cell phone towers. This will in turn encourage them to build more such towers, with more bandwidth, to expand the network and make it more accessible, because this accessibility not only improves their service to their customers, but their ability to serve as an advertisement platform.

Buy big-Media:

I think the biggest breakthrough on this one will be when Apple opens the mobile iTunes to Android platforms, and produces an Adroid App that allows you to play iTunes songs (or eventually, drops the DRM altogether). It'll be like iTunes opening up to Windows users. They'll be able to sell you video too. Imagine, though, going to a book store, and being able to comparison shop, and then purchase stuff online. But it goes beyond Media. Imagine buying books that could be read on your mobile phone, kind of like Amazon has developed the Kindle to do. The hardware with Kindle and a Smartphone is very similar, after all. And comics are becoming available for purchase online too. Video games are already a big Mobile market. You can already buy music through your cell phone provider, but imagine how much more common this will be when you can do it for a reasonable price through third party vendors. On the Metro, with a hankering for that song you heard on the radio? Buy in on iTunes for a low price and scratch that itch. Catch up on your favorite TV show while taking a road trip. Etc. etc.

Synergy between Buy/Advertise/Pay

Imagine that the three of these are all combined, though. So you can go shopping at the mall, where you can get say an advertisement from say Panda Express-- buy a Combo meal with your mobile phone, get a free iTunes song downloaded to your mobile. Shop at Target, get the latest single from Brittney Spears. Shop at Best Buy, and get a free episode of the NBC show of your choice with purchase of $20 or more.

That's big advertising bucks that gets people in the stores to buy things. Which has been the hard thing in selling digital media-- it's hard to get people advertise with digital media. DVR lets you skip TV commercials, radio advertisments go away with satellite radio or digital music players, etc. But if you get a free song everytime you buy at Target, that's a gaurenteed way to link digital media with digital music. And it's much easier to effect when that song becomes immediately availabe on your smart phone, instead of being something you have to go back to your computer, enter a speacial code, then download to your computer, and then to your media player.

But wait, there's more;

Mobile Dating

If you thought online dating was big, wait until the advent of mobile dating.

Imagine: you fill out a profiile online, like your average dating site. Then you download an App to your smartphone, which in turn downloads your profile. You go out for the night, and you turn the App on your Mobile phone on. Via Bluetooth, your phone uses your profile to find compatible people near you who also have the app turned on. if you come across someone with a compatible profile, a message pops up on your phone, and on theirs. Your read the profile, and decide whether or not you're interested in talking to the other person. They do the same. If both of you are interested in talking to eachother, whalla, your phones provide you an image of the other person, and you can start a conversation. Which is way more personal than internet dating, and gets past that awkward "S/he's cute, but I bet she'd never be interested in me" thing. The great thing is that you can do it while out being social already-- with your friends, at your favorite club, bookstore, whatever. And it gets rid of that awkward 'We met on the internet thing." You can say "we met on the Metro," or "at this resteraunt" or whatever.

Video messaging

Video messaging will get bigger, as more people will have handsets that send and receive them. Already happening with the iPhone.

Audio Recording:

Soon, someone is going to realize that you can set one of these things up not only to play an MP3, but to record one. And then your Smart Phone will also be a portable audio recorder.

Portable Storage

Who needs a memory stick when you have a smart phone that connects by Blue Tooth or USB to your Laptop/Desktop and function as a portable hard drive, with a decent amount of storage?

Metro/Bus maps

Imagine an App that took your nearest cell phone tower, or better yet, your GPS location, and told you the fastest way to get to a destination based on local Metro or Bus schedules-- and would tell you when the next train arrived, or the next bus arrived. Pretty useful for public transit users, huh?

FM/Digital Radio/Digital TV

This is already starting to become an option, with the Radio, and should have been one a long time ago. With more sizable screens, and a new digital television reception signal, it should also be easier to display live TV broadcast over the airwaves on a hand-held device-- like a smart phone.

Digital Newspapers

Ok ok, so you can go online and read your news. Imagine, though, that all you had to do to pick up today's copy of the Post was be in blue-tooth range of a Newspaper bin, and that it would upload a nice, tidy, book-like version of the news to your SmartPhone. Worth 25 cents? You betcha. Read the paper on your smartphone, instead of hardcopy, and listen to your MP3s on the phone. That's money. Also, they could offer some multi-media coverage as well, exclusive to the digital editions of the paper. Hell, that's worth a subscription, if it's cheap enough-- it'd effectively be a newspaper-podcast kind of thing.

Medical Records

A digital medical wrist-bracelet-- it contains all of your drug allergies, and some of your medical charts. Carry your medical records with you wherever you go. When in blue tooth range of an ambulance or a hospital computer, it beams the info to your doctor.

Dietary management

Every time you eat something, enter into an App on your Smart Phone. It calculates how many calories you've consumed in a day, what vitamins your low on-- and offers up suggestions on what (or where) to eat. Think of this as Weight Watchers on steroids... instead of just counting Carbs, it counts everything, and keeps you on a healthy diet, while allowing you to eat flexibly. It will even offer up menu items from major food chains, or suggest things to buy at the grocery store based on your eating habits and dietary needs.


I'm betting the gentlemen of Strange Honor can come up with an even bigger plethora of things a Smart Phone could do in a market where they are ubiquitous, and not the province of the buisiness elite.

So, what's your concept?
  • Post a new comment


    default userpic
In this world, the hacker is GOD.

Also, be careful, this makes you sound like a capitalist:

The advertisements are opt-in, but you get a 'speacial deal' for opting in, and the retailer gets business they might not have if not for their advertisement. Everyone profits.

Well, I wouldn't say 'God.'

The thing about this is that because it's tied to a physical device, that offers an entirely new security.

Sure, you can spoof the signals that device sends out. But, say I want to purchase something at a McDonalds with a 'hacked' Smart Phone-- I actually have to /be/ at the McDonalds. Which means, when it's determined that the transaction is fraudulent, there's a time stamp on the transaction, which makes it easy to go back and look at security footage. In other words, a hacker trying to use someone's smart phone info to purchase things is going to be much more viably traceable. They can track a location, get an image of the purp, etc. It's not really any different from someone trying to use a fake credit card now.

Now, granted, you may be carrying around more personal info on your personal device, which will possibly make it easier to steal. But security is something that would obviously be built into things like the Medical Records app, or possibly the dating app. But it's important to remember that all of this secondary level of networking happens at a level where you are actually physically present-- the guy that's hacked into your dating profile isn't really going to be able to use that info in a way that doesn't include talking to you face to face. It might make it easier for someone to scam you in person, or for someone to pick you up in a bar. Big whoop.

As for Capitalism-- I am a capitalist. I just happen to believe that a well regulated market makes more money for more people than an unregulated one.
"As for Capitalism-- I am a capitalist. I just happen to believe that a well regulated market makes more money for more people than an unregulated one."

Most modern economic studies are from a pro-capitalist perspective and are quite in agreement with you. Of course, what many anarcho-capitalists overlook is that capitalism and free market are not perfectly synonymous. On that subject, one of my favorite professors of economics had this to say, "As a young man I was very impressed with the free market and capitalist ambition. As I've grown older though, I've become more and more impressed with the reliability and efficiency of more socialist systems. That that for what you will."
I'm, of course, skeptical that the PSP and PS3 will specifically become instrumental in this movement. Their reputation is already a bit tarnished and their momentum staggered. Sony's assumptions about their core demographic became too insulting and apparent to that very demographic.

It's believible that they could turn it around simply but re-releasing what would otherwise be the same product but with a different identity to shed past stigma.

That all said, I guess the gig is up on one of game designs I'm toying around with for proposal:

A subscription based cell-phone service that coordinates participants for phone/web/camera based alternate reality games.

Actually, Sony is doing pretty well with their business plan.

It's just that most gamers don't get that Sony's entire corporate business plan really does focus on the PS3, and it's link to the PSP.

First, a fact: Sony sold more PS3s between Black Friday and New Years than the total of HD-DVD players sold since HD-DVDs came out. Sony is goign to win the BlueRay/HD-DVD wars, which will suddenly make the PS3 look much more attractive to a number of buyers, because the PS3 really is the cheapest BlueRay player on the market, and it does so much more than just BlueRay.

DVR is coming to the PS3 in the US I'd say sometime in 2008, maybe later. Make no mistake-- the PS3 has better hardware than the XBox does, which means that it will play the highest-end games, games that physically can't be run on the XBox 360, which will be important in a year or two. Plus, through the online store, you'll also be able to buy a whole bunch of straight video content. And it lets you surf the web.

In short, the PS3 is poised to become the home enteretainment center that Microsoft has been dreaming about for years-- the 'computer' that you hook up to your TV, records your favorite shows, plays them back, plays music and games, lets you surf the net, and pretty much is the central hub of all your media-consuming needs.

A year from now, when HD DVD is finally dead, and people start thinking about what HD DVD player to buy-- the PS3 is going to be really attractive, because of it's multi-functionality. And, when you think about it, buying even the high-end model of the PS3 is cheaper than buying the following individually:

BlueRay player
Nintendo Wii/XBox 360.

And none of these will have the media portability that the PS3 offers with a PSP, transferring your Blue Ray discs to a portable interface you can take with you, or interacting with your PSP.

If you are thinking about the PS3 solely as a gaming console-- then yeah, it's doing pretty shitty. But as the first step to opening up the integrated home entertainment center-- not only is it really the only game in town, but it's kicking the ass of any would-be competitors. Which is what console gamers haven't gotten yet, because they want their pure console, and seperate stereo system, and their seperate video player, and thier individual console, etc.

It's cheaper to produce and buy a system that does all of that in one, and that's the future of home enteretainment. In the near future, the home enteretinament center will consist of the biggest damn HDTV you can buy, the best damn surround sound system you can buy, and an Entertainment Center that can play all the digital content you can find/buy online, from music, to games, to movies, to television. The next generation of consoles will sell games in a near-purely digital format of some sort, as the next generation of video player and music delivery. Sony realizes this, and produced the first step in that transition. The PS3 is future proof.
I think the problem is that it's not really succeeding yet as a media player either. Its cost is still prohibitively high to make it wothwhile with mainstream consumers. Especially now that theres' a credit crunch that's cutting down on how much consumers can spend.

Unless you're a technophile, you don't really need a blu-ray player yet. I agree that it has a better chance of becoming the future media standard for data, but right now I question their business model's feasibility. They lose so much money on each system but blu-ray sales have been slow. Far better than HD-DVD, sure, but the new media format war is perhaps premature. I think comparing blu-ray to HD-DVD as a success story is like comparing the giant panda to the dodo.
By the time blu-ray finally catches on Sony will have to deal with two things:

The first being that their primary player for the format has been thus far been ignored by most developpers and thus isn't occupying much space in the public conscious. More households have a Wii or a 360. Sure, those aren't blu-ray players, but that shows consumer priorities. What the PSP offers for compatibility with the PS3 then probably isn't going to amount for much. Especially considering that most of the appeal of the PSP and most portible devices is for exactly what Sony doesn't want you to use it to do.

My point is simple: The functions you describe and blu-ray compatitbility will be very important. But the emphasis is on will. At the moment those aspects of the PS3 and PSP aren't really doing anything. In the very near future, when we're ready for all of this, there's a chance that those consoles will already be practically retired. It might be wise then for Sony to convince people they have a new product capable of these same features at that time.

That's the classic tragedy of marketing. Your product may perform better than another in a particular function, but if you're not selling it for that function or no one is interested in that function yet, then there's a good chance it will just be ignored.
Actually, Sony is making money on the PS3 now, espeacially the 40GB model. While it's sales here still lag somewhat, in Japan they've picked up big, as well as internationally.

Part of the reason you don't need a BlueRay player yet is that until now, not many people have had HDTV's, but that's changing rapidly, and is going to get even more rapidly once broadcast television goes completely digital. It changed a lot over the Holiday season.

Another part has been the format wars. When you factor in PS3 sales, Blueray outsold HD DVD by a hefty margin, and that's part of why Warner Brothers and possibly soon Paramount will embrace the format. Because of the format wars, people have been concentrating mostly on up-scaling DVD players, but the demand for digital content continues to grow.

We're officially in a transition phase, both for consoles and for media players. And the PS3 is a platform that has been hit by both. It looks like it will win the BlueRay side of things, which will only help it in the still-open console wars.

As far as the Console wars go: PS3 is only a year into it's cycle. A year into the XBox 360, there wasn't really a reason to /have/ a 360. People were still mostly playing PS2 games, looking to see what the Wii and PS3 would deliver. Sony's "Year one" Catalog for the PS3 is about as good as XBox's "Year One" Catalog, especially since so many of the sports games can be directly ported over from XBox.

No doubt, the Wii is a breakout hit. I don't think that's a bad thing for the PS3, though. Nintendo always sold the two as different types of consoles-- the Wii is for it's own unique style of video gaming. Think back to the first rumble packs. They were a big feature to Nintendo 64, but Sony in the end sold more Dual-Shock controllers than Nintendo ever sold Rumble packs. Nintendo is doing what Nintendo is has always been great at-- attracting new gamers with innovative new games. Many of those players will migrate to more mature systems, just as eventually people migrated in large numbers from the N64 to the Playstation.

This is about short-term vs. long term planning. Sony planned to take a hit in the short term to succeed in the long term, and they've been upfront about that since before the PS3 was ever launched.

And their strategy is working. With the format war won, it's time for the second phase of the plan to kick in-- which is the format helping them to win the console wars, just as having a DVD player ultimately helped Sony to win the Console wars with the PS2.

As for games development. They've already got several very impressive console-exclusive games for the PS3 ont he way this year (MGS4, the next final fantasy game to name two). That catalog will grow, just as it did for the 360.

The rush among fans is to go ahead and declare one console the winner right away. But looking at the consoles of the past, thats' just inadvisable. The first Playstation languished on the market until a little game called Final Fantasy VII came along. The PS2 took a couple years to catch on, and the Xbox took longer and still wasn't widespread when the 360 launched. The N64 was huge for a few years, but eventually the ball went back to Sony.

Long term-- Sony and Microsoft can develop motion sensitive controllers. The Wii, however, just doesn't have the hardware to duplicate the performance of the PS3 or the 360. Nintendo is going to have to develop a new platform before the life-cycle of the 360 or the PS3 is over. The 360 will continue to lag behind the PS3 in core system performance-- sure, they can add hard drive space, but so can the PS3. And the 360 doesn't have a high def format player, nor connectivity with a mobile platform.

I'm not saying Sony is going to be the dominant force in the market a year from now. But they're not going away, and in five years-- they will be the dominant force. Sony isn't Sega hinging everything on the sale of the Dreamcast.

And I'd think you'd be surprised at how versatile the PSP is even now as a mobile device. As a MP3 player alone, the only thing it lacks is integration with an online music store like iTunes. But Sony's online store is evolveing. Don't count them out yet.
I agree with a majority of this but would caution that Sony is making a hefty bet on the future with Blu-Ray and the PS3. They're basically subsidizing the technology and synergizing very aggressively by making all of the Sony Pictures blockbuster mainstream movies accessible solely on Blu-Ray. It's a decent ploy, but don't think they're making it comfortably. They are spending an appalling amount of money on this bet and, despite the small turnaround, the market has not yet justified the gamble.

And be careful here. Some of what you're saying sounds like the whole "people just don't understand how awesome it is yet" argument. That's as may be, if people don't understand how awesome it is, then somebody at Sony screwed up big. There's a hell of a lot of innovation that never got anywhere because people didn't understand or know about it. That's not apart from the business strategy, that's A PART of the business strategy and a damn big one too.

-- Carlos

I'm not so much saying that "People just don't understand how awesome it is yet."

Sony's strategy is risky, to be sure, but one that will ultimately pay off later. Microsoft wouldn't be scrambling to make an XBox with a BlueRay player built in if it didn't see where Sony was going with it's player.

Also, the XBox is also already starting to look at doing a lot of what the PS3 is already doing. Microsoft is delivering digital content to XBox just as much as the PS3, it just doesn't have a good way of bridging the gap between 'hard copy' like an HD DVD disc and the console yet. And it doesn't have any way to make that content portable.

Sony is paying a price to open up a new market. Before the PS3, who would have thought that whether or not it played an HD disc format would be important in selecting a console, or that buying digital movies would be an important feature of buying a gaming console.

If anything, Nintendo is reaping the benefits today of being the best 'pure console' play in the console wars.

But, the market is changing, and five years from now we'll want everything the PS3 delivers and more in a console (though it may not be Sony that we end up buying it from).

Regarding your mobile dating comment. A company in the UK has actually taken a unique approach to mobile dating. Instead of relying on the matching algorithms of the dating service to find you a "compatible" partner in your vicinity, they leverage a far more powerful and trustworthy ally - you!

It's a left of field idea that is based on the fact that human beings know who they find attractive just by looking at them, and have been able to for thousands of years.

So if the person you fancy is in the same bar as you, and you see their profile (read picture) on your smart phone then you can send them a friendly message via the service asking for permission to go over and chat.

The mobile dating service ( is called Ice Brkr and was recently launched in London, UK.
It's not left field at all, in fact it's lazy.

If I see someone I fancy at a bar, a mobile phone isn't going to make it easier to connect with them just because they have a profile up on a dating website I subscribe to.

In fact, that's kind of lame-- it's far better to approach them in person and break the ice naturally. "Hi, my name is ____, what's yours?"

It also doesn't get around that "Oh, she's so hot she'll never want to talk to me" thing either, because there's no way to know you're compatible before you send a message asking to talk.
Good find on the interblag, Anonymous Mobile Dating Guy/Girl! I always find it awesome when we think of something neat and futuristic only to discover that it's already happened. I hope you're not a advertising troll. I would cry.

Social mores need to improve before we get some of these advancements. There's some great data released by think tanks that work for people like Apple and Google that have concluded that we're now hitting the bandwidth limitation of social advancement. We can only push so hard against how much connectivity, use and innovation people actually want before the whole exercise is useless. Go look up the studies. They're out there.

So now I have to ask. . .

Fowle? Did you hack Jason's LJ account and post another one of your crazy techno-utopian musings in his name? Jason, did you merge minds with Fowle? Are you channelling him somehow?

If this isn't Fowle, then I wanna see Fowle step up here and give us some toe to toe technobabble!

-- Carlos
I hearby attest that I am not Fowle, I am in fact Jason. I too want Fowle's input.

Also, with regard to mobile dating: I think the extensive profile thing is actually better than what the advert troll describes. The trick is to open up a line of communication in a discrete fashion. You don't need a mobile phone to open up a conversation with someone you're already attracted to. you just need to go up and talk to them.

But what a mobile phone could do in dating is bring people who you may not have noticed to your attention. You may think that cute girl with the groceries is taken, or would have no interest in you, but there's no way to tell that you share a favorite author, love the same music, and are compatible in other ways.
"better than what the advert troll describes."

You only post that because you want to make me cry. You're a mean person. I'm off to go. . . get something. . . out of my eye. . .
Thanks for an idea, you sparked at thought from a angle I hadn’t given thoguht to yet. Now lets see if I can do something with it.