Real World Disconnect

#todaysoffice at Caribou about to go music on on Twitpic
For a long time, it was only one or two people who would confront me with the statement(s), “Antoine, what you are doing with mobile isn’t possible with the rest of us. We don’t want to live like that. We don’t want the device you have. We can’t afford it. And its just not the real world to us.” It took a while before I would get that point, and even now, I find myself asking and reassessing how I approach my fervor for mobile and connected tech when there is a much larger world out there to explore and be immersed within.

Of course, it is always much more fun when you get that yearly reminder from the mobile tech side of the world. Over at All About Symbian, as I was taking a look at the news of the latest update for my (ancient) N8, I saw this great piece about the data/connectivity hype about smartphone usage:

…Because, as I see it, the data disconnect is getting larger and larger. What on earth is the point in more and more graphically lavish applications that pull in a Gigabyte or two per month of cellular data, when using them is, for a great many people, just about impossible because the data speeds are too low? The smartphone experience in (say) San Francisco or London is very, very different to that in (say) Minehead, Somerset, where I spent the day yesterday, a seaside town of around 15,000 people that survives on two ‘bars’ of GPRS.

Much is made of ‘fragmentation’ in the smartphone world, but I reckon that the data disconnect should be bundled in with OS and form factor issues, since its effects are even more dramatic in heightening the gap between the smartphone ‘rich’ and the smartphone ‘poor’.

For once, its not me saying it.

Now, if we want folks to be pressing the pedal in terms of using these data services, then we’ve got to put them and their devices in a position where they will use data services in such a way that magnifies the “real world” experience (such as what’s talked about in some of the stadium examples in this Ars Technica piece just published this weekend), not just makes them a passive observer of it.