Jul 08, 2008

The Internet is (almost) everywhere

I've been absent from the hallowed halls of LEAP headquarters for the last week while I was recovering from an emergency extraction of all four of my wisdom teeth. While recouping, I spent a lot of time on the Internet reading news, catching up on television, and bolstering my photography knowledge. The nice part about all of this was that I was able to do it without sitting at my desk. Between my laptop and my iPhone (and with the help of my wireless network), I was able to have access to all the information and entertainment my little mind could hope for. What an amazing time to be alive, eh?

So here we are, less than four days away from the July 11th launch of Apple's iPhone 3G, which promises to bring the web into our hands even faster. The simple fact of the matter is that the iPhone really changed my life. No, like REALLY changed my life. At parties I am able to look up answers to obscure questions that get dropped in conversation (Is that really a valid rule for calling shotgun???), I can actually do crossword puzzles now, I never miss an e-mail, and I am able to make good use of time by using Google's tools for iPhone to digest the web when I have only minutes to spare. I can honestly say that my iPhone makes it easy to spend less and less time chained to my desk to keep up with e-mail, news, and other information. Put simply, the iPhone has made the Internet pervasive in mine and so many other people's lives.

Chrysler's announcement that they will offer optional in-car WiFi on all 2009 models is another sign that pervasive Internet is right over the horizon. Pervasive Internet... Think about that for a moment. The Internet, everywhere. Just providing web access to our information isn't good enough yet. Web applications are going to get smarter about where we are and what we're doing. Imagine GPSs that can sample driving speeds and in real time report over the Internet about traffic conditions on every road while other GPSs recommend alternative routes around congestion for drivers headed in that direction. Imagine being able to retrieve movies or music for your consuming pleasure in real time on your car stereo, your mobile phone, or even your wristwatch whenever the mood hits you! What if you were looking to meet someone in a crowded environment like a football stadium? Your mobile phones could help you find one another. Your car could schedule itself for maintenance because it's able to check your personal calendar and make all the arrangements for you. Ultimately, information exchange benefits by gaining the new dimension of location with pervasive Internet access.

This is truly an exciting time to be someone who gets to work with these new technologies! Our client requests will grow beyond getting a brand message or functional application to the web. In the coming decade, we will have our clients ask us to create POP apps for their retail chains to alert customers to where stock is for their size/style preferences. In fact, we may start referring to "the web" as something from the "old days" of the Internet. The Internet will be far more than a place where pages are accessed. It is becoming media. It is becoming a service. It is becoming the greatest thing since sliced bread!


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