Oct 22, 2007

Our Cell Phones, Ourselves, a TED.com Video

In this video, Nokia researcher Jan Chipchase discusses his investigation into the ways we interact with technology. He has spent the past 5 years researching the ways that the developing world is using and adapting cell phones.

The most intriguing story he tells, showcases the amazing way that cellphones are creating a "Street Level" ATM network in rural Africa. This ad-hoc network allows illiterate wages earners, living and working away from home, to send small amounts of money back to their family.

With 3.2 Billion people currently owning cell phones and another billion expected to be connected in as little as 2 years, how will the way technology is adapted by these people effect our future? Chipchase points to the four main ideas in his speech:

1)The immediacy of ideas. With the ability to "transcend time", ideas can be communicated, discussed and put into action with blistering speed.

2)Immediacy of objects. As devices change form and become more useful, the speed of adoption will increase and the distribution of ideas, services or personal identification will gain speed.

3)Street Level Innovation. The incredible ability of local street level innovations are something cannot be predicted, yet the innovations made will have an impact both locally and in the way future products are designed.

4)Direction of the Conversations. There will be more people, more connected than ever before, we'd better become great listeners.


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