Business Week has a special report on the “wireless world.”
This latest phase of the mobile revolution is intimately tied to the abrupt rise of media-rich social networks such as Google Inc.’s YouTube and News Corp.’s MySpace.com. Groups of friends crave connectedness, and they achieve it by swapping photos, music, and video clips, immersing themselves in a shared, sensual chronicle of daily life.
To participate, you used to have to sit in front of a computer screen. But a host of advances, including faster network speeds, exotic new batteries, and bright, energy-efficient screens for mobile gadgets, could cut some of the last tethers to the PC. The handset, stuffed with content you purchase or create, will become your personal television network, your music studio, and your wallet for dispensing digital money. It could also become your personal location service. Today, cars with satellite-mapping software can tell you how to get to your destination. Phonemakers are now building the same kind of technology into their handsets, which, among other things, can send out an emergency beacon that summons your friends to rescue you from a bad date.