|Chapter 1:||The Evolution of Mobile Internet Communications|
In the most developed areas of the world today, people are accessing the Internet on 15- to 20-inch flat displays, and 40- to 50-inch plasma or liquid crystal display (LCD) screens are commonly found in people's homes. Even larger innovations such as the multitouch wall are expected to be diffused soon, so there was some pushback from respondents on the idea of a small device being the “primary” connection for most people in the world.
“Mobile phone[s] will be used by more people to connect but not be used as often as laptops and desktops, as some Net functions need the bigger device,” wrote one anonymous respondent.
“Unless the phone—which will really be seen as the one device that we carry around that includes voice, text, still/video camera, GPS, Av player, computer, voice-to-digital-information interface, Internet, television, bank account, etc.—has the capacity to project at least a 15” display, it will be too small to use as the primary connection tool for the majority of worldwide users,” wrote Peter Eckart, director of health information technology for the Illinois Public Health Institute. “The majority of us will carry our digital presence indicator with us from place to place on that device, but the bandwidth and interface will be provided by our home or work or coffee shop, with the device there to maintain digital identity. I do agree that the mobile device will be the primary or only connection for poorer folks. People's wealth or income will be reflected in the size of their display, the number of Ds (2 or 3), their connection speed, amount of digital storage, and most importantly, their level of access to information stores.”
Adrian Schofield, a leader in the World Information Technology and Services Alliance and manager of applied research at the Johannesburg Center for Software Engineering in South Africa, wrote that people will use multiple devices. “The phone will be the instrument that enables the less economically empowered people to communicate by voice and text and to perform basic financial and government transactions,” he commented. “The Pda will offer the full range of communications and computing facilities, including TV, GPS, and video camera. Using improved solar technology, battery life will be significantly extended, and offices, hotels, and other venues will provide free