Many of us are techno heads, we LOVE technology -
The oohs and aaahs of the latest iPod or getting our hands on the iPhone or latest crackberry is a badge of how great we are, and how good we can feel with all that EMF rolling around us
At WIT 2007, I did a poll among the audience to see how many people had the usual accompaniment of electronic devices.
More than 50% had a smart phone and more than 40% had at least 2 phones. A good 80% had an MP3 player and of those, the vast majority had iPods.
But technology is still not a perfect happy place. It's easy to fall in love with the technology, yet see it parked on a shelf gathering dust.
For example, at the 2007 PhoCuswright Conference, arguably one of these places where the arbiters of what's cool in Travel Technology hang out, the winner of the 5-minute pitch was a company called LeisureLogix. Great idea, lousy execution and zero sales. They quietly sank beneath the waves.
There are a lot of people who are intently working on new widgets to excite us in the travel world.
In our time-starved world, we all need better faster tools and less intrusion or hard work to use them. But just lately, I have been thinking about the issues of mobile.
What makes mobile so tantalising is that it is ubiquitous. We have to have the technology to work – to further pollute our lives and blur that line between real life and, well, work. One of my biggest bugbears in technology is the effort we have to put into it.
I often quote the example (because I have been around for a while) of word processing. We don't think about this anymore. But remember the leading provider of WP equipment was Wang. Their dedicated machines were marvels of engineering. Then it was supplanted by the PC and the leading word processing programme was Word Perfect in version 5.X. At the height of its popularity, it had a dual screen.
You really had to think about it. The funny inserting special characters to get the layout right. And today? We don't even think about it. You open up the programme and type.
So why can't all programmes be as simple as that. And why do we have to do all the hard work for a mobile application. Figuring that out will actually go a long way to making these systems work for the masses. And mass adoption of mobile technology is what we all need so that our lives can be – well easier. Just like we think it should be. Shouldn't it?
Tim will be speaking at Web-in-Travel, held in Singapore, Oct 21-22, 2008. www.webintravel.com Don't forget that our own 4Hoteliers.com journalists will be there in the centre of the action, reporting live daily through our dedicated ITB-WIT News Channel EXCLUSIVELY here at 4Hoteliers.com.
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