Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Convergence: The World In My Pocket

Ultimate convergence
Last night before going to bed I pulled out the contents of my pockets and laid them on my dresser. Splayed out before me were $1.47 in change, my 4Runner keys with the cigar punch key ring, a crinkled parking receipt, a worn black leather wallet, a mobile phone, my business card holder, and one wadded up ten dollar bill that my wife missed in the wash -Ha! it's still mine! Then my adult ADHD (my poor excuse for lack of focus at times) kicked in or  the after effects of the double shot of espresso I had after dinner but I suddenly had this urge to organize my laptop bag. 

What a difference between my bag and my pockets. I own a 17" laptop so my bag is fairly large. Yes, I know- I'm insane. Inside my bag were my HP laptop, it's charger, a wireless mouse, various cables and wires, my spare mobile phone charger, a yellow notepad, several copies of my business cards, various papers and receipts, several ink pens- two of which didn't work, my emergency parking meter money, two pairs of knot cuff links,  and my ScanSnap portable scanner and all it's accompanying wires. Who needs the gym after schlepping this bag around. Not much to organize since all this stuff was in their individual pouches, pockets or divider. However it was a great exercise in understanding one dilemma of modern day technology; convergence.

Recently I watched a YouTube video of Stephen Dewitt, a SVP at Hewlett-Packard, discuss his theory of convergence. His theory was that technology does not converge except if it fits in your pocket or the "pocket theory". "How true", I thought, "the world will all be in my pocket."

Today as I'm writing this article I agree that the one piece of equipment that encourages convergence is the mobile phone. Ten years ago we would of laughed if we were told your cell phone would also be a camera and your "Walk-Man." Soon even my wallet will be replaced. NFC (near field communications) is around the corner to replace debit cards or cash transactions. Even a digital driver's licenses is not inconceivable. Currently all my rewards cards reside in an app on my mobile; Key Ring, great app by the way. Half the stuff in my pockets could be digitized in some fashion in my mobile with apps Evernote or Expensify. Even the company I work at, The MobiSolution, created a digital business card called MobiCard to replace paper business cards. Leaving only my keys. I can imagine a remote bio-metric key system for vehicles to be downloaded on your phone not too far off.  Just think,  before my kids graduate high school I will only have two things in my pockets my mobile phone and my cigar lighter with built in cigar punch. Even the lighters are converged. Plus no more cash to lose to my wife in the laundry.  

Our next digital frontier is the mobile phone and mobile internet. All converged in to one device. The only downside is then I might have to join the gym because I'll have little need to schlep my seventeen pound bag around.


Thursday, August 11, 2011

The Journey of a Mobile Lifestyle

Call me Mike (it worked for Herman Melville.) This is my first blog about my journey into embracing a mobile lifestyle. Like a quasi-mobi-zen-master I anticipate the journey not the end result.

When I first conjured up this idea about writing a blog based on mobile lifestyles, I chuckled.  Sure how can I- who has worked inside sales for the last 10 years-speak to the blogosphere about the advantages of embracing mobility?  Then that little voice in my head spoke these insightful words of wisodm, "Why not you?" True, why not me?  I'm a Witchita American! You see Wichita Kansas is an enigma, it's in the middle of the country surrounded by very flat land and nothing remarkable about it. However that's what makes it a great town to test products in. Pizza Hut was  founded there and still has a test kitchen there. If it can sell in Wichita then it can sell anywhere must be the theory. By gosh golly if I can do it so can the majority of average Joes and Janes.

Let's get clear of what I define as embracing a mobile lifestyle. I'm sure some of you have visions of gypsy caravans or nomads with their herds of goats living in tents. Absolutely not! Having a mobile lifestyle it not about the living condition but about freedom. It's about not having that tether that binds you to your office or home. It's about throwing out the quest for work-vs-life balance and throwing it in a blender hitting the "ice breaker" setting and blending work and life into one big ball of mush that we call "life". No more work life, personal life, family life, home life or even no life. It's a singularity.
See I made your life simple already. 

Maybe this belief in a singular life is a result of my poor time management skills.  Today there are so many distractions- even as I write this I am listening to the Black Keys, skyping with a co-worker and chewing gum. Who said men can't multi-task? The harder I try to fight distractions the more I'm tempted by them. Time to draw the line in the sand. From now on it's not about breaking habits it's about embracing my quirks and adapting to them. I envision incorporating mobile tools, services, experiences, and maybe living quarters of the RV kind in my future to bring more enjoyment into my life.

 The mobile internet, smart phones, and tablet devices are becoming apart of our every day lives. I have no intention of fighting the wave but "hanging ten" on this exciting journey. I look forward to this journey and  hope you will follow along and include your own comments or experiences too.