iPhone and our reliance on technology


I have recently started taking an interest in the writings of Chris Hoff and James Urquhart. Both of them, despite being Cisco employees (sorry that is tongue in cheek), have pragmatic view towards the “cloud computing” phenomenon. The recent posts from both of them on using the iPhone as an analogy of cloud computing got me thinking about a couple of things:

iPhone as a technology enabler: Fact is that now a days people expect that services are always available and that information is always at their finger tips.

Personal even business related information readily available at your first whim. Supports the need, almost the requirement for, ubiquitous applications and data.

People today rely less and less on their ability to remember things and more and more on technology to do it for them. Perfect example;

last night at dinner the waitress came over, sans notepad, and took all our orders. Some were stunned, not by her ability to repeat the orders back to us, but that there was the chance that something might go wrong in the process, between repeating the order to us and  eventually having our meals delivered. As we had two developers at the table comments turned to how easy it would be to churn out a simple iphone/ipod touch app that would allow the orders to be entered into the system, how they could be tracked and we would be safe in knowing that there couldn’t be a breakdown in process. This led to talk about having ability to order straight from a touch screen imbedded in the table, all so we knew the accuracey of the orders being entered, etc… Can you say Xerts?!?

I think about how life was when I was growing up and that memorising great swarths of information (learning by rote) was just how it was done and look to how we function today, it’s less about knowing everything and more about knowing how to get access to the relevant pieces of information we need when we need them. I look at my son and think in wonderment at how he will access and use information as he grows up.

More and more, I think the technologies and gadgets that we cling to and get emotional about, they are the ones that give us access or are enablers.