Wednesday, March 31, 2004

Individuals Permanently Networked by 2010?

Interesting article by the BBC suggesting that "By the year 2010, scientists predict we will be immersed in a sea of miniature computers" ... which enable users to be permanently connected to the Internet.

Personally, I'm looking forward to iPod type devices incorporating wireless communications technology so that the music and, more importantly, users' ratings become part of the Internet. This could solve a chicken-and-egg problem for collaborative filtering efforts where users will only use and provide ratings information if a collaborative filtering project is useful, but collaborative filtering is only useful with the necessary user ratings.

All devices aimed at the opportunities presented by such pervasive connectivity, and from my perspective incorporating user ratings information to provide services, should already have established what user needs they are going to address and how they intend to do so. Mobile phone operators are best placed to take advantage of the possibilities as their devices naturally incorporate strengths in the following areas: communication technology, user identity, storage options, and payment/billing as well as all the experience such companies have with their existing user base. The Lifeblog offering from Nokia could be a step in the right direction, particularly if blogging applications incorporate rating functionality that users adopt.

ADDITION: The Wrap-Radio by Arriva is an example of the type of hardware starting to appear.

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