21 June 2008

The Digital Sybil - Our multiple personalities

There is a great webinar available at ATWOnline concerning the digital traveler. http://www.atwonline.com/

While of course the webinar is self serving for SITA - it is a good primer on the adoption of mobile technologies.

However I would like to raise two issues which I think will inhibit adoption. I am going to gloss over issues of security and personal information which in themselves are huge issues.

The first issue is the cost of holding the digital personality wallet. There is no way that the mobile companies are going to offer this capability at no charge. So there will be a cost. Who pays? if not free or bundled then you create a digital divide between haves and have nots. This is going to be a large behind the scenes bun fight again between the operators and the application providers. One of the main reasons for the slow adoption of mobile applications has been the guarding of the digital real estate that the mobile operators well the barriers are not insignificant.

The second issue is the assumption that every player thus far has made. IE that we have a single digital personality and a single wallet - AND that we want to have a single personality. We don't, we don't and well we don't.

I encourage you to read the novels of William Gibson. His groundbreaking 1984 book Neuromancer accurately predicted issues that we are now starting to face.

Before you jump into mobile adoption - think and bear in mind the issues of these items I have laid out here. Our Team at T2Impact has DEEP understanding and experience in Mobile apps going back more than 10 years. As the Watsons used to say "THINK" Do that first and you will at least reduce your mistakes.



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