Posts Tagged ‘#MWC13’

Reflections on Mobile World Congress: The age of Cyborgs

By Jeroen Gaudissabois (@JGaudiss)


Ah, Barcelona! The beautiful city of ramblas, Gaudi, beaches, tapas and sun! Heaven on earth! Unless you go there during winter of course. During winter, Barcelona, like any other European city, is just another grey mass of warmly-dressed  people hurrying to get back inside. Then again, who would be crazy enough to go to Barcelona during winter? Well, I am, and approximately 70.000 journalists from all over the world are too.

The reason we all visited this beautiful city in its least inviting period of the year is that from the 25th to the 28th of February 2013, Barcelona was the host of the Mobile World Congress, the world’s largest tradeshow for mobile technology. Because Barcelona has had this honor for several years, the city has earned itself the title of “Mobile Capital of the World”.

Strolling around in this Walhalla of technology, I couldn’t help but think back to my first mobile love: the infamous Nokia 3310. This rock-solid piece of hardware served its purposes, texting and calling, admirably. It’s not surprising that 13 years after its launch, this mobile wayfarer is woefully outdated. Let’s imagine the following, please bear with me:

“A 3310 walks into a bar and sees its contemporary counterparts. It’s immediately obvious that they’re shinier than him, but hey, why couldn’t he socialize with them, right? He grabs a stool near the bar and starts eavesdropping. What are these phones on about? An what about those keyboardless computers, what are they doing here? But look at how easy all these shiny devices are connecting and hooking up!? What could he possibly have to say to all the other phones here? They’re all so smart! It’s almost as if they’re connected to some higher omniscient being! After sulking on his stool for a while, our brave 3310 finally hides himself in the darkest corner of the bar to delete a text message and make room for the next one.”

Ok, let’s snap back to reality. This example might be an exaggeration, but we too often forget the dazzling pace at which technology is evolving.  That by itself is interesting enough, but let’s takes a look at ourselves, shall we? How are these new technologies affecting us? It’s hard to imagine that something didn’t exist once you’ve become accustomed to it.

Tablets, smartphones and mobile internet, they’ve all become extensions of ourselves. With wearable technologies, smartwatches and smart glasses at the threshold of our daily lives, it’s a solid assumption to say that humans are increasingly becoming cyborgs. For better or for worse, we’re all increasingly depending on external technologies to get us through our daily tasks. Need a recipe for cooking? Google it. No idea where you’re going? Turn on the GPS.  Feeling sick? Pick a sensor medical device.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m loving this evolution! It’s just very easy to take it all for granted if you’ve grown up with it. But when you come to think of how our way of living has changed in the last decade, you’d almost need a storage device connected to your brain to store all your thoughts. Come to think of it, that would be a good idea! If this technological development keeps up the current pace, we might even see Smart Humans in the near future!