It’s old now, but I stumbled across an article from Capacity, a telecoms industry magazine, in which I was quoted in late 2010 talking about the application of foresight in long-term technology strategy. In it, I talk about future opportunities for telecoms companies in areas that, five years ago, didn’t seem to have much to do with their core businesses, such as health care, urban environments, and banking in developing markets.
“In the developing world, Smith looks at the ways in which mobile technology has replaced a set of functions which may not have been a telecommunications problem before, such as sending money to a colleague or friend. This does not require much bandwidth, but does require a reliable application that is available to users with little education. The value in the network inexorably moves away from the network provider to the skill of the application provider. Similar issues apply to cities, which Smith sees becoming ‘sentient intelligent environments’ where reality is augmented by contextualised information delivered to you, your car or your phone – and where information depends on the machines around you knowing who you are and what you need. This, Smith says, promises to cut waste and the cost of public services dramatically.”