Mobile is just the beginning

A post-pc chat over coffee

“This thing is so, so, so useful” he said “Since I got this thing I never turn on the computer anymore.”

The man in question was 30-something and speaking to a much older gentleman who appeared skeptical, but genuinely interested (and went on to ask lots of questions). They were accompanied by a small child who spent most of the conversation transfixed by a game on the iPhone.

“I just use this for everything now…” the younger man continued.

“You see it’s always on, always there. It’s always next to me, or in my pocket. I don’t need to fuss with it or wait for it to turn on. It just works…so it’s kinda completely replaced my PC.”

“So much so…” he said with a chuckle, “…that the last time I turned the computer on, I forget for what…the antivirus was so out of date I had to do this great big update!”

[Eavesdropping session made possible by the iPad on my lap…these things are indeed so incredibly useful.]


2 Responses to “A post-pc chat over coffee”

  1. Jim Newbery

    Heh. This reminds me of my supervisor when I was a human factors intern many years ago. He is an ethnographer and spends much of his time immersing himself in various cultures to study the way they use technology (like your example here, but it’s his whole job). He has spent weeks hanging out in cafés in various parts of Europe just to observe young people using mobile devices, but by the same token has also had to spend a little too much time sitting at the back of a number 73 bus in London, and in a canning factory in Alaska.

    In the ethnographic tradition, you probably should have followed this guy home and asked him if you could live in his house for six months.

    • steph

      Years ago we took a year off and spent quite a bit of time in APAC observing people as they used technology (that wasn’t why we went there, but that’s what we ended up doing!) Would *love* to do it again. :-P


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