Wednesday, June 22, 2005

The Fifth Wave

My favorite magazine came in yesterday. I think it's probably the most underrated publication on the street. So many articles of interest.

Here's one I found loads of ideas on. Visionary Om Malik contributed to the article.

Cheap computing, infinite bandwidth, and open standards are powering an epic technological transformation that will churn up huge new opportunities -- and perils for those who can't adapt

Wireless technologies, chiefly 3G (third-generation) and Wi-Fi, are expanding rapidly, making the Internet ubiquitous.

There's another singular aspect of what's happening now, one that by itself creates enormous opportunities. A hallmark of the previous four waves was the almost direct correlation between hardware and software.

If Intel (INTC) made a new chip, Microsoft came up with a new operating system that could make use of the extra oomph. The platform and how it could be used basically moved in predictable lockstep. This time, however, the platform -- broadband networks and the Internet -- is already in place, waiting for applications to catch up.


Most modern cell phones ship with location-based services. Leveraging them to do something other than simple route finding is a no-brainer. For instance, a company could marry the ability to pinpoint a person's physical location with new information distribution technologies like RSS. Users might be alerted to coupons or deals as they walk down an aisle in the grocery store or past a particular store. Merchants could experiment with dynamic pricing to move inventory on slow days or to increase foot traffic.

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