The revolution *will* be googled

The Revolution Will Not Be Televised“, Gil Scott-Heron sang to my generation in 1970.  According to internet pioneer and Google Veep, Vint Cerf, a contemporary of Heron’s, it’ll be on internet and cellphone and it’s already under way.

“There are more than three billion mobiles in use today and more than 80 per cent of the world’s population live within range of a network. In areas where wireline or WiFi access barely exists, many new users will first experience the internet through a mobile phone. In developing economies, people are already finding innovative ways to use mobile technology. Grameen’s micro-finance and village phone programmes in Bangladesh and elsewhere are known and respected around the world, but there are many less famous examples. During the Kenyan elections, Mobile Planet provided its subscribers with up-to-the-minute results by text message. As the cost of mobile technologies fall, the opportunities for such innovation will continue to grow.

“We’re nearing the tipping point for mobile computing to deliver timely, geographically and socially relevant information. Researchers in Japan recently proposed using data from vehicles’ windscreen wipers and embedded GPS receivers to track the movement of weather systems through towns and cities with a precision never before possible. It may seem academic, but understanding the way severe weather, such as a typhoon, moves through a city could save lives. Further exploration can shed light on demographic, intellectual and epidemiological phenomena, to name just a few areas.”

The internet has revolutionized the way we work and communicate.  If Cerf is right, that revolution is about to go global and become so pervasive as to change the fabric of people’s lives all over the world in a way that can only be matched by modern sanitation, drugs and perhaps radio.

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