Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Seeyon Sanchari on the Autobahn

Imagine you are one of those NRIs driving down the Autobahn in your second hand Mercedes and all of a sudden you feel home sick. You need something that makes you feel like you're back home, on the sands of the Pampa accompanying grandma to the Maramon convention. So you say, "Edi, do you have any Maramon convention songs." Your Personal Computer, actually a software agent residing in what looks like a mobile phone, understands that you are talking to it because there is no body else in the car. The phone searches through your music collection but finds nothing because that’s not the kind of music you usually listen to. So it does a search of Internet radio stations and finds one that’s playing a song from last year's Maramon album. You are not wearing your wireless stereo headphones, so the phone routes the music to the car's music system instead. “Thanks”, you whisper. The phone feels happy.

Phones with feelings are a bit farfetched for now. The rest of it is on the drawing board and may happen in the foreseeable future. But you won't have to wait too long for Internet radio on the mobile. Infact, the technology is already here but adoption has been limited due to the high cost of mobile internet access in most parts of the world. Think about it. Listening to the radio is the most natural thing to do with a mobile device. Not reading the newspaper. Not even watching the latest video posted on YouTube. Audio is what the mobile phone was made for. And as mobile broadband technologies mature in the next few years, this is where a lot of the action is going to be.

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