Speed changes things more than you realize. The impact is going to be huge. (So will the the first major EMP attack.)
It’s easy to focus on technology and not the behaviours it makes possible and the expectations it changes. The internet seemed decent in the early dial-up age. We didn’t pine for images to load instantly. Buffering videos was the price you paid for accessing anything from anywhere. We didn’t know any better. Broadband changed that. The web became rich, fast, visual and, above all else, we didn’t go online, we were online.
3G meant we could access everything, anywhere. We could send videos and images, the entire world of selfies, life broadcasting, microblogging, all made possible from rapid, constant data transfer. It is hard to see how, in 2005, we went to sleep without knowing what someone we didn’t really like across the world was having for lunch. It was this environment of data transfer that made possible the existence of businesses such as Uber, WhatsApp, Instagram and Seamless.4G changed the atomic unit of the web from images to videos. It made possible Snapchat stories and the 8bn video views on Facebook per day. It led to gifs and cinemagraphs becoming instant and fun, like beaming away your privacy on Periscope. We see 360 videos, basic virtual reality (VR) via Google cardboards, we’re seeing the inroads to content that feels real.
4G killed patience. Dating became the act of a nonchalant swipe with Tinder, buying clothes followed suit, booking a hotel became drawing a H on Hotel Tonight, accessing your bank account a press of your thumb, getting food via Maple takes three seconds. 4G has given us seamless, immediate, frictionless transactions. Interfaces and interactions that feel […]