September 13, 2005

The Broadband Explosion, Thinking About a Truly Interactive World

Sara Grant:
Robert Austin: By "broadband explosion" we mean the coming together of real-time communication and rich media technologies to produce a truer form of interactivity across geographic distance than has been possible up until now. We've had some forms of interactive technologies for a long time (e.g., telephone) and many kinds of media too, but real-time interactivity at a distance that comes anywhere near what we experience in face-to-face communication has been elusive. That's too bad, because people have been anticipating profound effects from the ability to collaborate in real time at a distance for a long time. One of our favorite examples of this is described in a paper written in 1968 by Internet pioneers J. C. R. Licklider and Bob Taylor, called "The Computer as a Communication Device." These guys imagined human capabilities moving to a new level when real-time interactivity was realized. They expected an acceleration of our abilities to innovate and work creatively. The vision is compelling. The only thing they got wrong was how long it would take us to get there. We are suggesting that the day may finally be arriving. The implications, if so, will be numerous and important. Various chapters in the book describe how business strategy, production technologies, and marketing—to name just a few—may be changed dramatically.
Posted by James Zellmer at September 13, 2005 9:54 AM | Subscribe to this site via RSS:
Posted to Broadband