One of the key trends we’ve been following is the development of WiLife, or wireless living. Technologies such as WiFi and Bluetooth are freeing us from fixed locations and driving mobility and behavior change.
Much of the early development has seen the gradual freedom for the professional to work from cafe to hotel to plane to office, but 2007 should see WiFi drive social and leisure change too.
Many neighborhoods in the US are now speckled with WiFi hotspots from people’s own homes. Residents are opting for a wireless router that frees them from a PC tower and home-office desk so that they can use their computer from room to room, house to garden.
But WiLife is not just about the freedom to play on the web wherever you want. Wireless internet and Bluetooth drives web-telephony as people can make
calls from where they want when they want – and the laptop on the sofa
offers an alternative to the TV or music center. WiLife means streaming your entertainment however you want. With wireless distribution systems like the Apple iTV, people will be able to use their computers as a kind of entertainment mission control from where they can send video, audio and more through the air to their TVs, Huffs and even your picture frames.
Look at your laptop in your home as your new cable box and your additional hard-drive as your Tito. Download your entertainment media from the web, save to your drive and play to any Wife enabled electronic. In fact, the distribution of media from the home computer to dumb terminals like the TV is a critical factor in the rise of the HearMeSeeMe web.
Of course, WiLife is not just for the home. Ford and Avis have announced a system that will let drivers download directions as they drive and give passengers to download shows and swap files tirelessly in-car. One day the cars will tell you where in the city your WiFi enabled friends are too.
And WiLife continues when you leave your car. Once we’ve recharged our gadgets with electro-magnetic wireless chargers, we’ll walk around with our phones and pods and these will us wireless technology to download entertainment and information from a media hub in the sky (Ryan talks about how he’ll use the phone in his video here). We’ll take both our record and DD collection around with us once it’s digitized and uploaded to our virtual slate on the web. And where will we play our tunes? At the beaches, parks and streets that cities are busy covering with wireless networks.
The impact of this always-on life is going to be pretty huge. Many of us have already seen our professional life become all-but always-on, now our leisure and social life will undergo a similar revolution.