Communication technologies move into the body

There is a tendency for communication technologies to move from the world around us into our bodies. This is a consequence of Moore’s Law, which states that computer technology becomes exponentially more powerful over time.

Ideally we would have all of the communication technologies we want at our fingertips. After all, given the choice, we generally prefer to communicate with other humans wherever and whenever we want.

And so at different moments in history we have seen all such technologies make the leap from “you need to be in this physical place” to “you can be wherever you want”. This has held true for every such technology, from printed books to audio communication to moving pictures and beyond.

At this moment in history, it is very useful to think about this principle, for one simple reason: The same principle will always continue to hold true in the future.

Think, for example, of any mode of communication which today requires you to be at a particular physical place. There will come a time when you will be able to engage in that same form of communication wherever you happen to be.

For any given communication technology, we don’t know exactly when that transition will happen. But we know for sure that at some point it will.

One thought on “Communication technologies move into the body”

  1. Some of us are still waiting for mobile phones (and their carrier networks) to actually make the leap to anywhere/anytime. Sure, there are a lot of places I can now make a low-quality phone call that I couldn’t have made before. But home[*] has never been one of those places. Fortunately, they haven’t taken away our landlines yet. Unfortunately, they took away our pay phones and our highway call boxes before we reached the point of universal coverage.

    * I live in Silicon Valley.

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