I’ve spent a great deal of time over the past few weeks on the road. Heck, I’ve spent a great deal of time over the last few decades on the road. But as I was circling Logan again today due to thunderstorms (nothing like a 2.5 hour flight from DC-Boston to give you time to think), I started thinking about a few ways technology has made my travel experience so much different over the past few years.
Here’s a few that spring to mind—remarkably all came of age in the last ten years.
1. Smartphones. What did I do in taxis when I couldn’t check my email? Of course, ten years ago the driver may not have been on the phone for the whole trip as well.
2. Wi-Fi. It’s only ten years ago that Wi-Fi was a “technology to watch” in PC magazine. Today, it’s ubiquitous. I’ve come to expect it everywhere—at the hotel, on the plane, you name it.
3. GPS. I can’t believe I ever used to look at a map to get where I was going. Oh, wait, I didn’t, I just got lost a lot and wouldn’t ask directions
4. Camera phones. I love sending my kids photos of where I am and love getting their messages back. It’s hard to believe that I saw my first camera phone at a standards meeting ten years ago and at the time, industry analysts called them a fad.
An interesting thread that runs through all of these is standards. From 802.11.b in Wi-Fi to any number of smartphone standards, the standards community has helped revolutionize the way I travel.
I guess that’s only fair, since I’m often traveling for standards meetings.
Can’t wait to see what the next ten years will bring. Maybe I’ll be watching from home as the Andy-hologram hits the road in my place.
Here’s hoping the hologram is more patient during flight delays than I am.