What Will Follow the Laptop?

I recently heard Michael Smith, the futurist-in-residence for the New York Times, speak.

He posed a great question when he asked, "what will follow the laptop?"  And, he shared some of the product concepts that he had seen.

I thought of Michael Smith’s presentation when a friend sent me an LA Times article on text messaging in China.

Interestingly, China is now the world’s largest mobile phone market. 455 million cellphone users exchange 33 billion short messages each month.

The LA Times explained that, "China’s mania for messaging – particularly mobile messaging – is largely a product of how technology developed (in China). Like other emerging global markets, rural regions of China lacked phones or television as recently as two decades ago. The country modernized just as mobile technology was broadly accessible throughout the world."

In effect, China skipped the land line, the answering machine, the fax machine, the desktop and the laptop.

So, if we want to know what follows the laptop, maybe China can provide a model of what behaviors might be like if we start over fresh.

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