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Cyclical Technology - When the 'next best thing' is yesterday's re-invented products!

My wife and I were talking last night, when she marveled and just how cyclical technology can be - specifically technologies that enable us to communicate.

What you may not know, is that after my wife rocked the world of furniture sales to big government contracts, she moved into the technology sales arena. The technology? Pagers, Text Pagers, and RIM devices! Now, keep in mind that this was before RIM Blackberry devices went all convergency-like and became smartphones - they were simply mobile email and pager clients. Pretty simple stuff, but totally cutting edge at the time.

The flagship device - and something that I thought was uber-l33t (for the time) - was the Motorola T900:


Jump forward almost 10 years later, and just like hypercolor t-shirts and bell-bottoms, text-only devices are making a comeback!

Check out the Peek.

Email-only Mobile Device

Email only mobile device, that offers a pay-as-you-go non-subscription service.

My wife then told me that she saw a news report citing that surveyed teens use their mobile phones more for SMS than for telephony.

She then brought up a simple fact that really drove the point home for me. A highschool friend of mine had contacted me months ago, looking to catch up. It wasn't until he hopped onto IM and eventually joined Facebook that I was able to actually reconnect with him!

How many IMs do you have going right now? Using TweetDeck or another Twitter client? Rather send that correspondence via email or SMS rather than pick up the phone?

SMS, Social Networking, etc. - you can argue - are cyclical technology re-inventions of paging and email-only mobile devices.

And it's not just about communication per se - how many times have we had the fat client vs. thin client debate?!

I was told by one of my customers the other day that they need to push to get their applications mobilized. It's not because they don't like - in this case - Lotus Notes, but because their mobile sales force gets laughed at when they whip out laptops to access product catalogs and other "mobile" sales applications.

I've said it before and I'll say it again - I married up, and my wife is one of the most brilliant people I know!

About the author: Chris Toohey

Thought Leadership, Web & Mobile Application Development, Solutions Integration, Technical Writing & Mentoring

A published developer and webmaster of, Chris Toohey specializes in platform application development, solutions integration, and evangelism of platform capabilities and best practices.

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