On my way to the 3rd Internet of Things Conference Europe. This time about 9 hours on the train and one would expect that was is not common in air, should be normal on ground: internet connection all along Europe.
Reading John Hagel's and John Seely Brown's book "The Power of Pull" I do a little bit of field research on use of web on the train. Just while reading watching the people around me, which -due to lack of power sockets on this IC 2250 from Leipzig to Frankfurt-Airport- gather around the tabes in the waggon. Besides me three other folks who have their fingers on either a laptop, iPhone, or Treo (that's me ;-)).
To my surprise only the mobile connection via my Treo makes sense at all, GPRS connection is just sufficient to grab the latest tweets and mails - thoough most of the time (at least to Frankfurt there is no net available. "Strange! Aren't we talking about LTE, G4, already? Where is the infrastructure got stuck?"
Reading my tweets, a response by O2-business team to Dirk Spannaus (with whom I ran the session on senso networks at Mobile Camp mid-May) caught my interest. Asked these guys on the connectivity to their web service. Their answer, "We have no clue whatsever" (roughly in this sense, the original see tweet). - Amazing! I offer my support and help as tester. Let's see what happens (Undisclosure: around a dozen tickets on not working internet connection put to service hotline in the past 12 months - no change whatsoever yet)
Even more thrilling is the fact that especially two of these guys, while working with on the edge technical devices - to my surprise- got out worn-out paper calendars of a size of a medium cooking-pot! Connected in the "show-off" part of the digital personality divide (as I would call it), but yet still sticking to the paper as in the past decades before the the WorldWideWeb and mobile interconnectivity have changed the way of work and pleasure.
I wonder whether I travel right now through the lands of the past or the state of the art tech-nation in Europe towards the hot spot where political decisions are put into place to change the behavior of the "big players" to move into the web-age soon (at an accelerated pace - otherwise Europe will be pretty much outwashed by countries like China, India, or even Austtralia.
Looking very much forward meeting Mike Nelson up in Bruxelles, whom I met two weeks ago in Sydney at Amplify Festival 2011, and learning about the movements of the European Commission.
PS.: Without broadband infrastructure especially in mobile environmemt there is tough times for "Internet of Things" and as long as we see business people with their heavy paper timers (also carrying their Blackberries and iPhones ;-)) we are still pretty much behind the mainstream in other parts of the globe. Europe wake up, YES WE (also) can DO!