The mobile computer in our collective pocket

Many of us have already stopped to consider the marvel of the massively powerful computing device we carry everywhere with us in our pocket. The current iPhone 5, for example, is equivalent in processing power and file capacity as a desktop computer from not too many years ago. But it’s doing more than storing files. It’s changing socializing and planning, immediate conveniences, and social behavioral norms.

We no longer have to plan meetings in advance — we can hook up with people on the fly! We made that jump over 10 years ago when mobile phones went mainstream and a network hack to send short text-based messages over a mobile carrier’s signaling network caught fire. SMS was technology so archaic by today’s 100Mbps+ mobile broadband abilities, and it’s still so ubiquitous.

We no longer have to worry about getting lost or finding recommended businesses for eating and buying products or services. With location, compass, marked up maps, 3D satellite images, and social recommendation tools, we always can find what we need.

These two shifts have been awesome and are ongoing. Innovative companies are pushing rich media, convenience, and immediacy into our messaging tools (and even for nominal cost and even while roaming globally), and social recommendation apps are directing us to businesses we’re most likely gonna love.

(Those are some of our favorite apps here: WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Ness, and Foursquare.)

The third wave we’re starting to witness is how mobile phones will change how we interact with other people. Do you notice public mobile phone usage making people anti-social? Would you like phones to be instead something that people can use together, collaborate with, and have a good time? This is largely unchartered territory, but not unconsidered or direction-less. Many things will mimic but heighten behaviors we already do. This is an exciting space, something only available in this age of computers in our pocket. Are you looking forward to new, unknown uses of your mobile phones?