I felt a sense of irony as I was reading the 2010 Horizon Report in preparation for this blog post. The reason being that I was reading the report on my iPhone, while waiting to board a flight from Burbank California to Seattle Washington. Having my laptop on the other side of the country being repaired and needing to leave the state last minute would have given me major panic in years past. With the advent of the smart phone however, it turned into nothing more than the minor inconvenience of not having a full keyboard to type on. As I looked around the terminal at my fellow travelers waiting to board the plane, it was evident that more and more people are leaving the laptops at home and relying on smart phones for their mobile computing needs. It was no surprise then when the 2010 Horizon Report revealed that smart phones are the fastest growing segment in the mobile computing market.
My departure airport, Bob Hope in Burbank, and my destination airport, Sea-Tac in Seattle, both offered free Wi-Fi. According to a USA Today report, there is an increasing number of airports that are including free Wi-Fi on their list of services offered (Baskas, 2010). When my flight was called for boarding in Burbank however, I wasn’t even close to being finished reading the Horizon Report or gathering additional research. This would have been a problem several years ago, but I was in luck this time. I just happened to be flying Alaska Airlines, which offers in-flight Wi-Fi via the Gogo in-flight internet service. Gogo is an in-flight Internet service offered through the Aircell Company, which has been offering airline passengers the ability to surf the web, instant message, check email and more through their mobile computing devices since 2008 (“Gogo is wi-fi,” 2011).
During my travel time I was able to read the 2010 Horizon Report, look up additional references, type my reflections and notes into a word document, and download pictures to include in this blog post. All of these actions were done through my iPhone, and all while soaring thousands of feet above the ground. The current state of an early adoption technology, in this case mobile computing, has already provided me the opportunity to continue work on my graduate coursework seamlessly during travel. This experience was very profound because it demonstrated just how far technology has come in my lifetime. It also has me excited to see what impact later technologies mentioned in the Horizon Report will have in supporting my future educational endeavors.
Baskas, Harriet. (2010, February 10). Free airport wi-fi takes off. USA Today, Retrieved February 11 2011 from http://www.usatoday.com/travel/columnist/baskas/2010-02-10-free-airport-wi-fi_N.htm
Gogo is wi-fi with wings®. (2011). Retrieved February 11, 2011 from http://www.gogoinflight.com/gogo/cms/company.do
Johnson, L., Levine, A., Smith, R., & Stone, S. (2010). The 2010 Horizon Report. Austin, Texas: The New Media Consortium.