Welcome to Uberland – if you have time

Written by on August 7, 2015 in Opinion with 1 Comment

Vector speedometerIt was thirty years in the making. And then, like the scary movie it seems to be, you find yourself in the middle of it. Gone are the days of structured lives. Gone, long gone, are the days of careers and a phone in the hall.

Instead we find ourselves in Uberland. We watch cooking shows where de-constructed dishes (which were perfectly OK when they were constructed) are given prizes. We find ourselves looking at our phones 150 times (or more) a day.

Every little thing we do is watched and quietly stored away. We are swamped by irrelevant adverts. Every detail of our lives is public, even if you are a clever hacker. Yet, if you want to open a bank account, all those details that are basically available at the click of a button have to be dragged out of you, together with a passport, a utility bill and an inside leg measurement.

If you live in a city, you are probably being filmed as you read this, and while you were on the way to the office. And on your way back home.

Now, above you, drones are busy delivering connectivity and the items you bought just under an hour ago. Vans prowl the streets, boasting that they can deliver within that same hour. Wi-Fi is now available on the summit of Mount Fuji, so that you can share your selfie on the summit before you even get back to base camp.

Soon, balloons high in the atmosphere will deliver Wi-Fi and 4G. Network operators will be condemned to the sidelines of history, shoved there by a well-meaning, but ultimately flawed, ‘regulator.’

What, you have to wonder (if you have the time) is driving us into this goldfish bowl, where we swim ever faster, and under ever more scrutiny into – what? Greater understanding of our world? Hardly, we don’t have time to consider our world, we rely on others to tell us what we think. We simply do not have the time to sit quietly and consider options, and strategies. And perhaps that is the point.

We are obsessed by speed. We are like spoilt teenagers. We are driven by spoilt teenagers. Debates rage about whether a credit card transaction lasting 12 seconds will be replaced by a hackable mobile wallet that takes 10.

It is exhausting. And it is hard to see the point. But, sorry, we digress, and we must get back to being watched and demanding information and stuff, like NOW.

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About the Author

About the Author: Alex was Founder and CEO of the Global Billing Association (GBA), a trade body focused on the communications sector. He is a sought after speaker and chairman at leading industry conferences, and is widely published in communications magazines around the world. Until it closed, he was Contributing Editor, OSS/BSS for Connected Planet. He is publisher of DisruptiveViews and previously BillingViews. .


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  1. Bob says:

    Sweet piece, Alex.
    Co-incidentally, my sister Facetimed me from Mt Fuji earlier in the year, and I can remember thinking ‘the future is finally here’.
    My most recent moment of futureshock disquiet was when I realised that saying ‘Hey Siri’ to my iPhone (when it’s on mains power) will wake Siri up, ready to follow my instructions. Which means, presumably that Siri is ALWAYS LISTENING…. did everyone but me know this?
    Have a good weekend…

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