November 29, 2015

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11/27/00 Technology Makes My Back Hurt
One night, a cancelled dinner engagement left me sitting in the hotel room, bored. So I cleaned out my briefcase. Even though I had switched to a smaller, lighter laptop, my bag was still heavy. I dumped its contents on the bed and began sorting the clutter. Once I had organized the loose paperwork and personal items, this is what was left:
1 portable short-wave Radio
1 laptop computer
1 laptop power cord
2 extra laptop batteries
1 retracting telelphone cord
1 T-1 connection cord
1 Palm Pilot
1 Palm Pilot charger
1 Palm Pilot sync cable
1 Palm wireless modem
1 Palm wireless modem charger
1 cell phone
1 cell phone charger
1 digital camera
1 digital camera charger
1 digital camera PC connection cord
1 set of headphones
1 MP3 Player
1 MP3 PC connection cord
1 MP3 charger
I was carrying five chargers and six cords. What can I say? I’m a sucker for gadgets, but this was ridiculous. The sad part: I use every one of these items when I travel. And without my cell phone, I feel lost.
In the not-too-distant future, the cell phone will include the Palm Pilot, e-mail service, Web browsing, an MP3 Player, a digital camera, a digital voice recorder, a calculator, GPS (global positioning satellite receiver), and a pager. All this on one cell phone — without increasing its physical size.
The cell phone will also provide access to such on-demand services as OnStar, found in cars, providing directions when you’re lost; or ones like Hear Me or BE VOCAL, which read the news to you when you’re short on time. When all of these features are available through our cell phones, we will have the ultimate communication appliance. I look forward to the day I can carry one "do-it-all" device — and one charger.
The first step is the MP3 cell phone, introduced at the most recent Radio Ink Internet Conference; it just hit the market for Christmas. Now, consumers can listen to an hour of music from their cell phones. In 18 months, consumers will be able to listen to any Radio station in the world — streamed via the cell phone.
So why aren’t Radio receivers already in cell phones? Cell phones could easily and inexpensively add AM and FM Radio, placing the world’s most powerful marketing medium in everyone’s pocket every day. Radio listening would increase just due to convenience.
I have met with the world’s second-largest consumer electronics manufacturer, and I have requested a meeting with the largest. I also intend to meet with cell phone manufacturers. I urge industry organizations to do the same. Talk to your local cell phone dealers (who give feedback to their suppliers) about including Radio in cell phone service.
This is a huge opportunity to further Radio distribution. MP3s are being added to cell phones. Manufacturers can certainly add Radio to every cell phone before Christmas 2001.

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