History not only tells us of what happened in the past, it is a good indicator of what can happen in the future, especially for those prepared to learn.
In the early 1980’s, IBM released its new invention called the Personal Computer, the IBM PC. At the time, IBM did not regard it important enough to protect the intellectual property of its bus architecture nor its operating system which was out sourced to a fledgling company called Microsoft. If it had, life as we know today it in the computer world would be very different. But the success of the PC did not happen immediately. I was the first executive in Telstra to have a PC on my desk which I requested in lieu of a secretary – my peers laughed at me, “it will never catch on” they scoffed!
While the PC was interesting and useful to a select few, it wasn’t until the spreadsheet software application was developed and later discovered by the Accounting fraternity that the sales of PC reached critical mass. Spreadsheets were the “killer application” that drove the market penetration of the PC.
Today, we often see the introduction of new technologies well before a really useful purpose for them is discovered. For my money, the introduction of wireless 802.11 technologies has a lot of promise. Especially with the introduction of the new draft ‘N’ standard that broadens the pipe to match wired throughput levels. So what is the next killer application for wireless? I have my theories, but what are yours? Even if a new killer application for wireless is introduced, the all too familiar question remains, “can we bill for that?”