Last fall, Tantek and I presented a poster at HT04. To get it to the conference in one piece and to avoid having to lug it across the country, I created a PDF of the poster and sent it off to the Kinko’s web site. It was printed for me by the Kinko’s closest to the conference. All I had to do was send them a digital file, and 2,150 miles later I retrieved the physical output.
As I did so, I thought: This is really amazing. This is what’s so great about being connected.
A few months later, Kat upgraded her car, and the new one came with XM digital radio. We started receiving music from geosynchronous orbit, a digital signal broadcast from 22,600 miles above the equator and deciphered by the short, stubby antenna on the car’s roof. On a drive to visit relatives, we listened to the same station for the entire four-hour drive there, and again for the return drive.
As we did so, I thought: This is incredible. This is a great example of the benefits of connecting everything.
I was wrong in both cases.
This morning, I stood in a hotel room in Chiba, Japan and saw my wife and daughter on the television. Back home in Cleveland, they saw me on a computer monitor. We talked to each other, waved hello, got caught up on recent events. I watched as Carolyn ran around my office, heard her say “mama”, and agreed with her when she signed “telephone” while she watched my image. I stuck my tongue out to make a silly face, and six thousand miles away, my daughter laughed with delight at my antics.
A few minutes after we’d finished the chat, with the glow of home and family still warm upon me, I thought: This is why we connected everything in the first place.